Arnold's PC Tips


Arnold’s List of Essential PC Software

Bob, I would just boot your old laptop off of the Windows XP Disk and do a clean install of XP.  That will wipe out everything on the hard drive and install XP.  Do the updates to include service pack 3.  You need service pack 3 installed to use Microsoft Security Essentials. 

For anti-virus software I highly recommend and use when running
Windows on our 4 computers Microsoft Security Essentials which is free and works well.  My wife is a Windows only user and nothing has blown up.  See the link below.

Windows Security Essentials also has a + in that it does not pole the processor as hard as many similar products. I like free too!

I think that by using your old laptop with XP would leave you a dedicated computer for the network.

I think that this would be a great no cost solution!

Is he running XP to maintain the network now?

Off the subject but below is some Windows Stuff that is either free or free for home users. Some items have a Mac OS and Linux version too.

  1. PC Decrapifier will remove much of the common trialware, etc., found on a computer.

  2. CCleaner. Remove temporary files left behind by web browsers. etc. I consider it a must for Windows users.

  3. Malwarebytes Free. Also removes infections of Trojans, Viruses, Spyware, Worms, Key Loggers, etc.

  4. Macrium Reflect Free Backup Program. This program makes a complete mirror image of your hard drive. Backup to an External Hard Drive. Make sure to make the Bootable CD. Windows 7 users can use the backup program located in Control Panel. System & Security, Backup your computer. It too makes an emergency boot DVD disk.

  5. Paragon Backup & Recovery. Supported File Systems NTFS, FAT 16, FAT 32, Linux Ex2FS through Ext4FS. Linux Swap. HPFS, Limited read/write access to Apple HFS+ partitions. Free registration.

  6. OpenOffice a leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, databases & more.

  7. CD/Disk Burning Software. Three different free programs.  One should meet your needs!

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  11. Auslogics disk defrag & optimizer Windows XP, Vista, &

  12. PDF-XChange Viewer small - fast replacement for Adobe Reader. Uninstall Adobe Reader before installing.
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  13. GIMP - Free program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring, etc.

  14. Microsoft Security Essentials - Protect against viruses, spyware & malicious software. You can have only one anti-virus - firewall running at a time. Only change I made under Settings was to change the “When” to Daily. Time to when I may have the computer on, & removed the check mark from "Start the scheduled scan only when my computer is on but not in use. By doing this the computer will download the latest anti-virus software - scan the computer in the background.

  15. GMX Email. Free email account. Supports POP3, IMAP, & Web Browser based email. Use it in your email program or by you Web browser. Many features! I use it. Other free email accounts can be found @ or Both offer IMAP and POP3 and all can be accessed by web browsers too. All work well.

  16. Ninite. Works on Windows XP/Vista/7. Works in the background 100% hands-free. It installs many apps that one wants say “no” to browser toolbars and other junk. I use it.

  17. Jarte - Free, tabbed word processor based on the Microsoft WordPad engine. Jarte is fast, easy to use, reliable, requires little screen space, & creates documents perfectly compatible with Word.

  18. Chandler Personal Information Manager

  19. Revo Uninstaller: Better way to un-install a program.

  20. VLC Media Player. The media player that fulfills all your needs. It handles DVDs, (S)VCDs, Audio CDs, web streams, TV cards and much more. There is no need to continually update many different codec packs. VLC comes with nearly every codec built in!

All programs listed here are either free or free for home use. As always it is a good idea to backup before making any changes to your system!

-Arnold A. L. McDonough