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. http://pcdecrapifier.com/

  2. CCleaner. Remove temporary files left behind by web browsers.
    etc. I consider it a must for Windows users. http://www.filehippo.com/download_ccleaner/

  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!

  8. (a) http://cdburnerxp.se/

  9. (b) http://www.imgburn.com/

  10. (c) http://infrarecorder.org/

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

  12. PDF-XChange Viewer small - fast replacement for Adobe Reader.
    Uninstall Adobe Reader before installing.

  13. GIMP - Free program for such tasks as photo retouching, image
    composition and image authoring, etc. http://www.gimp.org/

  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

  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. http://gmx.com/ Other free
    email accounts can be found @ aim.com or gmail.com Both offer IMAP
    and POP3 and all can be accessed by web browsers too. All work

  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


A. L. McDonough