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Free System Administrator Tools

Here is my list of free must have system administrator tools for performing system tasks and troubleshooting. These tools can perform different functions, for example: checking your hard drive's S.M.A.R.T. counters to see if its healthy, backup your Windows registry, manage the system processes that are running, etc.

All of these tools can be stored and run from a USB flash drive. So that you can always have them with you when you need them most.
  • Autoruns: Allows you to view and manage which programs are configured to start-up automatically when your system boots and you login.
  • Process Explorer: Allows you to view and manage system process. Here is a brief excerpt from the Sysinternals site, explaining what this program can do: "shows a list of the currently active processes, including the names of their owning accounts, ... you'll see the DLLs and memory-mapped files that the process has loaded."
  • Need to backup the Windows Registry on your local computer, check out the following article.
  • Wireshark: Great for network diagnostics and troubleshooting.
  • CrystalDiskInfo: View the S.M.A.R.T. information on your hard disk. S.M.A.R.T. is a technology that tracks the current condition of your drive (such as temperature, hours used, etc.).
  • PsTools suite: Contains great command line tools like: PsExec, PsUptime, PsShutdown, PsLoggedOn, and more.