Windows software of the day [April 1, 2012]

Windows has hundreds of thousands of programs. Because of this great volume and lack of a central store, software discovery (aka finding new and useful programs) is extremely difficult. With our Windows Software of the Day initiative, dotTech aims to change that. Everyday we post three programs, allowing our readers to discover new software, daily. Enjoy! [Subscribe to our Windows section to never miss an article: RSS Feed | E-mail]

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Software for April 1, 2012

Defraggler

Creeeeeeak.

That’s the sound of your computer’s hard drive slowly spinning up and locating the other half of a file. Fragmentation can be a real issue sometimes and it can slow down your computer considerably.

Defraggler, from the makers of CCleaner, is an easy-to-use defragmenter that lets you both do a quick defrag and a longer, more thorough defrag. It’ll additionally list every single fragmented file, and even allow you to search that list by both filename and size.

Defraggler is a great little utility to keep in your toolkit and is another tiny gem.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v2.0.9

Supported OS: Windows XP/2003/Vista/7

Download size: 3.4MB

Malware scan: VirusTotal scan results 1/41

Defraggler homepage

WhatInStartup

Booting your computer means loading dozens of services and apps every time. If you try out a lot of software, this can get rather annoying very fast, and Windows’ built-in MSConfig tool is rather lacking and hard to use.

WhatInStartup is another NirSoft utility that helps you manage your startup software easily. It tells you basic information, like the executable that is run the type of startup it is. It also lets you Google both executable and product names.

When you’ve decided to disable an item, you can just right click it and either disable it or even delete it. WhatInStartup is an easy to use startup manager that’s both free and tiny.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.33

Supported OS: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7

Download size: 50.8KB

Malware scan: VirusTotal scan results 0/43

WhatInStartup homepage

Auto Logon & Lock

My computer is around five minutes from hitting the power button to fully booted. However, in the middle of all this speedy wonderness, I have to come back and type in my password. This can add anywhere from 30 seconds to another several minutes to boot time, and afterwards Windows still has to load my startup items.

Auto Logon & Lock is a toolkit that skips the login process on first boot. It’s great if you don’t have anything too valuable on your computer and you don’t take your computer out, because it means a much faster boot time.

It provides step-by-step instructions for setting up automatic login and is generally a quick and easy process.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.0

Supported OS: Windows Vista/7

Download size: 44.0KB

Malware scan: VirusTotal scan results 1/43

Auto Logon & Lock homepage

dotTechies: We have tested all the software listed above. However, Windows Software of the Day articles are not intended as “reviews” but rather as “heads-up” to help you discover new programs. Always use your best judgement when downloading programs, such as trying trial/free versions before purchasing shareware programs, if applicable.

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13 comments

  1. John A

    I tried Auto Logon & Lock on XP Pro 32 Bit, and it would not work on my machine. Any ideas
    for another Program like “Auto Logon & Lock” for XP 32 Bit? Basically want to Boot up with out
    all the MS Jargon.

  2. Janet

    @Ashraf:

    Yes, it’s true that 64-bit machines run 32-bit-only software, but I have found that the combination of Win7 PLUS 64-bit gives problems for many programs—e.g., problems that XP 64-bit does not have……

  3. Janet

    @Jenny:

    I actually switched from Defraggler to MyDefrag….:-)….I liked their explanations about why it is not the best strategy to simply defragment everything and leave no spaces in between. They have different defrag strategies (regarding placement of files) for system drives as opposed to data drives, as well as options for each of the two strategies to be a daily or weekly or monthly defrag. So it sounded to me like they work differently from most defraggers and their explanations were both interesting and seemed sensible.

  4. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    @Janet: In my experience rarely does a software *not* work on 64-bit. 64-bit has been designed to successfully run 32-bit-only software. There are only special circumstances where 32-bit software won’t work on 64-bit. Plus Locutus uses 64-bit so anything he posts about works on 64-bit, unless he specifically states otherwise.

  5. Janet

    Any chance of including whether the apps are good for 64-bit?

    So many times I’ve gone through downloading and installing only to find the program does not work well on 64-bit OS’s…..

  6. Locutus
    Author/

    @hatman: It is :) Sorry about not having a review out, I had one nicely typed up but my internet broke itself at midnight. A bunch of power-cycling later and it’s been 30 minutes and I’d lost some of the review. I’ve updated the post with the review.