Windows software of the day [May 5, 2012]

Today’s Software

  • IconRestorer: keep track of desktop icon layouts even after they get reset by something like screen resolutions
  • Orion File Recovery: recover or wipe files using a sleek, well-designed program that lets you see how corrupted they are.
  • UAC Process Analyzer: check UAC information about running processes

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About Windows Software of the Day

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 May 5, 2012


One of the things that bugs me a lot about computers is how they often randomly reset your desktop icon’s positioning. It feels like a little prank they play so that we have to spend time carefully rearranging them.

Rearrange no more! Use IconRestorer to save your desktop configuration so that you don’t have to constantly rebuild it. This is especially important to those that often switch screen resolutions, as whenever you change the resolution so that some icons would inadvertently fall off screen Windows helpfully plops them back in the first available spot.

Just save your icon configuration once, and then if it ever happens to get messed up just restore it again! The cool part about IconRestorer is that it doesn’t even need to be on 24×7, only when you’re backing up and restoring layouts.

The “donation” version allows for automatic timed backup, hotkeys, and settings saving.

Price: Free with special version for donators

Version discovered: v1.0.8.1 SR1

Supported OS: Windows XP+

Download size: 2.8MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42

Portable version available? No 

IconRestorer homepage

Orion File Recovery

Picture deleted, the small beep confirmed. However, Matthew quickly realized his mistake: that photo was the one and only remaining photo left from his expedition where he discovered Big Foot. Luckily, by chance, he had heard about Orion File Recovery from dotTech’s Windows software of the day, and all was saved.

Much like Recuva, Orion has a simple step-by-step procedure to recovering files. First, you select and drive and filetype, and then you can enter a filename. When it’s done searching (which can take a few minutes), it’ll show the results in the main table of the program. To restore a file, you can just right click and select Recover File. You can also securely wipe a file if you want to get rid of it 100%.

Note: on installation it will prompt you to install some additional programs including a toolbar. Just uncheck these and continue.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v

Supported OS: Windows XP+

Download size: 221KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42

Portable version available? No

Orion homepage

UAC Process Analyzer

Want to see if a program is running as administrator, saving files to system directories, or signed? Try UAC Process Analyzer. It’ll automatically scan the list of open applications, and when you select one, it’ll tell you information about it:

  • If the Integrity Level is high, it’s running as system (ie, there was a UAC prompt). If it’s anything lower, it’s not running as system.
  • If UAC virtualization is on, it has write access to places like C:\Program Files and C:\Windows.
  • If it’s in a trusted directory, it won’t be stopped by the Trust Center feature.
  • If it’s signed, it has a much higher chance of being legitimate. You can also view information about the certificate, such as who it was assigned to, when it’s valid, and more.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.0

Supported OS: Windows Vista+

Download size: 533KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42

Portable version available? Yes!

UAC Process Analyzer 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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  • RobCr

    I am not a big fan of Win 7
    Couple of areas that jump to mind, are the Start Menu, and the constant blocking of things I want to do.
    I have found an alternative for the Start Menu.
    Regarding the constant blocking, here are some links that should make UAC tolerable –

    Locutus has described this checker above.
    Here are more comments on it
    Use UAC Process Analyzer to Check Application Security

    And here are some solutions (work arounds) for UAC –

    UAC Pass Automatically Creates UAC Free Shortcut

    Disable UAC for Specific Software in Windows 7 with UAC Trust Shortcut

    Workaround to Bypass UAC Prompt using Task Scheduler Trick

  • Ashraf

    @smaragdus: Locutus was very clear in mentioning the crapware that comes with the program.

  • vjott

    @smaragdus: I don’t think that NCH Software’s products are trash. Perhaps you’ve had a negative experience using their software. I use their video editor, photo editor and document converter and all work quite well, especially the video editor which supports all sorts of formats. None of which added any adware, only a folder called “Video related programs” in the start menu which contains links to their other video-related software on the website. I deleted it and it no longer bothers me. Also, when I closed the video editor, a web browser would always pop up taking me to their website, but then that stopped happening without any reason (I don’t think there is an option to tinker with).

    It’s been a while since I installed the video editor and the others but I can’t recall any toolbars, extra programs or change of homepages being offered during the install process but I don’t have any of those so I guess that there must have been options to disable them. Many companies offering free software do that: Freemake Video Converter, Miro, Vuze, uTorrent…I won’t call those companies or their software “trash” because they need to make money too, even if Vuze and now uTorrent have paid versions.

    There are very few companies (Mozilla Foundation, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, the Document Foundation for example) that can give away software for free with no strings attached but they either make enough money from their commercial products, have huge financial supporters or are owned by another company that provide them with the funds they need. It is unfair to pass judgement on the smaller companies just because they’re trying to make a little revenue on their free products. I personally hate toolbars but as long as there is a way to opt out of them during the installation, I’m perfectly fine with them being offered.

    More specifically, my experience with NCH Video Editor has been very pleasant. It edited the MKV, OGM, FLV, MP4 and AVI files that I wanted to mix together to form a single video set to some music. It has very precise editing tools and I was able to clip large videos into smaller clips and mess around with the order of the clips. I sped up some of the clips, muted their individual audio, slowed down some of the other clips and added some transitions. I previewed the project, then I saved it as AVI (the free version has limitations with regard to which formats the project can be saved as). I couldn’t ask for more from a free video editor.

  • oldtimer3

    Agree with you, NCH Software is a pesty little outfit

  • The homepage for it says it works on 64 bit machines, which my XP is not.

  • smaragdus

    I am very disappointed to see a NCH Software product recommended here, like all NCH Software apps, Orion File Recovery beside being Ad-Ware is pure trash. Its rating at Softpedia (1.2/5) says enough.