The 40 Must Have Tools for your System Admin Toolkit

This article is a compilation of the 40 must have tools for any system administrator or power users. These tools are all freeware and comes very handy in those nightmarish situations to save our lives!

win-mac-linuxPicture courtesy Javier Aroche

Tool Name & Description URL
7-Zip is a very good free file archiver with a high compression ratio. http://www.7-zip.org/
Belarc Advisor audits installed software, license keys, details about hardware, list of Microsoft patches and generates a report. http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html
Clonezilla is an OpenSource clone system with unicasting and multicasting. It is a good Norton Ghost alternative. http://clonezilla.org
CPUz shows accurate motherboard, RAM, graphics card details and more. http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php
cURL is a command line tool for transferring files with URL syntax, supporting FTP, FTPS, HTTP, HTTPS, SCP, SFTP, TFTP, TELNET, DICT, LDAP, LDAPS and FILE. http://curl.haxx.se/
Darik’s Boot and Nuke (DBAN) is a self-contained boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks. http://www.dban.org/
Desktop Restore is a tiny shell extension that records the position of your desktop icons and lets you easily restore your favorite desktop layout. http://www.midiox.com/desktoprestore.htm
ExamDiff is a good freeware visual file comparison tool. http://www.prestosoft.com/edp_examdiff.asp
GParted is the GNOME partition editor for creating, reorganizing, and deleting disk partitions. http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php
InfraRecorder supports many DVD and CD drives that are available, burn ISO images, CDs and DVDs. http://infrarecorder.org/?page_id=5
Iometer is good hard disk I/O subsystem measurement and characterization tool. http://www.iometer.org/
Kdiff3 is a free file-comparison tool that does unicode, editing, directories and 3 way merge. http://kdiff3.sourceforge.net/
Kon-Boot is the ultimate Linux/Windows hacking tool. Log into any local or domain account on a pc without knowing the password. Use with caution! http://www.piotrbania.com/all/kon-boot/
Lansweeper is a network inventory tool that performs hardware scanning, software scanning, and reporting on Active Directory (AD) users. It requires SQL. http://www.lansweeper.com/
LUA BugLight is a nice tool for finding out where a program hangs or program bugs. It runs under restricted mode so you can make system changes. http://blogs.msdn.com/aaron_margosis/archive/2006/08/07/LuaBuglight.aspx
MyDefrag (formerly JKDefrag) is a flexible free Hard Drive Defragment program with a scripting language. http://www.mydefrag.com/
Nmap Security Scanner - Nmap (“Network Mapper”) is a free and open source utility for network exploration or security auditing. http://nmap.org/
Notepad++ features a tabbed interface, syntax highlighting for all popular programming and scripting languages, bracket matching, and macro recording. http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/uk/download.php
Offline NT Password & Registry Editor is a Boot CD that can change local account passwords. http://home.eunet.no/pnordahl/ntpasswd/
Paint.NET is a huge improvement over Windows’ built-in Paint program for image manipulation. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools. http://www.getpaint.net/download.html
Password Safe allows you to safely and easily create a secured and encrypted user name/password list. http://passwordsafe.sourceforge.net/
PING is a live Linux ISO, based on the excellent Linux From Scratch (LFS) documentation. PING makes a sector-based image copy of a disk partition. The bootable PING ISO tool copies a full system disk to on a bigger disk. http://ping.windowsdream.com
Superscan is a powerful TCP port scanner, pinger, resolver. http://www.foundstone.com/us/resources/proddesc/superscan.htm
Sysinternals is the sysadmin’s best friend! It is the must have tool for any sysadmin out there. It is now also available as Sysinternals Live. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/default.aspx
TrueCrypt is a free open-source disk encryption software for Windows Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux. http://www.truecrypt.org
UBCD4Win is a bootable recovery CD that contains software used for repairing, restoring, or diagnosing almost any computer problem. http://www.ubcd4win.com/
Ultimate Boot CD is a free bootable recovery CD and has over 100 tools for diagnostics and repair. http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
UltraVNC is a powerful, easy to use and free software that can display the screen of another computer (via internet or network) on your own screen. http://www.uvnc.com
UltraTech’s list of must have tools for Windows users/admins that needs some updating but has dozens of popular tools and their links. http://KB.UltraTech-llc.com/?File=Utils.TXT
USB DeviewView lets you view all installed/connected USB devices on your system. In fact, most of the Nirsoft utilities are pretty good and useful. http://www.nirsoft.net/
The VIPRE Rescue Program is a command-line utility that will scan and clean an infected computer that is so infected that programs cannot be easily run. http://live.sunbeltsoftware.com/
VirtualBox is a powerful x86 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh and OpenSolaris hosts and supports a large number of guest operating systems. http://www.virtualbox.org/
Voidtools is an everything search engine! It helps locate files and folders by name instantly. http://www.voidtools.com/
WinDirStat is a very good disk space usage visualization and cleanup tool for Microsoft Windows. http://windirstat.info/
Windows Installer CleanUp Utility is used to clean leftover windows installer files of failed or partially installed software. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301
Wireshark is a popular network protocol analyzer (sniffer), used in many industries and educational institutions. http://www.wireshark.org/
XML Notepad 2007 is a specialized MS XML editor with a small footprint. It has a Tree View and a Node Text View and a built-in XML Diff capability. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=72d6aa49-787d-4118-ba5f-4f30fe913628
ZoomIt is screen zoom and annotation tool for technical presentations that include application demonstrations. ZoomIt lets you magnify portions of your screen while doing demos and presos, as well as draw on and annotate the screen. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/bb897434.aspx
Bart’s PE Builder helps you build a “BartPE” (Bart Preinstalled Environment) bootable Windows CD-Rom or DVD from the original Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 installation/setup CD, very suitable for PC maintenance tasks. http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/
Ethereal is used by network professionals around the world for troubleshooting, analysis, software and protocol development, and education. http://www.ethereal.com/

[ Additional information courtesy Sunbelt Blog ]

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About SK Mezanul Haque

SK Mezanul Haque is the founder of MyTechGuide.org (popularly known as My Technology Guide). Passionate about all things in tech. Let's meet: Google Plus.

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  • Roger

    I recommend TheSearchMan.

    unlike Everything , TheSearchMan’s database is encrypted and it doesn’t show ALL files at the startup.
    The database of Everything is on the most wanted List of hackers as it lists all your files.

    TheSearchMan is a mere 30 KB download.
    It is portable also. That means NO INSTALLATION.

    Unlike Everything or Locate32 which can only search in the index, TheSearchMan can do real searching,ie, in the drive with a super fast speed.

    It searched my 50GB Seagate drive in a little over 2 seconds.
    It has bagged many 5 stars and Top Software awards.

    The interface of TheSearchMan is extremely simple.
    Just enter the path and search criteria

    TheSearchMan’s database is updated on the fly.

    The home page is:
    http://venussoftcorporation.blogspot.com/2009/08/thesearchman.html

    Its also been reviewed by ghacks and addictivetips.

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  • jolin

    Amazing article with a lot of useful information, actually, recently I’ve found another way to speed up my poor PC, the software “tuneup360″. It’s very easy to handle and of course very powerful, my friends and I all use it now, maybe you can have a try.

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