35 Portable Applications that Every Tech Needs

USB Icon Over a year ago I wrote an article called 18 Portable Apps Every Tech Needs. Since then a lot has changed. I have compiled a new, more exhaustive list of 35 portable applications specifically for techs. All of these apps run directly from your USB flash drive and require no installation.

Archiver and Extractor

7-Zip Portable – An open source file archiver that supports 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2, TAR, RAR as well as others.


Auditing

SIW – A system analysis tool that gathers detailed information about your hardware and software.

WinAudit – Audits all of your hardware, software, licenses, and network settings.

CPU-Z – Gathers detailed information about your processor, motherboard, and memory.


Burning

Infra Recorder Portable – Portable CD/DVD burning software.


Disk Utilities

JkDefrag – Disk optimizer and defragmenter.


Document Viewers

OpenOffice.org Portable – A portable version of OpenOffice.org which includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation tool, drawing package and database. Can also open most Microsoft Office documents.

Foxit Reader – A portable PDF reader.


Internet

FileZilla Portable – One of the best open source FTP programs available.

Firefox Portable – A portable version of Firefox. Very useful when working on a computer that has been overwhelmed with spyware.

PuTTY Portable – An open source Telnet/SSH client.


Launcher

PStart – A launcher utility that allows you to organize and launch all of your portable applications.


Malware Removal

ClamWin Portable – One of the best free antivius programs as a portable version.

Avast! Virus Cleaner – Scans the computer for a specific set of viruses and worms.

RootkitRevealer – An advanced rootkit detection utility.

HiJackThis – A hijacker detector and remover. Outputs information to a log file so you can share the results with others when needing help.

McAfee Stinger – A stand-alone utility that scans for and removes specific viruses.


Networking

Angry IP Scanner – Scans a range of IP addresses so you can see which ones are in use. Also tells you hostname, MAC address, open ports, computer name, workgroup, and logged in Windows users.

CurrPorts – Allows you to see detailed information about all of the TCP/IP and UDP ports being used on the computer including which program is using them. Also allows you to close out the port and kill the process that opened it.


Optimization

CCleaner Portable – An optimization utility that cleans the registry and removes unwanted files from the computer.

PC Decrapifier – Uninstalls trialware and annoyances from new computers. Makes cleaning up a new computer much easier and saves a lot of time.


Organization

TiddlyWiki – A self-contained wiki that is great for storing a lot of information in one place.


Recovery

Restoration – Scans any drive for items that have been deleted and allows you to restore them. Can also wipe files beyond simple recovery. Learn more by viewing How To Restore Deleted Files After Emptying The Recycle Bin.

Unstoppable Copier – Copies files from disks that have physical damage.

TestDisk – Data recovery software that can recover lost partitions or make drives bootable again.


Remote Control

PcHelpware – Remote support software that lets you control remote computers. Learn more by viewing How To Remote Control Computers Using PCHelpWare.


Security

LockNote – A simple text file that allows you to store whatever you like using a password and 256bit encryption.

KeePass – Securely store all of your passwords in one place and access them with one master password.

TrueCrypt – Disk encrypting utility that can encrypt hard drives and storage devices including your flash drive.


System

Process Explorer – View detailed information about the processes running on a computer.

WinKeyLite – Easily view and change Windows Product Keys without having to edit the registry. Learn more by viewing How To Find And Change A Windows Vista, XP, And 2003 Product Key.

Unknown Devices – Helps you find out what the unknown devices in your device manager are.

AutoRuns – Comprehensive information about all of the programs and processes that start up when you boot up the computer or log into Windows.

DriverBackup – Backs up all of your drivers. Most useful when needing to reload a computer or when needing to copy a driver from one computer to another.


Testing

Stress Prime 2004 – A stress test for CPUs and Memory.

 

What portable apps do you like that aren’t on the list? Please feel free to share.




23 Comments

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply January 9, 2008

    Nice list. Perfect for the sysadmin or dekstop support tech.

    http://www.itdoescompute.com

  • archshrk

    Reply Reply January 9, 2008

    This is a great list even for the average user who visits their parents. At least, this is how I spend my time with family.

  • Casey

    Reply Reply January 11, 2008

    Haha yeah that is pretty much how I spend time with my family too.

  • the0ne

    Reply Reply August 26, 2008

    great list

  • cdb

    Reply Reply November 19, 2008

    really, im surprised to see two things missing from this list I use on almost every other job, Malwarebytes and AdvancedWindowsCare. Even though they are not as “portable” almost every “virus” removal I do, I use at least one of those two programs. Maybe it is because they require local installation, but seriously any tech with a flash drive should have these two installs with them at all times.

  • eRealMedia.com

    Reply Reply December 23, 2008

    Great list of nice tool. One problem most of technical guy face is finding and installing hardware drivers on new system. Most of the audit tools only detect and give details only after drivers has been installed-they simply read the existing driver information for your hardware. Please let me know if there is any tools which can be installed on system with no hardware (or system with hardware driver) problem and it will find and tell what driver to install and if possible URL links where to get them, if case if you have no driver system CD.

  • Clarkson

    Reply Reply January 4, 2009

    Nice, maybe a couple more hacking/cracking tools :) If you’re into that…

  • Galatorg

    Reply Reply February 17, 2009

    I would suggest Process Monitor to be added(it’s part of the sysinternals suite like ProcessExplorer). It watches what’s going on with your computer, you can see what processes access what. It’s more useful for an admin working with domain users. Great for locating what may need permissions changed to run a program or just seeing all what a process gets into. TIP: Make sure you use the filter.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896645.aspx

  • Phaoloo

    Reply Reply February 26, 2009

    Nice list.

  • annoyed

    Reply Reply April 10, 2009

    dude, you MUST test carefully the programs YOU recommend.

    SIW fucked my Windows Vista!!!

    • Casey

      Reply Reply April 10, 2009

      Actually I do and I just used SIW without any issues. If you have a problem you should contact Topala Software Solutions who makes SIW. http://www.gtopala.com/tss/contact-us.html

    • Brenton

      Reply Reply April 27, 2009

      I just ran it on Vista Ultimate x64 with SP1. Worked perfectly!

  • DumbDude1994

    Reply Reply April 18, 2009

    hey a good website that sometimes puts new programs is http://www.portableapps.com (creative name eh) they have pretty good apps and also another program that i use is clean up it deletes temporary internet files and things of that sort (clean up isn’t really considered a portable app but it is easy to move to a flash drive) also flv player (another creative name) is a flv (video only) player that can be put in a flash drive similarly to clean up

  • CYBERGOD

    Reply Reply December 26, 2010

    BEST LOST-DELETED-DAMAGED-OVERFORMATTED FILE RECOVERY “FREE” SOFTWARE ..PERIOD !

    RECUVA …. ITS AWESOME !!!!!!!!!!!!! AND FREE

  • Malwarebytes is the coolest to remove identify theft I would highly recommend it but you must also get another software on your computer such as antivirus as malwarebytes say’s you get a full best protection for your PC

  • ash

    Reply Reply November 16, 2012

    driver pack solutions, will find all drivers that arent installed, and ones that need updating. then install them. very easy and fast piece of free software. its 3 gig but amazing

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply February 5, 2008

    I haven’t used PCHelpWare yet, but i like to use crossloop for remote access. It’s free and simple. Awesome list!

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply April 12, 2008

    I am more fond of VNC for this, crossloop is good for simplicity though I guess

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply February 10, 2008

    My brother-in-law and sister are both engineers, and I have a degree in art. I spend most of my quality time with them troubleshooting their computer problems…. something I’m able to do because of excellent advice and apps on sites like this. Bless you, InterTubes!

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply February 26, 2008

    Dixml Free utility that backs up the entire disk

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply April 26, 2008

    I like this web browser and it has the portable version! It’s very nifty and light, and includes many many things such as irc client.

    The opera portable can be found at : http://www.kejut.com/operaportable

    Some features.. (from the website)

    * No registry entries are created or modified
    * No effect to existing installed browsers, either IE, Firefox or Opera
    * No trace left after exiting – files are overwritten, not just deleted
    * Doesn’t make your USB drive tired – all code and data are stored in a temporary place on host computer
    * Create multiple profiles for different places
    * Easy to distribute and use, not limited to USB sticks or CDs

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply May 11, 2008

    http://www.teamviewer.com

    Free for non-commercial use. No installation required.

    Allows connection thru/behind fiewalls. I use it to help my grandmother and other family members. No need to expose them to the internet by directly connecting them. They can stay behind the safety of the router/NAT/PAT firewall.

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