Software we recommend
Software we recommend to use in providing support and general day to day computer usage.
- Anti-Virus and Malware tools
- Windows Maintenance
- Reading Machine Temperatures & Voltages
This serves as a master list of recommended and permitted software that we permit in the community. Please see the 'how tos' that may be present for these pieces of software.
|Disk manipulation||Gparted||Gparted is a Linux/gnu front-end to the parted tool. It is the recommended method for manipulating disks when using a Linux live session.||The
This serves as a master list of banned software that we do not permit in the community.
Any EOL OS is unsupported, it does not need to be listed here.
|ReviOS||Due to ReviOS TOS this is considered to have malware included such as keyloggers. The vendor also provides 0 support to users.|
These break machines and are black boxes for troubleshooting. If you have an issue with an OS don't use it. Do not break it then expect help.
|Winrar||Use 7zip as a free alternative|
See here for our stance and instructions on drivers
Cleaners have a longrecord of use in the Windows community but often times are abused, leading to broken systems and many wasted writes on an SSD.
Always determine your real issue and solve it with a more direct method.
Precomiled Windows PE
The distribution of pre-compiled PE is illegal under Microsoft TOS.
This list of vendors offer nothing to the community or make multiple products that are considerd PUPs/Malware.
Anti-Virus and Malware tools
This document exists for prevention. For active issues please see our thread on malware removal
AV - Anti-Virus runs constantly in the background, scanning files on download, on access, or on a schedule
AM - Anti-Malware should be run on demand to check for residual PUPs or other issues.
PUP - Potentially unwanted program, this is a generic term for 'shitware'
The built in solution for AV in Windows 10 is more than adequate for consumers. This is much better than running a free AV suite that is of lesser quality or plans to sell your personal habits for profit (MCafee, Avast, AVG, etc)
This is best used for supplemental scanning. The full product that functions as an AV follows the below rules for AV products.
All free alternatives are considered shitware. They will sell you as their product and provide more a more troublesome experience. We do not recommend Avast, AVG, Kaspersky, McAfee or any other alternative AV.
Paid AV Suites
We do not recommend any paid AV suite for consumers, they do not provide significant advantages over Windows Defender and only increase overhead.
CCleaner and all other cleaners can be very destructive. The use of these to clean excessively can lead to increase wear on SSDs when temp file are constantly being written and deleted.
The use of any registry 'cleaner' can also be detrimental to a machine there is never a good reason to 'clean' a registry, it is not a source of load on the system in any way.
All applications are PUPs
We do not recommend any driver finder applications, this list includes but is not limited to:
- Snappy Driver Installer
- IObit DriverBooster
- Driver Easy
Windows can natively handle most drivers during install, or directly from Device Manager. If you are seeking to update drivers outside of Windows Device Manager only seek them online from the motherboard, laptop, or GPU manufacturers support page.
Only use Windows built-in tools
All third party tools, such as defraggler, are considered PUPs
This is one of the few maintenance tools we can recommend, and it is for a specific need. If you ever have an app break and continue to misbehave after a reinstall you may need to clear out more items than Windows natively does.
Running this tool can clear residual configuration files and registry entries. The registry cleanup on this application has the same warning as ccleaner, it can break the OS if something goes wrong.
Disk & Partition Management
Windows disk management
diskmgmt.msc is the name of Windows built in disk management solution. This is fine for basic operations but for anything more intense than a simple expansion into empty space on the right you may want to seek out more robust methods.
This is used via a Linux live environment.
Gparted has the advantage of working on almost any disk, when in Windows you cannot operate extensively on your main
C:\ drive but Gparted is booted from its own media and not running on
C:\ so it does not have this restriction.
Verifying Disk Health
S.M.A.R.T. - this is a monitoring system included in disk drives(HDDs and SSDs). Its primary function is to detect and report various indicators of drive reliability and health.
Sectors - these are sections of your hard drive that store data. Your hard drive has many many sectors.
Important SMART Values
If you ever read a SMART report from any of the below tools it is useful understanding the common ones that you want to watch for.
Current Pending Sector Count
When a sector is detected as bad it will be counted and the disk will attempt to move it. This value can go up and down as the disk moves or recovers sectors.
Reallocated Sectors Count
When detected as bad your disk will attempt to move a sector. If it is moved successfully this count will go up.
Uncorrectable Sector Count
This count goes up when the disk is not able to recover and move a sector. This indicates lost data.
Crystal Disk Info
Crystal disk is the simplest way to get a reading on SMART within Windows. Download the application then run it to view every disk in the machine.
If a disk shows up as Yellow 'Caution' or Red 'Bad' we recommend replacing it.
Hard Disk Sentinel
For a GUI solution see here
You can check SMART in Linux using smartmonTools. The quick steps to get a report in Ubuntu are: (replace X with your desired disk)
sudo apt install smartmontools sudo smartctl -a -d ata /dev/sdX
Reading Machine Temperatures & Voltages
Watching your temperatures is an important part of managing any machine, especially a gaming rig. There are several tools that can work for this, some may not work on all CPUs (Ryzen most notably).
When reporting your temperatures to people, please use Celsius. It doesn't matter what country you are in, everyone uses Celsius.
This is an all around system reporting tool. We use this actively in the Discord to get a ton of information about your machine.
Speccy can have some issues reading Ryzen, if you temps are incredibly high please check with a Ryzen specific tool.
The go-to for ensuring you get proper temperature readings for your Ryzen CPU. If other tools show the same temperature you can assume they are accurate.
Like speccy this has a ton of info, but it is isolated to hardware. We utilize this for extended logging of voltages, temps, etc. during stress tests.