Keep these tools handy for ironing out install issues, diagnosing application crashes, probing process activity, slaying resource hogs, and curing other Windows ills.
Last month I compiled a list of the best troubleshooting tools for Windows, the result of many years of sifting through and trying out many such programs. One of the problems with assembling any such list is that a lot of good stuff always gets overlooked. It's like a movie buff being asked to pick only 10 favorite films: It's so hard to limit yourself!
To that end, here's another batch of tools that didn't make the first cut
, but are still enormously useful. Even better, they're all free, and they can be carried around on a thumb drive when you're stuck making PC house calls for yet another user in trouble -- or when you're in trouble yourself, for that matter. Windows Installer Cleanup
Whenever Microsoft makes a useful tool for Windows, it tends to go unsung compared to the bevy of third-party productions out there. That's a shame, because many of Microsoft's internal creations are incredibly useful. To wit: the Windows Installer Cleanup
Originally written as a support tool when Microsoft's .MSI installer technology was still new and a bit raw, Windows Installer Cleanup was devised to allow people to manually remove the entries that .MSI installations create in the system's installed-applications database. This was, and still is, useful if a program installation goes south -- if the installer crashes, for instance -- or if the program refuses to uninstall correctly. Consequently, this program is useful for troubleshooting broken application installations by letting you start the install from scratch.