Tiny Utilities : Small is Good – I

This is first part of a series of articles I intend to write about those small, free yet incredibly usefull softwares. I will start of with three of my favourites.

1. Unlocker : This is truely a must have software. I am sure that everyone has had the misfortune of encountering error messages like “Error Deleting File or Folder : It is being used by another person or program” while trying to modify/delete a file. The can be extremely frustrating, especially if you can’t recognize the process that is causing this trouble. This is where Unlocker comes into the picture. Unlocker is a tiny shell extension that integrates itself with the context menu.Unlocker can identify the process which is locking the file and unlock it, and most of the time you wont even need to kill/end the trouble causing process. Click on the image to view it in full size.

Sample error

Recent versions also include Unlocker assistant. Unlocker assistant stays in the system tray, and when you encounter some locked file it automatically Unlocks it.
Apart from unlocking a file, it can also directly delete, rename or move the file.

2. TrIDNet :
TrIDNet is an utility designed to identify file types from their binary signatures. It comes in handy as sometimes while downloading the extension of the file is lost (eg. while downloading email attachments or youtube videos using keepvid.com). I tested it with 10 different file formats : doc, pdf, txt, srt, flv, adr, avi, mp4, tiff, exe. It managed to succesfully detect all of them. Check the forums if you want to integrate TrIDNet with the context menu.This software can come in handy if you want to quickly and easily hide/disguise files without using any expensive software. All you need to do is to change the extension of the file you want to hide to something else (dont use a common format). When you neeed to access the file use Trid to get the original format.

3. Belarc Advisor :
Belarc Advisor is a free system inventory creator. There are scores of similar programs. However, the reason I prefer
is it creates an inventory of not only your hardware but also software. Its hardware monitor itself is reasonably detailed.
However, according to me the most usefull functionality provided by the software is related to Microsoft Security Hotfixes. It list’s all installed hotfixes as well as the hotfixes I am missing. It also creates a list of all the software installed. For the softwares I have purchased it lists the serial number/license key. It also displays your CIS (Center for Internet Security) benchmark score ( Screenshot ).

Edited to Add (24rth May) : Please be careful about what you do with the report that is generated by Belarc Advisor. If you decide to upload the report on the web don’t forget to delete the license keys included in it. More information is available here.

That’s all for now. Hopefully you will find these applications usefull.

5 Responses to Tiny Utilities : Small is Good – I

  1. Aseem N November 16, 2006 at 10:15 am #

    Whoa! Nice useful softwares… Esp the Unlocker one.. I am gonna try it right away! Always needed smthing like that!

  2. Techie Buzz May 9, 2007 at 4:34 pm #

    I am gonna try out unlocker as I have faced “this file is in use” problem quite a lot of times.

  3. TheAnand May 9, 2007 at 8:40 pm #

    If you are looking for unlocker software, I can recommend a software called WhoLockMe, its a awsome program or a registry entry i think, not very sure about that. I use it myself, it adds a link to the right click “Who Lock Me?” which tells you which process is using it…three cheers for MS for creating buggy OSes so that others can make software and sell them!!!! hehe…

  4. Pallab May 9, 2007 at 8:42 pm #

    Unlocker is better than WhoLockme.
    The comparison is available on their website itself – http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/

  5. Great Zork June 16, 2007 at 7:37 pm #

    These are mighty mighty useful utilities. I am thankful to you for sharing these.

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