Need to carry a toolbox for boxen
April 26, 2007 9:34 AM   Subscribe

Anyone recommend PC tuneup software, installable to a portable drive or USB stick? Something for tuneups/cleanups, kind of like System Mechanic Portable Toolkit used to do.

There used to be a couple of products, that either ran like a LiveCD or could be installed on an external drive, which could scan a random PC's local hard drives, registry, memory, etc. and clean things up/diagnose problems.

I could really use some sort of portable tuneup kit like that, but I'm not finding what I'm looking for. Anyone use something like that? Made your own and can help me with a some recommendations of what to include?

I've never needed something like this for a Mac, so Windows suggestions only please.
posted by bartleby to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
CCleaner is amazing. It's a Windows app that cleans all sorts of crap off the system. The first time I ran it, I reclaimed gigs of space, no exaggeration. Not a 'bootable' tool, but it's great to carry on a thumbdrive or something.

Ultimate Boot CD is exactly what the name suggests, and I'm eternally grateful after it fixed my bootloader, right as I was beginning to panic that the drive was beyond repair.
posted by fogster at 9:40 AM on April 26, 2007

i co-sign on CCleaner.

i have a portable version on my usb stick...LOVERLY.
posted by goldism at 10:20 AM on April 26, 2007

I always carry AdAware and Spybot on mine.
posted by asuprenant at 12:58 PM on April 26, 2007

Oh, and AVG Free for viruses.
posted by asuprenant at 12:59 PM on April 26, 2007

Introducing the Lifehacker Thanksgiving PC Rescue Kit, intended for those traveling home to their families during the holidays only to find parents (or grandparents) frustrated with a adware/spyware/virus laden-PC.

I used it myself and it really helped my dad's computer. Best part is that its designed to fit (and execute from) a USB stick. The comments in the article are also very helpful for additional useful utilities.
posted by MaverickX at 1:36 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

AVG Free is good, but I prefer ClamWin for AV because it's open source.

The Thanksgiving PC rescue kit is great. I'm especially careful to keep it up to do date as I no longer use Windows as my personal machine (I moved to Mac recently) but still support Windows for my family and, to some extent, on the job.
posted by lhauser at 4:01 PM on April 26, 2007

Trinity Rescue Kit is excellent for cleaning viruses off Windows boxes too heavily infested to boot up, apart from being generally useful.
posted by flabdablet at 6:23 PM on April 26, 2007

Norton/Symantec WinDoctor can be run easily from a USB drive, and seems to be pretty conservative in what it fixes. (i.e. It appears to actually focus on actual problems, rather than just "here's a stale registry entry you might not need any more".)
posted by rjt at 9:02 PM on April 26, 2007

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