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Expert picks: Favorite downloads

Want to know what the experts stash in their favorite downloads toolbox? From desktop management to server management tools, our experts share their preferred downloads and explain why they are so valuable to them.

You're looking for a useful desktop management tool to download, but when you go to the Web you are overwhelmed by the choices. You may think: what do the experts use when they are in this situation?

We have the answer for you in this Learning Guide. Here, our site experts--Serdar Yegulalp, Bernie Klinder and Laura Hunter--share the names of their top five downloads and explain why they are so valuable to them. From desktop and server management to OS troubleshooting, they've come up with a must-keep list that will surely simplify your job.

We also have an additional benefit for you in this guide: honing in on desktop admin tools, Serdar Yegulalp has written a tip on each of his five favorites.

All in all, you are bound to find this Learning Guide one you will refer to for months to come. Bookmark this page, and you'll have easy access to an index of time-saving tools that are just a click away!

What is your favorite freeware? We want to hear from you -- e-mail the editor your top picks.

Serdar Yegulalp's Top Five Desktop Administrator Tools

Active Directory Cookbook

      1. Hidden treasures of the Ultimate Boot CD: The Ultimate Boot CD has literally dozens of utilities. Here, our desktop admin expert shares some of the most powerful and useful tools available on the CD.

      1. Six ways to avoid problems with apps at startup: Sysinternals' Autoruns utility can help you get to the bottom of problems stemming from unknown or unwanted applications loading automatically at startup.

      1. NetworkView discovers network nodes: NetworkView is a tool that automatically discovers nodes in a network without requiring the user to know anything about the network's topology.

      1. Process Explorer is more than a task manager: Sysinternals' Process Explorer is a task manager and also can tell you about running processes that wouldn't normally come to light.

      1. CCleaner: Tips for cleaner workstations and servers: Use CCleaner to neaten the data in your workstations or servers. Here's how you can get the most out of this free tool.

Serdar Yegulalp is our Desktop Management expert. Click for his bio or view Serdar's responses to your questions.

Bernie Klinder's Top Five Favorite Downloads

Active Directory Cookbook

      1. SyncToy: If you want to synchronize multiple directories, this tool fits the bill.

      1. Lookout : Are you spending too much time searching Outlook folders? Lookout indexes Outlook mail folders and makes them easier and faster to search.

      1. SharpReader : If you are in the market for an RSS Aggregator, SharpReader is one option that looks and feels a bit like Outlook.

      1. PSTools : Get a variety of tools to view and manage processes in Windows with PSTools.

      1. BGinfo : When you want to know your systems configuration on the desktop, use BGinfo.

Bernie Klinder is our Hardware and OS Troubleshooting expert. Click for his bio or view Bernie's responses to your questions.

Laura Hunter's Top Five Favorite Downloads

Active Directory Cookbook

      1. Filemon : You know those applications that you think need to be run as a local admin? With Filemon, you may discover that's simply not the case.

      1. ADFind : Need to find out who deleted that object, stat? Get to know Joe, you'll be glad you did.

      1. DNSLint : Diagnose common DNS problems, including lame delegation issues.

      1. Microsoft AntiSpyware Client (Beta) : A security technology that helps protect Windows users from spyware and other potentially unwanted software.

      1. Microsoft Log Parser : A versatile tool that provides universal query access to text-based data such as log files, XML files and CSV files.

Laura Hunter is our Server Management expert. Click for her bio or view Laura's responses to your questions.

Serdar Yegulalp's Top Five Favorite Downloads

Active Directory Cookbook

      1. VNC: If you can't use Remote Desktop in Windows, consider VNC, a cross-platform remote-control solution that runs just about anywhere.

      1. The is the first really credible challenger to Microsoft Office that is also free.

      1. ITR Client: This tool is a tiny but powerful front end for the Internet Traffic Report, which lists known traffic problems with the Internet.

      1. SyncToy: Microsoft originally released this as a tool for digital photographers, but it's too useful to be limited to that. It's the next step up from the intriguing but never widely-used "Briefcase" function in Windows.

      1. ShellExView: Short for Shell Extension View, this app brings up a list of every single shell hook registered in Windows.

Serdar Yegulalp is our Desktop Management expert. Click for his bio or view Serdar's responses to your questions.

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