Useful Software UtilitiesWritten on November 20, 2018 by Ben Nelson
What Applications Do Our Support Techs Find Useful?
Our support department utilizes several applications to make our job easier, and to provide the best experience for our customers. Specialized tools like these come in handy in many situations, like troubleshooting temperature concerns, diagnosing a Windows blue screen of death, or performing general cleanup of a system. Best of all, these programs have free versions which anyone can download!
Whether you are new to these applications, or have come across them before and are just seeking more information, this article will give a quick overview of each.
Open Hardware Monitor
Open Hardware Monitor is an open source software utility that reports temperature readings, fan speeds, voltages, and CPU load / clock speeds. This application is available for Windows 7, Windows 10, and most Linux distributions with WinForms.
Some examples of when we would call upon OHM include:
- Overheating CPU concerns
- Overheating video card concern
- Faulty CPU fan
- Internal case temperature
- CPU voltage spikes
- Improper CPU load distribution
When Windows blue screens of death are present, one of the first tools we use to dig up more information is WhoCrashed. This crash analysis software reviews Windows memory dump logs to determine possible causes. WhoCrashed can assign blame to specific drivers, hardware, and other Windows communication services to provide further information for what to troubleshoot.
To use, simply click the "Analyze" button at the top left and scroll down to the bottom to review the dump report.
Windows Directory Statistics, or WinDirStat for short, is a disk usage statistics viewer and a cleaning tool made for Windows operating systems. WinDirStat analyzes your directory tree and then displays the results in 3 different visual displays:
- Directory List - Similar to File Explorer, but sorted by file/folder size
- Treemap - Shows whole contents of directories
- Extension Lists - Shows statistics about file type
Each display is useful in a different way, and together they help you draw conclusions on disk usage and file/folder mapping.
CCleaner is a multi-use software cleaning and optimization application. It comes in 3 versions: free, professional, and professional bundle. Some of the uses for CCleaner include:
- Deleting cache, history, cookies from web browsers
- Clearing out the recycle bin, memory dumps, and log files
- Scanning and fixing the registry (always be sure to save a backup before repairing!)
- Removing unwanted programs
- Analyzing drives
Hopefully you find these tools as helpful as we do! Something important to note is that these tools are used to find details and draw conclusions, but not solve every piece of the puzzle. The applications vary in their use and function, so its important to select the correct tool for the job. If you have questions about using these utilities on your Puget Systems workstation, or understanding the information they provide about your computer, please contact our support department with your Puget Systems order number and we can assist.