Installations are generally in the order of the list.
Restart computer after each new software installation.
Updated Feb 23, 2014
Windows XP (5.1) Service Pack 3 support ends April 8, 2014
Windows Vista (6.0) Service Pack 2
Window 7 (6.1) Service Pack 1
Window 8 (6.2)
Windows 8 Users
Update to 8.1 immediately !
If you do not want a "Microsoft account" (most users) be sure to read Section 5 "To keep using a local account"
Put the "Start" button back on your taskbar and much more with Classic Shell 4, before install View Install/Setup Images
View Window8.1 general Settings Images
Tax Time ?
StudioTax 2013 income tax preparation and filing software. CRA Certified (free)
Tools: Intel Driver Update Utility detects which driver updates are relevant to your computer
AMD important for Dual Core and others
Tools: CPU-Z 1.6 provides information about your CPU, Cache, Motherboard and Memory (free)
Tools: GPU-Z 0.6 provides information about your installed video card(s) (free)
Motherboard (NIC, audio, video):
RealTek - NIC
RealTek - Audio
Start | Settings | Control panel | Automatic Updates |
Select "Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them." after a fresh load. Return this to automatic after all update are installed.
IE8 for XP is the world's most popular Web browser. View IE8 Install/Setup Images
IE9 for Vista
IE11 for Windows 7
Google Search click "Add to Internet Explorer" View Settings Image 1. In IE go to Tools | Manage add-ons | Search Providers View Settings Image 2
Windows XP folder View - important enhancement ! (XP only)
Start | Settings | Control panel | Folder Options | File Types | Click "(NONE) Folder" to highlight it | Advanced | Click "explore" | Set Default
Windows Vista and 7 folder View - important enhancement ! (Vista and 7 only)
How to stop the ever-changing view type for various folders in Windows Vista Explorer. Read this
Windows 7 folder View
How to Remove "Favorites" "Libraries" and "Homegroup" from Windows 7 Explorer's Navigation Pane.
Windows 7 and Window 8 Quick Launch Toolbar
How to get the "Quick Launch" Toolbar and "Show Desktop Icon" and other shortcuts back.
Windows 8 Start Button
How to bypass the "Metro" screen and put a Start button back on your taskbar. Classic Shell 4
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013, 3 PCs / 1yr License. (Do Not use the disc, download the latest 2014 KAV), only buy on sale for $20 at Future Shop, only buy on sale for $20 at Best Buy, only buy on sale for $20 at Staples or less (long weekends and Christmas)
or Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 with Parental Controls, 3 PCs / 1yr License. ( Do Not use the disc, download the latest 2014 KIS), only buy on sale for $30 at Future Shop, only buy on sale for $30 at Best Buy, only buy on sale for $30 at Staples or less
Do Not use Microsoft Security Essentials 4 (XP, Vista and 7) or Window Defender (8 or 8.1). I have repaired to many infections with this light weight package installed.
Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool can be installed to an infected machine (Safe Mode (F8) supported). (free)
Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 creates a Boot CD that can update and then scan and disinfect x86 and x64-compatible computers. (free)
AVG Rescue CD creates a Boot CD that can update and then scan and disinfect x86 and x64-compatible computers. (free)
Stinger 12 a stand-alone utility used to detect and remove the today's top 40 viruses. When downloading select "Open", not Save. (free)
House Call a web based Anti Virus scanner that runs in your Web Browser to double check your system. (free)
VirSCAN an on-line file scanner service, which checks uploaded files for malware, using many antivirus engines (free)
AV-Comparatives is an Austrian Non-Profit-Organization, which is providing independent Anti-Virus software tests free to the public. See chart. Also see TopTen Reviews.
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.7 before install View Install Images
Internet Browser Support:
Flash 12 uncheck "install Google Chrome as my default browser and Google Toolbar" (free - recommended XP, Vista and 7 only. Built into 8)
Silverlight 5 (free - optional)
Java 1.7 (32-bit) is required for some applications and online games (free - optional)
QuickTime enables you to play Online QTime files. (free - optional)
Windows Live Mail is the latest release of Outlook Express/Windows Mail. During install, uncheck everything but WLM.
Thunderbird is a great email client with tabbed email.
Gmail is independant of your Internet Service Provider. Once you've enabled POP or IMAP in Gmail, you can configure your mail clients and mobile devices to synchronize with your Gmail. (free)
Telus email configuration (try IMAP)
Shaw email configuration (no IMAP) Routers and Shaw Server Names
Email to Text:
Telus Email a text message to any TELUS Mobility client by using this format: email@example.com (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org). Type your text in the message body. Note: 160 characters max.
Rogers Email a text message to any ROGERS client by using this format: email@example.com (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org) Type your text in the message body. Note: 160 characters max.
Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentations:
LibreOffice 4 is an alternative to MS Office or Works, compatible with Word / Excel / PowerPoint files. View Setup Images (free)
PowerPoint Viewer 14 enables you to view full-featured presentations created in PowerPoint. SP1 (free)
How to backup and recover Outlook Express data Contacts, Account and Folders (Inbox, Outbox, ...)
How to import and export the Internet Explorer Favorites
FreeFileSync 6 is an folder comparison and synchronization tool.
Image Viewing / Editing:
ACDSee Free 1 (free)
ACDSee 17 (pay)
Portable Data Format (PDF) Document Reader:
Adobe Reader 11
System Clean Up:
CCleaner 4-Slim before install View Install/Options Images (free)
7-Zip 9.2 enables you to open and extract 30 kinds of archives, including .zip and .rar. After install View Options Image (free)
KeePass Password Safe 2 is an encrypted password manager. (free)
RoboForm 7 is an encrypted automated password manager and web form filler for a 1-click website login. (free - limited to 10 logins)
DVD / CD / Blu-ray Burning:
CDBurnerXP 4.5 enables you to burn CD / DVD / Blu-ray discs for files, audio and images. (free)
DVD / CD Drive Firmware Update:
LG select Divice Driver
or Firmware HQ
DVD Identifier 5.2.0 interprets the pre-recorded information that is present on DVD media to accurately identify your disc's REAL manufacturer. (free)
Video Player / Codecs:
VLC media player 2 plays most codecs with no codec packs needed: MPEG-2, DivX, H.264, MKV, WMV, MP3... View Install Images (free)
DVD Ripper / Backup:
DVDFab HD Decrypter 9 decrypts and copies an entire DVD 9 or HD movie to your hard disk. (free)
FreeRip Basic extracts audio tracks from CD to MP3, WAV, WMA, FLAC and OGG Vorbis. (free)
File Sharing (Peer to Peer - P2P):
FrostWire 5 is a Limewire (free/pay)
Bit Torrent (Peer to Peer - P2P) Client:
uTorrent 3 AKA: MicroTorrent, before install View Install Images then after installView Setup Image(free)
Peer Block 1.2 is an IP blocker for Windows making it the safest and easiest way to protect your privacy on P2P (free)
A guide to Bit Torrents
Torrent Search Engines:
The Pirate Bay
showrss by configuring an RSS-compatible client like uTorrent with the feed, all shows will downloaded automatically when they become available. More here.
NFO Reader 2.10.0032.RC3 is an utility for viewing text files containing ASCII Art (free) More here.
Voice Over IP (VOIP) Client:
Skype 6 before install View Install Image (free)
Available in a cordless phone.
Web Feeds (XML, RSS, Atom, OPML ):
Klipfolio 5 (free)
Juice 2.2 (FAQs) (free)
Podcast Search Engine
Net News Transfer Protocol (News Groups):
NNTP Servers with SSL:
News Hosting in the US, includes free client software. ($9.99/mo)
Tweaknews.eu in the Netherlands, for Block Subscriptions. Requires NewsLeacher for client software.
NNTP Client software:
NewsLeecher 5 Plus includes Super Search. ($3.99/mo)
A Guide to News Groups
NFO Reader 2.10.0032.RC3 is an utility for viewing text files containing ASCII Art (free)
QuickPar2v0.9.1 is used to verify that a set of files have not been corrupted or to reconstruct damaged files. (free)
QuickSFV 2.36 is a small and fast Simple File Verification program. (free)
Binaries Search Engine searches the Usenet Newsgroups for all binary files.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Client:
FileZilla 3 (free)
Win Patrol 30 before install View Install/Options Images (free)
View geographical and astronomical imagery, 3D buildings, maps, and local business information.
Google SketchUp 8
A powerful yet easy-to-learn 3D software tool-set with an intelligent drawing system that streamlines and simplifies 3D design.
StudioTax 2013 Canada's free tax program and NETFILE certified. (free)
Flight Gear 3.0 is an open-source flight simulator. (free)
textPlus for free Text/SMS to any US or Canadian mobile number.
ES File Explorer File Manager is a free, full-featured file, application manager and mulitimedia player.
Real Racing 3 sets a new standard for mobile racing games.
RealCalc is a fully featured scientific calculator which looks and operates like the real thing.
IObit Advanced Mobile Care (AMC Security) Antivirus and more.
Speakeasy - Speed Test (Seattle) or Shaw Speed Test
Shaw - Lite - Up to 1 Mbps, 30 GB data/month - Typical Download Speed: - kbps (- KB/sec transfer rate) Upload Speed: - kbps (- KB/sec transfer rate) - $--/month for 6 months, $39/month regular price, Yes it is available.
High Speed 10 - 10 Mbps, 125 GB data/month - Typical Download Speed: - kbps (- KB/sec transfer rate) Upload Speed: - kbps (- KB/sec transfer rate) - $30/month for 6 months, $55/month regular price.
High Speed 25 - 25 Mbps, 250 GB data/month - Typical Download Speed: - kbps (- KB/sec transfer rate) Upload Speed: - kbps (- KB/sec transfer rate) - $30/month for 6 months, $60/month regular price.
Telus - High Speed Lite - Typical Download Speed: 1000 kbps ( ? KB/sec transfer rate) Upload Speed: 256 kbps ( ? KB/sec transfer rate) - $25/month for 6 months, $25/month
TELUS Internet 6 - 3.0 to 6.0 Mbps, 100 GB data/month - Typical Download Speed: 2861 kbps (357.6 KB/sec transfer rate) Upload Speed: 563 kbps (70.4 KB/sec transfer rate) - $30/month for 6 months, $50/month regular price when bundled with any other Telus service.
TELUS Internet 15 - 3.0 to 15 Mbps, 150 GB data/month - Typical Download Speed: ? kbps ( ? KB/sec transfer rate) Upload Speed: ? kbps ( ? KB/sec transfer rate) - $30/month for 6 months, $55/month regular price when bundled with any other Telus service.
Primus - Unlimited Internet 6 - $20/month for 3 months, $37/month regular price
Belarc Advisor 8.3 provides a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware. (free)
ISO CD / DVD Burning Tool
Active@ ISO Burner 2.5 is a simple-to-use dialog-style software to burn CD/DVD/Blue Ray ISO images (Memory Test and HD Test below) compatible with the ISO 9660 standard. Not required if you have Nero or CD Burner XP. (free)
Memtest86+ v5.01 is a stand alone memory test for x86 architecture computers. (Creates a Boot disk or CD) (free)
Hard Drive Test: (free)
Seagate, Maxtor and Quantum
SeaTools for DOS 1.10 (text) (Creates a Boot disk or Boot CD) Parallel ATA (PATA and IDE) and Serial ATA (SATA)
SeaTools for Windows 220.127.116.11 USB, 1394, ATA (PATA/IDE), SATA and SCSI drives
DLG Diagnostics 5.04f (Creates a Boot disk or Boot CD)
DLG Diagnostics 2.8 (4.15) for old drives (Requires a Boot disk)
Hitachi / IBM
Drive Fitness Test 4.16 (Creates a Boot disk or Boot CD)
Hutil 2.10 (Creates a Boot disk or Boot CD)
Diagnostic Tool 7.00 (Requires a DOS Boot disk)
KillDisk Hard Drive Eraser is powerful and compact Boot CD that allows you to destroy all data on your hard drive. (free)
Easeus Partition Master Home Edition 9 is a partition solution and disk management utility that can resize, move, merge, split, extend, convert your hard drive. (free)
Virtual Network Connection:
RealVNC 5 enables your mouse and keyboard to control an other PC remotely. View Install Image Click here for Download (free - recommended)
UltraVNC 1.1 enables your mouse and keyboard to control an other PC remotely. (free)