Resources

A lot of folks ask what tools and services I use to troubleshoot computers. I have compiled a list of my favorites below for those who are interested.

Disclaimer: Some of these tools and services listed below are affiliate links. This means I get a commission of the sales when someone buys via the link. You get a great product or service and I get something for promoting it. I don’t promote stuff that I have never used or don’t like. If you have any questions about any of the products I am selling, please contact me.

Note: I will not be held responsible for any data loss or damage you incur due to using these tools!

Memory Testing

MemTest86+: free
This is the easiest way to test the memory (RAM) on your machine. Download the software, burn it to a CD and then boot the computer from the CD. I recommend a minimum of two passes when you run it.

Hard Drive Utilities

SeaTools: free
If you have a Seagate hard drive, this is the tool you need to scan your drive for any issues. They have both DOS and Windows versions available.

DFT: free
If you have a Western Digital hard drive, this is the tool you need to scan your drive for any issues.

Darik’s Boot and Nuke: free
If you plan on selling a computer, this is a must utility. This program will wipe all the data off the hard drive and any other storage devices connected to your computer. Use wisely!

Auslogics Disk Defrag: free
Over time your hard drive gets cluttered which slows down your system. Using a defrag utility like this one can help speed up your machine. Only use this on regular hard drives and not solid state drives (SSD).

CCleaner: free
One of my favorite utilities for both Windows and Mac. This cleans up all the temporary files and cache that accumulates over time.

Clonezilla: free
This is a great free utility to make an image (copy) of your hard drive. This is useful for restoring to a new hard drive should your existing one fail. There is a bit of a learning curve with this one, but worth it!

Macrium Reflect Free: free
For Windows machines, this is my favorite free disk imaging utilities. You can make an image of your hard drive for safe keeping. It also lets you browse the image for specific files should you just need to restore those. While they do have a paid version, this free version does enough for most people.

Virus / Spyware / Malware scanners

AVG: free & paid
One of the most popular virus scanners out there. There are several options to choose from starting with a free version that does basic virus scanning to a premium version that includes a firewall and anti-spam option.

Bitdefender: free & paid
This is a great low resource anti-virus program that works great on new and older machines. It doesn’t bug you, it just does its job in the background.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware: free & paid
This is for finding and removing all the other junk like malware and rootkits on your computer that isn’t a virus. The paid version does real-time scanning whereas the free version is for cleaning already infected systems.

Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10: free
If you think your computer is infected with a virus, try this utility. Burn it to a CD and it will scan your hard drive for viruses and other nasty infections.

Passwords

Password Reset free
This is a page I put together to help you reset your password on various social media and popular websites.

1Password: affiliate
This has to be one of my favorite and most important programs that I use on a daily basis. You can create long passwords for each website that will make it almost impossible for the bad guys to guess. You can also store bank information, credit cards, software licenses and more. It is available for Mac, Windows, iPhone/iPad and Android.

Blogging/Website

NameCheap: affiliate
Buy your own custom domain names (yourname.com). This is the first step in establishing a space for you or your business on the internet.

HostGator: affiliate
This is the web hosting company I use for starting out my sites. It is a great place to start your first blog. If you use this link or the code techmanstan you can save you 20% off your order.

Linode: affiliate
Once your site starts getting a lot of traffic, it might be time to upgrade to a more dedicated server. This requires a bit more technical experience but is worth it once you get it setup.

WordPress: free
The most popular and very easy to use blogging software.