So far, a most excellent experience using the new D7II.
I'm sure that this place is FULL of techs that all have their own versions of the perfect toolkit that they pack around on a USB stick (or several USB sticks as may be the case) - and I'm sure that everyone has some great utilities that they use often. This post serves as a small list of things that I use on a daily basis that aren't in D7II. None of the suggestions I'm about to post are necessary for everyone, nor am I asking you to code them in - I will use the Custom Config to get them all into my own D7II, as I've used Ketarin since it came out to keep all of my USB utilities up to date and am already familiar with your own interface for it.
I'm posting these so that the other readers might have a chance to check out some of what I use in a day and perhaps find something that makes their own workday a minute or two faster or easier. And who knows, maybe if enough people like them (including yourself), they'll find their way integrated into the next iteration of D8?
For many years now, I've followed BlackViper's Services Guide, which shows what services can be disabled or set to manual, and which ones HAVE to be set to auto. BV has a set of registry files (in .zip format) for download from his site here: http://www.blackviper.com/2010/12/16/wi ... y-files-2/
If you've never looked into these, they're a very simple way to import "safe" registry entries that disable unneeded services in various versions of Windows, and an alternate set of "default" settings (the original settings that each version of Windows came with - useful for random services that have been disabled or changed due to malware and viruses.
I've found HDTune (http://www.hdtune.com/
) to be superior in many ways to most all the other HDD diagnostic programs out there - not only for thoroughness, but for speed as well. I can bring up HDTune on a client's computer, check the HEALTH tab and see immediately if there's something that's out of threshold because it shows up highlighted in yellow. ANYTHING showing up in yellow is an indicator of hard drive failure (well, 90% or greater of the time, the + or - 10% left is due to suspected cable errors, but HDTune also shows that)
If nothing shows up highlighted in yellow on the HEALTH tab, I'll run a quick benchmark from the GENERAL tab just to see if there are any major dips in MB/s throughput. If a spindle is failing, or the read/write heads are beginning to fail but an error hasn't actually happened and shown in the HEALTH tab, you'll see it in the graph from the benchmark. EITHER of those cases would end in a call to the customer to tell them that their drive is failing and no more work will be completed on the machine due to the risk of losing data.
IMO, HDTune is the best program for the job in quick and accurate HDD diagnostics.
We've ALL had a computer with some random piece of hardware that is hard to identify and hard to find a driver for. I've gotten a lot of use out of UnknownDevices (from HalfDone here: http://www.halfdone.org/ukd/
While it only has Vista support and is way outdated, it still happens to find devid from many, many different devices that can at least be Googled for a proper driver.
NirSoft NirLauncher (http://launcher.nirsoft.net/
) is something that others might be interested in as well. From several different password utilities to Outlook/Office utilities to Network Monitoring Tools, there are a literal MYRIAD of apps available within one small util. It's no D7, and it's not intended to be, but anyone that's familiar with NirSoft NirLauncher knows it's usefulness.
Rizonesoft Complete Internet Repair (http://www.rizonesoft.com/free-downloads/
) is a VERY useful and quick little utility that combines registering DLLs for whatever version of IE the customer is using, but resetting the Winsock, flushing DNS, releasing and repairing TCP/IP and a bunch of other features all by checkmark and a single GO button. Integrating this one utility would allow for the removal of several of your own buttons that do the same things but in different places.
Farbar (http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/downloa ... er/farbar/
) has a couple utilities that would blend nicely into D7II's Malware Removal tab, but I have no idea how he would feel about it - maybe something in this for both of you??
Specifically, Farbar Service Scanner & Farbar MiniTool.
Last link I'd REALLY like to see incorporated into D7II, and due to the amount of Windows 8 machines that are coming in along with the standard complaints and hatred towards the Metro interface, is ClassicShell. (http://classicshell.net/
I haven't had a single person that didn't want this on their new Win8 machine since it began shipping on all new computers, and EVERY ONE of them have been happy with their old Start Button and Start Menu on their newfangled Win8 computer.
While there are quite a few different third-party programs that put the Start Button and Menu back where it belongs, I've found that ClassicShell is the best. It's the most configurable (IMO), with different skins to make it look like a real Windows 8 Start Button should have looked/worked, or if you like - Win7, Vista or even XP. It's fast and responsive, but the best thing I've found about ClassicShell as compared to all the other free alternatives, is that it's search function really works just like the search function in Windows 7, where others struggle and have a hard time polling the correct areas.
A quick question is appropriate here. In a previous version of D7 Free, I was able to successfully use DataGrab to snag critical data from a customer's old computer and then import it into their new computer without a hitch. Why did this option go away in favor of Fab's Autobackup (which I owned prior to D7)?? It seemed that D7 Free DataGrab did exactly what it said on the tin, was easy to configure and worked without any problems. I might be the minority for having Fab's back when it was like $50 (no idea what it costs now), but why go with that instead of your own utility that did what Fab's does?
FWIW, I've downloaded DataGrab separately and will incorporate it into my D7II anyway, so it's not like this is a must-recode situation... this is why you've got a Custom Apps handler!
Very last, but a BIG priority for me is a bug in D7II that I'm sure you've heard. Every Kaspersky machine I've put my USB stick into neuters the D7II executable. I know you're supposed to stop/pause protection on any antivirus that's running, but there has been 3 times now that I wasn't able to disable Kaspersky before it yanked D7II from the USB.
I know it's a false positive. I don't want to send it to them as a false positive without permission from you - because I have no idea what they do with your code, but I hope that there's something you can do on your end to make it not show up as a Trojan in Kaspersky. I'm sure you've jumped through a lot of hoops to get your software compliant with lots of antivirus devs, this is just another hurdle.
Overall, I thank you for the support you've already given, and in no way should this post be seen as anything other than informative for the other D7II users in here. If others really like some of the utilities I've posted, and you feel that some might do a good job incorporated into D7II (or whatever the next iteration will be), then I welcome that as well.
Take care, and thanks for reading.