D7II Custom App suggestions

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D7II Custom App suggestions

Postby Psychlone » Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:25 am

Hey Nick.

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.
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Re: D7II suggestions

Postby Xander » Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:22 pm

You need to learn about Custom Apps and how to use them. Most of what you're asking for can be done that way without pushing these on the entire userbase.
e.g. How would D7II integrate ClassicShell into itself? It's an installation -- if you want something installed, make a custom app and use that to install it. I recommend Classic Shell myself but don't want D7II cluttered with everybody's preferred installables. Some people install a ton of crap onto systems - I (and I'm sure I'm not alone) don't want D7 to become a list of random installers. Make your Custom App, share it in the list but don't expect that everyone wants to use it.

As for KAV, that's why it's recommended to disable AVs prior to running D7II.
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Re: D7II suggestions

Postby Psychlone » Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:43 am

Hi Xander.
I'm positive you didn't read my post correctly - I wasn't asking for anyone to hard code anything into D7II... I was showing other users some very valuable tools that I use on a daily basis that they might not have known about.

I'm not only familiar with D7's Custom Apps feature and know exactly how to incorporate everything I mentioned above (which I also mentioned in my post), but I have been using Ketarin since it very first came out years ago to keep all of my apps up to date - I know how to install and update my own apps. I wasn't pushing anything on anyone - only trying to show what I use daily that's not part of D7. I couldn't care less if others use the same utilities, or if anyone at all wants to use them with their own D7. You misread my post.

Please don't talk down to me again. You have no idea who I am, and I would never have treated you with anything but respect if you had posted something that had nothing to do with me.
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Re: D7II suggestions

Postby pasoroblestech » Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:53 am

We use Kanguru Flash drives (http://www.kanguru.com/storage-accessories/standard-storage-accessories.shtml) at our shop. They not only prevent our techs from accidentally spreading a virus via USB drive, but it prevents AVs from picking off parts of D7II deemed "harmful".
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Re: D7II suggestions

Postby Nick » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:45 am

ok just a reminder, we're all friends here (unless some of you are in direct competition with others here) and even then, I like to keep it friendly.

Psychlone I must admit I only had time to skim your post at this point, but I did in fact add DataGrab back into d7II. I got a lot of feedback on that, a ton. The rest of the stuff if I need to address it I will ASAP, I've got some things to do now but will be re-reading your post later to make sure I didn't miss something I could do.

Also, on Kaspersky: please help me out by submitting it as a false positive, details here: http://www.foolishit.com/bad-av/ I just did this with them for d7, I'm not surprised I have to do it again with d7II -- but I'm not the only one who can submit these items as false positives. Also remember the more of us who do this, the more / faster / better / whatever, they will get it fixed.
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Re: D7II suggestions

Postby Psychlone » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:53 pm

Thanks Nick - I'll submit it to Kaspersky immediately.

There is nothing in the post above that is required in D7II - I've incorporated everything I wanted into my own Custom Apps - I had made the post for others to see what I use on a daily basis and perhaps find something new that they didn't know about.
I do realize now that there's a better forum for my initial post, and I should have separated the KAS bug to a single post in this forum. Apologies.


Thanks again.
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Re: D7II suggestions

Postby Xander » Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:14 pm

Psychlone - I was basing my reply on the fact that you'd put it in the D7II Feature Suggestions forum for changes to D7II *itself* (with "D7II Suggestions" as a subject).
I have moved the thread to the more-applicable Tips & Usage section.
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Re: D7II Custom App suggestions

Postby Midnightbomber » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:53 pm

Hi Psychlone

Thanks for sharing. I would just like to add to some of your suggested apps.

I use Ninite Pro http://www.ninite.com for installing and updating apps on client machines. Classic Shell is one of the apps supported by Ninite along with dozens of others. The pro version even allows you to create a custom automatic installer for any of the programs supported by Ninite. Plus it has command line option for all install and update functions. I have added Ninite Pro to my D7II custom apps.

Nirlauncher is a great program for centralised access to Nirsoft apps. I use Windows System Control Center http://www.kls-soft.com/wscc/index.php which collect the Nirsoft apps much like Nirlauncher but can update the apps and includes the Sysinternals Suite as well.

Take a look at those apps. I hope they prove as useful to you as they have to me.

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Re: D7II Custom App suggestions

Postby Psychlone » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:59 pm

Thanks for that MidnightBomber.

I've got a long story that I'll nutshell for everyone.
I used to come home after a long day of housecalls and business service calls and go update all of what I consider "core-essential apps" (Java, Flash, FlashAX, Silverlight, Firefox, Chrome, etc. etc. etc.) --this was an EVERY DAY thing for a few years. I'd download the newest versions, drop them on my USB sticks and be done for the day.
Then Ketarin came out - what a lifesaver it was! It updated all those things - anything really - and it did it on a schedule, so at that point, all I had to do was copy the updates over to my USB sticks and be done with it.
Then Ninite came out (or at least I found it after I had been updating via Ketarin for a year or more) - and it was wonderful but basically a repeat of my own ketarin profile I had developed over the years.
Then PatchMyPC came out and I had an epiphany - a literal paradigm shift. I no longer needed to have ANY of those programs anymore, none of the updates, and none of the updater programs, I could just let PatchMyPC update whatever programs the customer had that was critical and just let it be. After all, as a security-minded tech, Java, Flash and the latest version of Firefox/Chrome are the only ones I really care to update - everything else is just wasting my time.


Anyway, that's the story. I no longer have use for program updaters.

BUT, the WSCC is somethinng I hadn't seen before and I'm going to give that a once-over and check it out! It's a really cool idea, but especially involving the Sysinternals suite too - that sounds great!!

Thanks for that!!
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Re: D7II Custom App suggestions

Postby Nick » Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:58 am

Just skimming this again, noted your bit on Black Viper's services.

I used to include these with d7 a long time ago (the DEFAULT ones, not the optimized ones) and I forget why I quit including them. I had another guy contact me recently looking for those files, he lost an older copy of d7 and his newer copies did not include them. I had to go digging for one of MY extremely old copies of d7 from old flash drive backups to find the .reg files to give to him.

Maybe I will put them back in d7II -- maybe with a vengeance and add the import [the correct .reg file] capability to auto mode...
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