Freebies Galore



I have to make a small break in posting about privacy and traces in favor of presenting something we have forgotten so far. Registry editors. Personally, I have used a commercial alternative and so I never really looked into it, but it is an important subject, and so I tested five and will present two apart from the one which comes with Windows.
As pr always, do step in with alternatives if you have found a tool you like.

Most of you have probably used regedit.exe at one time, and I’ll reuse the screenshot above to not upload another image.

While it gives you the option to load another registry hive in its ‘File’ menu, it basically lacks any advanced features and must be considered the ‘Notepad’ among real registry editors. What I miss the most is the ability to paste a registry address from the clipboard as there is no such field available. What you can do there though is to build up a favorites list to make navigating the registry a little easier, but I still think it is a cumbersome tool to work in.

[B]O&O RegEditor[/B]

Now, that’s more like it. Here you have a ‘Path’ field for pasting addresses and as you can see from the screenshot it comes with the most used paths already added to favorites. This is a simple and very good portable alternative to regedit as it has the most basic features added to make it quicker to work with.

[B]Registrar Registry Manager[/B]

Registrar Registry Manager is a very advanced tool which comes in a Free Home edition loaded with features like File reference editor, multilevel undo as well as a CLSID reference tool and advanced registry compare. The interface is tabbed which means you can have several registries open at the same time.

My recommendation for ordinary users is O&O Registry Editor and for more advanced users, check out Registrar Registry Editor. :flower:


[QUOTE=Xercus;2774896]Finally got around to try this and it is actually a good frontend… I have never used any frontend for CDRTools and so didn’t even know it existed, but of course, I have to admit that this makes it all much easier :iagree: - Thanks for sharing :flower:

For the rest of you not knowing these tools, Cdrtools is a set of cross platform command line programs for working with CD/DVD/BluRay media and have been around as long as optical drives… almost.
The tools can be found here (homepage) and here (Sourceforge).
The suite of command line tools consists of:
[B]cdrecord[/B]: A CD/DVD/BD recording program
[B]readcd[/B]: A program to read CD/DVD/BD media with CD-clone features
[B]cdda2wav[/B]: The most evolved CD-audio extraction program with paranoia support
[B]mkisofs[/B]: A program to create hybrid ISO9660/Joliet/HFS filesystems with optional Rock Ridge attributes
[B]isodebug[/B]: A program to print mkisofs debug information from media
[B]isodump[/B]: A program to dump ISO-9660 media
[B]isoinfo[/B]: A program to analyse/verify ISO/9660/Joliet/Rock-Ridge Filesystems
[B]isovfy[/B]: A program to verify the ISO-9660 structures
[B]rscsi[/B]: A Remote SCSI enabling daemon[/QUOTE]

I remember the good old days when I had to use mkisofs to make the iso, and then use cdrecord to burn the CD, and all that from the terminal, with a yamaha CD-RW that didnt have any kind of buffer under run protection, and a slow ATA WD 8.4GB hard drive.
Yes 8.4GB and now 2TB is not enough to hold my music library :bigsmile:.

I might need to try doing all this again, OK this time it will be done in a virtual machine, and more that enough space.


I put my main music library in a cloud service so I can access it from any of my devices. I still have hard copy but for me this is easier. Cheap and effective. My library is only about 2 TB so its not that bad.


Like I mentioned in my previous post, there are a few good registry editors out there, and I wanted to this in two separate posts to give you another very advanced way to work with yours :slight_smile:
Today we are going to look at a program to let you do just VERY advanced work in the context of the built in security accounts. As for some previous posts, this one is going to be above average advanced, but information in itself never posed any danger… even though some people and cultures seem to think so :bigsmile:

A word of warning before we start is in place, working like in the following example using ‘Registry Workshop’ as in this example or any other registry editor out there will give you access to keys which the system normally denies you access too…for a reason.
What I mean by that is if you are not absolutely sure what you are doing, DO NOT DO IT!!!

Why I am teaching you this is that while working with the registry you are almost guaranteed to hit an ‘Access denied’ from time to time as your user account does not have access to the key.
There is of course the old way of doing it which I will make a short note of last in this post, but this is by far the quickest.

Download and unpack the command line tool to somewhere on your harddrive where you want to run it from.

The above is the output from the tool if you just type RunFromProcess.exe or RunFromProcess-x64.exe on the command line. See readme.txt and RunFromProcess.chm for more information than found below.

There are both a 32-bit and a 64-bit version of the program and in this case it is significant as the 32-bit application will only be able to hook on to 32-bit processes whereas the 64-bit version only hooks on to 64-bit processes.
Rather than confusing you, either

  1. right-click a free spot on you taskbar and choose ‘Task Manager’ from the context menu - or
  2. hit [[B]WinKey[/B]]+[B]R[/B], type [B]taskmgr.exe[/B] and hit [[B]Enter[/B]]

That brings up the TaskManager and I have left the cursor in there to show you that you may have to click ‘More details’ before you are able to select the ‘Details’ tab.
As shown in the screenshot, you will see the processes running on your system and the user context they are running under. The username in the above screenshot is ‘Guru’, but as you can see, some of the processes run under other accounts like 'SYSTEM’
Now, the ‘SYSTEM’ account has way better access to the windows registry than the ‘Guru’ account even though it has administrator privileges and so let us start by running the registry editor in the context of the ‘SYSTEM’ account.

The command in my example is like this (I did choose to run it in the context of the [B]winlogon.exe[/B] process as that is always present and runs in the context of the ‘SYSTEM’ account)
[B]C:\Programs\RunFromProcess\RunFromProcess-64.exe admin winlogon.exe C:\Programs\Registry Workshop\RegWorkshopX64.exe[/B]
If there is a space in the path to RunFromProcess-64.exe, please use double quotes on the first part of the command like this: “C:\rather long path\Run From Process\RunFromProcess-64.exe”

Please adjust the command accordingly to match yours (like for my install of ‘Registrar Registry Manager’ it would be ‘C:\Programs\RunFromProcess\RunFromProcess-64.exe admin winlogon.exe C:\Programs\Registrar Registry Manager (64-bit)\rr64.exe’)

Do not try to do this with regedit.exe as it is not at C:\Windows\System32\regedit.exe - only seemingly. Windows is very advanced and you have symbolic and hard links as well as shortcuts, but that’ll have to wait…

Now then, I have left the HKCU node highlighted in the above image and it is because it is very important. HKEY_CURRENT_USER is not your user, it is the SYSTEM account! There is no ‘Desktop’, ‘My Documents’ or any other personal paths present for this user…
Your user is now hidden somewhere in HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-???-???-???-100?\ (look at the bottom of this post for more information thereof)

So search for the key/value you do not have access to under your account, make your changes and quit. That is all there is to it.

Sometime it may also be necessary to run a program in the context of of the ‘TRUSTEDINSTALLER’ account as well, and that is just a little bit more challenging as that is not always available as a user in TaskManager, but here is how to do it:

  1. [[B]WinKey[/B]]+[B]R[/B], type [B]services.msc[/B] and hit [[B]Enter[/B]]
  2. In the Services console, scroll down to ‘Windows Update’ and start the service.
  3. Start the program like for the above example C:\Programs\RunFromProcess\RunFromProcess64.exe admin TrustedInstaller.exe C:\Programs\Registry Workshop\RegWorkshopX64.exe
  4. Do your changes and quit the program. The Windows Update service will stop all by itself after a while and so nothing you need to stop.

The normal way of doing it is to right-click the key you do not have access to and choose ‘Permissions’, take ownership of the key, OK all the way out, choose permission again and add your user with ‘Full Control’, OK all the way out, do your changes.
Now there is a problem with the above procedure if your account does not at all have access to the registry key… The current owner is not shown, and you have just taken ownership from an unknown account… How on earth can you change it back to the correct owner after doing your changes?

Now that is impossible unless you have a lot of knowledge. It could be anything and how would you change it back to the TRUSTEDINSTALLER account? Well I’ll tell you the two most common, but there are more:
TrustedInstaller: [B]NT SERVICE\TrustedInstaller[/B]
System account [B]NT AUTHOROTY\System[/B]
That is enough information if you know what account originally owned the key, but like I mention at the top of this post, my way of working by starting the tool in the context of the owner is way quicker :slight_smile:

Lastly, let me repeat the warning, I DO know what I am doing when I do it, failing in that will make sure you fail and when you do so in the context of the ‘SYSTEM’ account, it will have a devastating effect more often than not.
You have been warned, but I promised I would teach you how to work advanced with your computer and this is part of it :iagree:

Now I think I have prepared you enough for me to continue telling you about traces found on your computer in the context of privacy.

I hope i have managed to tell you something you did not know, but if anything is unclear, please do not hesitate in asking :flower:


How about a gadget?




Picasa is software that helps you instantly find, edit and share all the pictures on your PC. Every time you open Picasa, it automatically locates all your pictures (even ones you forgot you had) and sorts them into visual albums organized by date with folder names you will recognize. You can drag and drop to arrange your albums and make labels to create new groups. Picasa makes sure your pictures are always organized.


[QUOTE=beef barley;2775343]Picasa[/QUOTE] Unfortunately, Google has discontinued Picasa.


O.k, I needed to exercise the battery anyway and so I decided to bring my computer out in the morning sun to work from there - Mighty cool working place, I can tell you that :bigsmile:

It really was cool, wasn’t it? Picasa with up to 1GB online storage and all. Always accessible wherever there was a computer, many had no need for more.

Then the wheels turn, we got SnapChat, Google Photo, Deviant Art, PhotoBucket and probably more. Today it is a question of snapping a photo and make it available or published at once and so the more mobile devices got the edge. It is not all bad, it drives the mobile camera to new heights, but at the expense of the old desktop way of doing it of course.
You got these sharing apps for computers as well, but the younger generation does not seem to fancy the Laptop/Desktop for anything but editing pictures and rather have it all on their mobile or pad. The latter seems a little risky, but no worries as this generation sync on auto being it Android or iPhone to name the most important.
I am not much for sharing most photos with the world or trust them to be safe in the cloud and so in the name of privacy and IT security, I sync only locally in a timely automatic fashion.

So, besides the offerings from Apple/Google/Microsoft, what options are there for organizing/viewing the photos on your Windows/OS-X/Linux installation that are still developed? There are many, but I thought I should emphasize on the viewing part.
This is so because I even do the organizing manually and each picture I take is named YYYY-MM-DD_HH-MM_Event as it is the only logical and will sort correctly on any computer.
I used to keep a umpteen folders deep hierarchy based on event and while that seemed fine the first years, it became a PITA to find pictures quickly as the years went by. Now I have only a few folders and with the naming convention used, I find the picture I want faster than looking it up in a database.

[B]XnView MP[/B]

The screenshot really does not do this program justice, you will typically work with the window much larger than the above screenshot.

Supporting more than 500 image formats, this is a cross-platform program supporting Linux/MAC/Windows and is a typical one-stop program doing most for you.
You can Batch-rename, Batch-convert, edit metadata like IPTC/XMP, Rotate Exif thumbnails and even clean Exif information. It will also let you export the picture to any 70 supported formats and make it web ready by reducing its size.
Additionally the program allows you to search your storage for similar pictures. At 90MB installed, this is the largest of the lot.

[B]FastStone Image Viewer[/B]

Now here’s a Windows only beast that comes with a few graphics effects and watermarking capabilities you can apply if you like.
More than just an image viewer, it also comes with a slideshow creator boosting 150+ effects, contact sheet and image strip builder. As for XNView, it supports batch renaming/conversion and additionally lets you losslessly rotate JPG images and remove metadata. save your picture directly to a PDF document if you like.
While supporting only the common picture formats, this viewer will appeal to users wanting a little more than what ordinary viewers are capable of. At about 15MB installed, this viewer is no space-waster either.
What I don’t like about it is that it will not display animated cursors (.ani) at all and will show a static image for animated PNG graphics.
I also managed to hang the application when switching to another folder before it was finished reading all images in a cursor folder.

[B]Imagine - Image & Animation Viewer[/B]

I wanted to mention this little Windows program because of its size, 1.44MB for the X64 Unicode version makes it perfect for your USB-stick as you can have both the 32 and 64-bit editions available using less than 3MB.
As the name implies, this is also an animation viewer and naturally, it supports animated cursors/APNG as well, just as XNView does. Small as it is, it comes with quite a few tools like Batch Rename/Conversion, screen capture and a simple animation editor.
This is the tool that impressed me most, of course due to its small size, but overall I find it competitive with the above much larger programs.

All of the above will let you acquire an image using your scanner and view animated GIFs in the preview pane and so should be preferable to the static view you get in the Windows viewer (you will typically set up internet explorer to view GIFs here)

Of course, you got tools like Adobe Bridge CC, but you will have to register to download it and so I skipped…


very beautiful as viewers for general use, only for the photos I am in love with Adobe :flower:


[QUOTE=DrageMester;2775354]Unfortunately, Google has discontinued Picasa.[/QUOTE]

I should have read more instead of assuming it was still active, thank you.

[B]The program provider has restricted distribution of older versions of this product. FileHippo apologises for any inconvenience caused. [/B]


VSDC Free Video Editor

The video editor is intended for editing video files and creating videos of any complexity involving various visual and audio effects. The program offers rich functionality and yet has a simple and intuitive interface, allowing you to create videos with a bare minimum of efforts.

You may download Free Video Editor and use it completely free without restrictions (no trial period, watermarks, or ads). You can, however, support the project by signing up for technical support. We provide fast and full support to solve all your problems when using our products.

Haven’t heard of Fastone and XnView in a long time, good ones Xercus.


PicaJet Free

Powerful easy-to-use digital photo management software.

Just in case you wonder what the free folks get as opposed to what the buy people get.

Have we posted any mail clients?


ON1 Effects 10 FREE

Adding style to your photos is part of what defines you as a photographer. Effects 10 Standard Edition - Free includes a select number of stackable filters, presets, borders, and textures from ON1 Effects 10 to help create your style. Whether you’re adding a finishing touch from Lightroom® or if Photoshop® is just too complicated, ON1 Effects 10 Standard Edition - Free is the perfect choice for you.


PhotoScape is a fun and easy photo editing software that enables you to fix and enhance photos.


Good ones beef, I have used on 1 a few years already as a plugin to Photoshop Elements, albeit the commercial suite version. We covered Mozilla Thunderbird in brief here, apart from that we have not covered mail clients, and certainly not as a separate subject which might be cool :iagree:

I’ve chosen to skip going further down the privacy security route as a subject on its own as I think it will be too boring as a subject for a series. I will however present parts of it where applicable in other posts (it really is boring, still interesting stuff).


I’ve chosen to skip going further down the privacy security route as a subject on its own as I think it will be too boring as a subject for a series. I will however present parts of it where applicable in other posts (it really is boring, still interesting stuff).

Sounds cool, as always in this thread, your call.

At the start I used my isp given mail. Did try Outlook for a while, but never liked it. Thunderbird was next and then moved on to Gmail for years now, but nearly dumped it when they got rid of Googletalk, did not like that decision at all. Anyway if anybody has others, post them.


^ Not sure if that is ‘my call as always’ in this thread as you’ve done loads of good presentations too :iagree:

Now then, in the world of umpteen TB storage, there is another very important subject not covered in depth, file managers.
The Windows Explorer again provides the necessary functions, but it never really excels at anything, it just works and again I am tempted to say ‘the notepad among real file managers’.
There are of course a few shareware alternatives like XYplorer and TotalCommander which really shines, but there are quite a few freeware options that really shines as well and can give many paid options ‘a run for their money’ so to speak.

If you like the explorer type of view, you could have a go at [B]Explorer++[/B] or CubicExplorer which we had a go at [B]here[/B]. More so though, I wanted to take you back to pure filemanagement+ - by plus I mean they are up to date :wink:

[B]Double Commander[/B]

Free open source, cross platform file manager for Windows/MAC/Linux/BSD. As the name implies, this is a dual lister and supports multiple tabs, but that is hardly the point apart from being the basic workspace.
TotalCommander is first and foremost legendary due to its numerous plugins and the beauty of Double Commander is that it lets you have it all for free as it uses the same API as TotalCommander for its plugin-support. It means that you have access to the full range of [B]TotalCommander plugins[/B] and that makes for an almost limitless array of possibilities.
You got access to unpackers, installer-viewer/unpacker, it is actually pointless to continue apart from repeating it is seemingly infinite.
FYI: Imagine Image and Animation viewer above comes with plugin for Total Commander as well and so can be used as a plugin in Double Commander

[B]Far Manager[/B]

Windows only open source file manager. With FAR manager we’re down the retro route again as this is a ‘Norton Commander’ clone working in text mode.
This is a program which also excels because of its plugins. As the site states:

Far Manager is so tightly integrated with its plugins that it is simply meaningless to talk about Far and not to mention the plugins. Plugins present an almost limitless expansion of the features of Far.
New plugins keep coming and so in addition to DoubleCommander, this is a keeper.

I would recommend you try one or both of the file managers above as they are indeed versatile and both are in active development.

With the vast array of offers out there both free and paid, I could have kept going on for a day or two presenting other file managers, but I stop there and rather invite you to present your preferred tool in this field :flower:


Everybody will have to make their minds up about these. I was looking for something else, saw this and thought, “I have to post this.”


^Never tried them, looks cool though :flower:

In for a little concern about your privacy again?
There are loads of traces on your computer that anyone with knowledge can find without tools, but by the nature of this thread, tools it shall be, so also in this post where I will present two tools from the same company.


Comes in both ordinary and portable edition. While not revolutionizing in any way, this program goes beyond CCleaner in most aspects and will let you wipe traces to make them unrecoverable and have separate setting for USB-sticks, SSD and HD.
It will scan the entire HD/SSD for traces, not only by running programs, but also traces found in the free space/MFT/USN Journal and supports both Flash and HTML5 as well as traces from many 3rd-party programs to name a few.

What you should do after installation is to reboot your computer and after logging in again, start PrivaZer.
On first run do set up your options, save the PrivaZer.ini file. Personally, as I’ve said before, I do not fancy automatic cleanup of registry even if only privacy traces like here (could potentially unregister a program by mistake like it did with my TeamViewer install when tested), but the program will let you do even that.
Then I suggest you temporary disable AV and other security software, make sure your computer does not enter sleep mode or hibernate, start your first scan and go do something else.
The first scan could take an hour or more and I recommend you do not work on your computer at all in this period. It could appear to be hanging, but so far it has not done that on my computer at least :slight_smile: - Subsequent scanning will be quicker than the first.

once done, you will get the result like the one shown above. As you can see, there are quite a few privacy traces left behind and the program optionally lets you clean your RAM of traces as well…
I do reccommend you tick the options to make a restore point and save the registry to the bottom right before cleaning :iagree:

MajorGeeks have created a small video tutorial you can watch to get to know the program a little better:


[B]Shellbag Analyzer & Cleaner[/B]

They really describe this short and to the point on their website:

ShellBags keys may contain information concerning your activities on folders:

  1. names and paths of folders you opened on your PCs (even if the folder has been deleted)
  2. detailed timestamp info, creation time, modification time, access time

That’s really a privacy issue.
As you can see in the screenshot more than 5000 traces are present in the computer scanned. I scrolled to the far right to show you that the computer was last reinstalled in 2009 and sure enough, there are shellbags present all the way from then. So in other words, when you say I didn’t know that folder even existed, anyone with knowledge can catch you lying if you try :wink:
Just hit clean and you’re done.

If you had my knowledge about what can be found on your PC, you would understand that if you do nothing to protect yourself, most anything you do will be there forever. No wonder law enforcement confiscate you PC immediately eh? It is pretty much a blueprint of your digital activities.


A small clarification and correction when it comes to mentioning that it indeed unregistered my TeamViewer installation. The version used for that test was 2.3x and I can not be absolutely sure if it was the setting ‘Registry’ or the ‘Other (software)’ setting that actually caused it. :flower:


Most of us have web pages we do check regularly and for years I have had this little website change monitor installed to take care of it for me and so I thought I should present it to you… The only downside is that it will not do HTTPS enforced sites, only HTTP.


WebMon is a freeware web page update monitoring program with no advertising or spyware - it saves you time and keeps you updated by automatically checking web pages to see if they have changed.

Some of its features include:

  • Checking an unlimited number of web pages.
  • Scheduling automatic checking at set intervals.
  • Optional pop-up alerts and sounds when updates are found.
  • Running other programs when updates are found.
  • Selecting which part of the web page to check.
  • Update logging.
  • Proxy support, with authentication.
  • Unintrusive tray icon when minimised.
  • Importing IE favorites and Firefox / Netscape bookmarks.
  • Back up configuration

Now, everything about how to set it up, is explained very well [B]here[/B], so follow the link and if you got any questions afterwards, do not hesitate in asking, I’ve used it for ten years and so I’ll probably be able to answer :flower: