I have had the misfortune to have had some PC trouble lately.
In each case, it involved reformatting the hard disk and installing everything from scratch.
I find that it can greatly benefit a machine to reformat and reinstall about once a year anyway, to clear out all the crap that accumulates, like redundant DLLs and fonts, not to mention tidying the registry.
When it comes to a rebuild, I have a list of absolute essentials that have to be installed as soon as the machine is running.
First is the Anti Virus. I use AVG, as I find it is well supported and consistently gets good write-ups. I have never had any problems with it anyway.
Next comes Firefox and Thunderbird. I refuse, on principle to use Internet Explorer or Outlook. I hate them.
WinRAR is next, as a lot of software installations require decompressing, and I find WinRAR to be the most versatile.
Now that the essentials are in, what comes next?
WampServer is an essential tool of the trade. The ability to run PHP and MySQL on a local machine is an absolute essential for me, and I just love that programme for its simplicity, though it can be a bit of a pain tweaking the configuration to suit my needs.
One of the worst bits of software ever invented has to be Notepad. As a default text editor, it is utterly useless. For years now, I have been using Textpad which is one of those programs that is as simple or as complex as you want it to be. An amazing piece of work.
Another utility I like is DAEMON Tools Lite. This is a neat little application that you can use to mount ISO files into a virtual CD ROM. Storing ISO files is a hell of a lot easier than storing CDs or DVDs!
Once I have that lot up and running, I’m just about ready to install software.
So what do you consider to be essential?