There are more free sysadmin tools for Windows than you can shake a memory stick at these days.
But, here are a few of the better collections of them.
First, from Infoworld, 15 “Essential” Open Source Tools for Windows Admins. I’m not sure I’d say these are all essential, but they are a pretty good start. I can only vouch for three of them on this list; Wireshark, Nmap, and ClamWin Antivirus. Though I’m familiar with them from the Linux/Unix world, these are the Windows equivalents and they work just fine. Old network geeks will recognize Wireshark and Nmap as a reliable packet sniffer and a security vulnerability scan tool, respectively. You may not be as familiar with ClamWin. It’s based on the ClamAV engine, which in its Linux boot-disk incarnation, has saved my bacon more than once! There are a couple inventory tools in this list I plan on looking more closely at, not to mention the add-on for Nmap they talk about. Good stuff and worth checking out!
Secondly, from TechRepublic, there’s Five Free Windows Registry Cleaners. Again, I’ve only used two of these five; CCleaner and Wise Registry Cleaner. CCleaner does everything I generally need in regards to shoring up old, creaky registries, but I’m always looking for new tools. The version of Wise Registry Cleaner I used was an older one, but it worked well enough. And, it does have the nice feature of being able to backup and restore older versions of your registry. Believe me, that can come in handy sometimes!
Thirdly, also from TechRepublic, Five Microsoft Tools to help with Server Management. Of these five, again, I’ve only used one; dcdiag. Naturally, it’s the only command-line tool in the bunch. Though, I hear Microsoft has been talking about going back to a command-line, terminal interface for their server products. I’m a little leary of any security utility that is based on a wizard, but I have to admit, at least it’s something that might encourage Windows sysadmins to do some work at securing their servers more. And, I have to admit, I wish I had known more about the file server migration wizard a few years ago. It sure would have helped me more than once!
And, finally, the venerable, but ultimately useful, More Sysinternals for Windows Admins. Now, these I’ve used quite a bit! At least, some of them. All the disk usage utilities have been super helpful over the years in determining who has been sucking up all the drive space on my servers! And I’ve used PsInfo to attempt to gather information in various attempts to inventory my various networks. And, these days, everyone will need the RootKitRevealer sooner or later. Sadly, almost everyone has been, or will be, effected by a rootkit virus of some kind. It seems inevitable.
So, there you go, system administrators. There’s my gift to you in the form of links to tools to do your jobs, faster, easier and more efficiently. Enjoy!