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Speed and Power.

The utilities listed below are some of my favorite tools for making Windows do what you want it to.  Want to speed up boot time?  How about backing up those pesky DUN connections?  Maybe, just maybe, you want to change the appearance of the system clock.  Check back often if this is your cuppa tea.  There are always new and interesting things to make a PC bend to your will!

How to Get It and What it Does
XP BootVis
  Optimizes the Windows XP boot process, which is already pretty fast - who ever heard of a PC booting to a useable screen in 30 to 45 seconds?  Folks, that is fast.  Bootvis can make it even faster.
ALL CacheSentry
  Very nifty tool.  Corrects a few bugs in the Internet Explorer cache and makes it work the way that it should.  Read more about it at the author's homepage.
ALL Context Menu Editor
  From, this isn't the most user-friendly tool in the world, but to my knowledge is one of very few that will allow you to modify the context (right-click) menus in Windows with any ease.  If you are seeing options when you right-click on something that you never use, this will allow you to get rid of them - among the many other tricks it performs.
ALL DUN Backup
  Backs up your dial-up networking connections.  You can opt to save modem information along with it.  Slick!  Sadly, it looks as though the author's homepage is down for the count, but should it come back to life, I will post a link here.
9x,NT,2K PowerToys
  The classic powertoys collection for all Windows versions except XP.
XP PowerToys XP
  Official Microsoft Download (You must uninstall the older versions first!!)
The latest and greatest powertoys for Windows XP.  The top link here is the first version of the Power Toys, which has since been modified.  The Microsoft download site allows you to pick only the ones that you want - and I make no guarantees as to my site's availability. [grin]

Read Paul Thurrott's review on the Power Toys for some excellent information on what they do.  Regardless - you should not be without TweakUI, at the very least.


9x,NT,2K TweakUI 2000
  The original Microsoft tweaking utility for Windows.  Still reliable, and still pretty doggone good.  This is a self-extracting ZIP file; extract the four files where you can find them and right-click on the INF file to install.
ALL TClockEx
  The smallest, most efficient and bug-free tool I have ever used.  The Windows clock the way it should be.  It looks strange in XP, but it works.  This is NOT the skinnable geek toy TClock!!


Here are the basic settings that I use - feel free to copy and paste them into TClockEx:

Clock Format
dddd, MMMM d, yyyy ('Week' w)|h:mm:ss tt 'Free Memory:' R 'MB'

How TClockEx looks with the settings shown

Tooltip Format
'Today is day #'D' of 'yyyy'. Memory load:' L'%'

The tooltip as it looks with the settings shown

ALL X-Setup (v6)
This is what TweakUI always longed to be when it grew up.  Every setting you can think of in Windows - if you can change it, X-Setup can do it.  X=Setup has a ton of options, but can be a bit daunting. Still - if you want a utility that works with all versions of Windows and can change settings that aren't easily accessible (read: annoying things) this is the ultimate tool.


Visit the X-Setup home page for more details from the developers.  Also, feel free to head over to the X-Setup download page for plug-ins to extend its functionality.

ALL Ultimate Boot Disk
  This download will create a useful bootable floppy disk when run.  It enables CD-ROM support so you can install Windows again, and leaves out the RAMDRIVE and all the crap that is on the one WIndows 98 creates.  Windows XP will also create startup disks, but they will not allow you access to your CD-ROM drive.

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