Switchblade, a portable troubleshooting toolkit

Sometimes you do not know what you are getting in to when a family member, friend or colleague asks you for PC help. It is therefore always good to come prepared, for instance with a USB drive or DVD that includes all Windows Updates for various versions of the operating system and a large collection of tools to troubleshoot and resolve PC issues.

Helge's Switchblade may not be the largest tool collection for this purpose you ever come across, but that does not mean that the 220 Megabyte download does not ship with a great selection of third party tools and options to troubleshoot PC problems.

It is a portable program which means that you can burn it to DVD or copy it on to a USB flash drive to take it with you when you are out on a troubleshooting call.

The program displays all options in a simple launcher-like application. Here you find portable apps and install tools on top, and below that a selection of commands and options to diagnose and repair problems.

helges switchblade troubleshooting

The list of programs include highly popular applications such as Putty, True Crypt, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware or CCleaner which you can start with a click on the applications' button in the interface.

You can use the program to quickly retrieve system log files which are then saved in the directory of the portable application but only if there is enough storage available and writing is enabled (you can't write on a DVD for instance that has been burned). The program can pull application, system, Windows update and security logs for you so that you do not have to do that manually or browse the event viewer of the system to find troubleshooting answers.

Read also:  TranslucentTB make Windows Taskbar transparent

The network group offers options to run often-used network commands such as ipconfig /flushdns or ipconfig /all which may help you resolve network related issues. While you can ping google using the buttons here, commands like tracert are missing from the program so that you may still need to open the command prompt to run those commands. Still, the commands available can speed things up for you.

You also find options to backup and restore drivers here, and to install the K-Lite Codec package if you want to add a bunch of system-wide codecs to the system. That's however not really necessary most of the time as Media Player Classic is part of the troubleshooting software.

The program lists a couple of links in its interface, leading to pages where you can download Radeon or NVIDIA graphics drivers, search Windows Error Codes or check the system for open ports.

Verdict

Switchblade makes available a serious amount of tools that help you troubleshoot and repair a PC. While the tools and commands it makes available is impressive, it lacks a couple of them which would complete the product. I already mentioned that tracert is missing, and the same can be said for a partitioning program which is also not included in the collection.

Advertisement
Please share this article

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail



Responses to Switchblade, a portable troubleshooting toolkit

  1. Nebulus January 5, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    This is a really strange mix of tools... Security/AV tools next to a codec pack, a media player, and Apache Web server... I really don't see what purpose does it serve.

  2. Helge Sverre January 5, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    Thanks for reviewing my software, i have noted your complaints about the software and I will look into adding more system monitoring tools, tracert and various other things :)

    Expect an update soon.. :)

  3. Jojo January 5, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    Seems like a baby version of D7 (is that still around?).

    • Martin Brinkmann January 5, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

      Only as a premium version it seems. The last free version is 6.7 while Premium is already at 7.x

  4. Kevin January 6, 2013 at 4:47 am #

    This is supposed to be a 'portable troubleshooting toolkit'

    I would not consider truecrypt, python, apache, filezilla, media player, and k-lite as troubleshooting tools.

    I use D7 regularly, much more comprehensive.

    One really nice addition (that D7 doesn't have) is the driver backup/restore.

  5. Grantwhy January 6, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    I'm a little worried about Malwarebytes Anti-Malware being in the 'portable' group.

    Mostly because, to the best of my knowledge, Malwarebytes' don't make a portable version of MBAM.

    Also, can anyone tell (from a readme etc) if Malwarebytes gave permission for MBAM to be used? I've been reading the PortableApps.com forums for a while now, and one thing I have leant is that just because a program is free, that does not automatically give permission for someone to modify it (make it portable) and re-distribute it.

    • Paul January 6, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

      Same here with the MBAM. I didn't think it was available as a portable app. Please share the link.

  6. John T. Haller January 6, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

    Someone asked about it, so I took a look at it. There are several licensing issues with this package. Malwarebytes seems to be repackaged from a site that has created an unlicensed portable version without permission form the publisher. You need permission to repackage freeware like MBAM, IOBit Unlocker, IOBit Uninstaller, Daemon Tools, etc. There is no indication that permission was asked for or granted. The fact that a likely illegal repack of MBAM is included indicates that there is probably not permission for the other apps either.

    In addition, as this contains multiple closed source apps, it can not be hosted at SourceForge. It's a violation of their terms of service. SourceForge is only for legal open source software.

    The open source apps can be included provided you abide by the license (things like requiring you to distribute the source for GPL apps, etc). You can probably find open source/legal substitutions for the apps that are illegally included and do a new version of this.

    • Paul January 6, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

      Thanks for the clarification John.

  7. Helge Sverre January 6, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    Noted, Old versions deleted, New compliant version will be uploaded within the week.

  8. Walt January 6, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

    The download link is disabled.

  9. Pablo January 7, 2013 at 1:58 am #

    Interesting. I didn't know about this toolkit. I'm currently using LiberKey for these tasks (I'm probably getting an admonishing reply by John T. Haller for mentioning I'm using Lucifer's toolkit, a.k.a. LiberKey :D)

  10. John T. Haller January 7, 2013 at 4:04 am #

    Pablo, LiberKey isn't "lucifer's toolkit", but it does contain several illegally packaged apps. The difference here is that it seems this package did it unintentionally, whereas LiberKey has knowingly packaged software illegally for years. This was verified most recently by Piriform as LiberKey packages CCleaner, Recuva, etc without permission and in violation of their license (the folks over at PortableFreewareCollection.com confirmed it, too). The point is a bit moot as most of LiberKey's userbase left in the second half of last year during the 6ish months that the developer abandoned the platform and left most of the apps out of date and unpatched/insecure without any warning or explanation.

  11. Helge Sverre January 10, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    And the new version is LIVE ladies and gentlemen.

    https://sourceforge.net/projects/helgeswblade/

  12. John T. Haller January 11, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    Hi Helge. Unfortunately the 0.7 package still has issues. First off, it contains multiple closed source apps, which you aren't allowed to host on SourceForge (no freeware on SF, only open source apps). Second, it contains apps bundled that you need permission for. Revo, for instance, states that "You can freely use this software and distribute copies of the ORIGINAL DISTRIBUTION FILE as long as NO ALTERATIONS are made to the file and its contents". As you've removed it from the distribution file and put the files in your own zip/self extractor, you'd need Revo's permission. If you've obtained it, then you're in the clear, but I didn't see that indicated in the included files. I may be able to help find open source/legal alternatives if you'd like as well as have the sources so you're obeying the GPL and other licenses. I dropped you a direct note via SourceForge so you have my details if I can be of assistance. Hope that helps. - John

  13. Nick January 20, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    This guy tried really hard creating the software and I feel like a lot of you guys are being a dick to him!

    Thanks for the hardwork!

  14. Chad January 21, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    If you don't like it then go find something that "complies" with your standards. Maybe that would be on sourceforge?

    • Tom January 28, 2013 at 4:30 am #

      Guessing you don't know who John Haller is?

  15. Helge Sverre February 19, 2013 at 1:17 am #

    I have recently released a new version: 0.8
    it comes with malwarebytes, and various SysInternals tools.

  16. Helge Sverre June 25, 2013 at 4:08 am #

    Helge's Switchblade v0.9 has just been released.

    Please go to http://switchblade.helgesverre.com and download it :D

  17. Aron November 10, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    This toolbox is just a useless piece of junk!

    • Helge Sverre November 11, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      And why would that be?
      You gotta backup your claims son.

Leave a Reply