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.
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.
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.
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.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.