Computer software is generally divided into two primary categories, called system and application software. The former is related to programs, which are intended to work with hardware and provide a working base for applications to run. On the other hand, the latter are programs, which enable users to carry out specific tasks, like record keeping, image creation, video editing, playing media files, and other entertainment requirements.
One of the most prominent system software are computer software utilities, also referred to as just 'utilities' or 'tools'. Their main purpose is to ensure proper functioning of the system. They help in efficient functioning of the hardware, operating system, data storage facilities, and third-party application software packages. As they majorly focus on the maintenance of the machine, they can be complicated to deal with. Normally, most operating systems, by default, come with several of these utilities.
List of Different Tools
Disk compression tools do the job of compressing or decompressing data on the drive so that there is more space available for additional data to be stored. Few of the most popular independent disk compression tools include DoubleDisk Gold, XtraDrive, Stacker, DiskDoubler, and SuperStor Pro.
Disk Checkers and Cleaners
They check the hard drive for any damaged or unnecessary files, and delete them for efficient hard disk functioning. They are good for increasing the speed of a slow machine. Few of the most commonly-used tools are CHKDSK, Disk Checker, ADRC Hard Disk Checker, etc.
System profiles are responsible for providing the user with clear information about the applications installed and hardware devices connected to the system. Few of such good applications are CPU Speed Pro, SekChek Local, Sisoft SANDRA, Lavalys EVEREST Ultimate Edition, Belarc, HwiNFO32, etc.
There are many anti virus packages available for purchase in the market, and even some free versions for downloads. Some anti virus programs are Symantec Norton Anti Virus, Ad-Aware Pro, ESET NOD32, McAfee VirusScan, and Windows Live OneCare.
As the name suggests, these tools are used to copy all information and provide it when required, such as in case of disk failure or corruption. Good examples of these tools include Windows Home Server Computer Backup, Norton Ghost, Backup Exec, NetBackup, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, and EMC Legato NetWorker.
Disk Partitioning Tools
These applications help the user to divide the hard drive into partitions, which can lead to effective data management. The main advantage of disk partitioning is that it prevents anyone from accidental or purposeful modification of system files. Its examples include Microsoft fdisk, Logical Disk Manager, Partition Master, and Maxblast.
These are minor system tools, which allow the user to determine several aspects of a connected network. They are initiated to check if the network is connected, router is working, and similar other technical details. Some simple commands to start them are ping, ipconfig, traceroute, nslookup, spray, route, and so on.
These are some of the basic computer software utilities used in computing. Remember that they will only enhance the performance of your PC, and will not help you to play around with media and entertainment resources, like video, games, songs, etc. Also note that some good and useful tools are already available with the operating system itself.