Desktop Support - what to keep on the flash drive?

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Desktop Support - what to keep on the flash drive?

Postposted on Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:30 pm

So, after a 5 year hiatus, I'm getting back into the Desktop support game. Back then, I'd keep the following on a flash drive:

HijackThis!
Malwayrebytes (Spybot, Ad-Aware, some program)
Updates for said anti-spyware
Service Packs for XP, Vista, 7.

What else would I want on my toolkit? I know there should be an OS of some stripe to boot from, just to ensure that we have good hardware, but which would be best for just basic troubleshooting? Anything I'm missing?
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Re: Desktop Support - what to keep on the flash drive?

Postposted on Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:58 pm

Off the top of my head (my diagnostic/toolkit flash drive is down in the car)

Hardware Diagnostics:
Memtest
Hard drive diagnostics (HDTune, WD diagnostics, etc)
Temp utilty (Speedfan etc)

Malware / software diagnostics
Rootkit Revealer, Process Explorer, etc (from SysInternals -- just get the Sysinternals Suite)

Applications
any PDF viewer
an FTP client (Fliezilla, etc)
disk imaging utility

I also have some other odds and ends -- TeamViewer, a good text editor (free version of Komodo Edit), Microsoft Powershell, some VM stuff I think.
I should probably go through that thing cleaning out the cruft and making sure everything's up to date, come to think of it.
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Re: Desktop Support - what to keep on the flash drive?

Postposted on Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:09 pm

Hiren's Boot CD.
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Re: Desktop Support - what to keep on the flash drive?

Postposted on Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:55 pm

Download portable apps: http://portableapps.com/

Make a portable installation of Wireshark, Notepad ++, 7zip, and Eraser. Should also download winpcap to let wireshark function.

Also a portable installation of Daemon Tools is useful as well.
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Re: Desktop Support - what to keep on the flash drive?

Postposted on Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:48 pm

bthylafh wrote:Hiren's Boot CD.


This.
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Re: Desktop Support - what to keep on the flash drive?

Postposted on Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:31 pm

I should also point you to this thread.
zzz wrote:
bthylafh wrote:Hiren's Boot CD.
This.
I thought that still contained some non-free software and therefore fell into the peg-leg-and-parrot category of violating forum rule #1?
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Re: Desktop Support - what to keep on the flash drive?

Postposted on Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:38 pm

UberGerbil wrote:I thought that still contained some non-free software and therefore fell into the peg-leg-and-parrot category of violating forum rule #1?

A quick perusal of a page I cannot link shows shareware and commercial software on the list of stuff. Accordingly, any links will be terminated with extreme prejudice.

Thanks for listening.
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Re: Desktop Support - what to keep on the flash drive?

Postposted on Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:52 pm

Definitely Combofix. http://www.combofix.org/

It's the end all solution before having to reimage.
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Re: Desktop Support - what to keep on the flash drive?

Postposted on Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:21 pm

UberGerbil wrote:I should also point you to this thread.
zzz wrote:
bthylafh wrote:Hiren's Boot CD.
This.
I thought that still contained some non-free software and therefore fell into the peg-leg-and-parrot category of violating forum rule #1?


There's a few shareware packages on it (debatable, IMO), but it looks like the only notable yo-ho-ho stuff is a modified version of WinXP that one can boot from[1]. It's definitely a lot cleaner than it used to be, and I wouldn't touch it back then.

If you can get a copy of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (probably have to have a licensing agreement with MS for this) it's got a descendant of the old ERD Commander for your liveCD needs. I used to recommend the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows instead, but the project has been on hiatus for nearly two years now and while you can update some of the utilities yourself, it's a pain in the butt.

IMO some sort of Windows liveCD with built-in fix utilities is a must because some malware just can't be dislodged otherwise without a nuke-from-orbit.


[1] we have a site license for Windows, and I chose to interpret it as allowing this sort of thing since those computers have Windows anyway.
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Re: Desktop Support - what to keep on the flash drive?

Postposted on Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:34 pm

I'm a big fan of WinPE from the Windows automated install kit, but I mostly use it for ImageX as the going "repair" where I work is to just nuke from orbit and re-image. It's pretty quick and solves 75% of the issues, and since it's a workplace environment where everyone has access to networked server most people don't have too much personal information to lose.
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Re: Desktop Support - what to keep on the flash drive?

Postposted on Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:12 pm

WinDirStat
CCleaner
Recuva
Speccy

Knoppix or Trinity Rescue Kit, if you're into that sort of thing.
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Re: Desktop Support - what to keep on the flash drive?

Postposted on Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:12 am

Captain Ned wrote:
UberGerbil wrote:I thought that still contained some non-free software and therefore fell into the peg-leg-and-parrot category of violating forum rule #1?

A quick perusal of a page I cannot link shows shareware and commercial software on the list of stuff. Accordingly, any links will be terminated with extreme prejudice.

Thanks for listening.



No links here, but Hiren has removed the commercial software (don't remember the version they started). OTHERs have put them back and use the word "reloaded". Stay away from 'reloaded' versions and discussion should be okay.
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Re: Desktop Support - what to keep on the flash drive?

Postposted on Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:50 am

If you will be troubleshooting Windows, sysinternals is nice.
Proc Explorer in particular is very nice for demonstrating what process has how many resources of what kind, both graphically and numerically.
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