FREE Software Tools for
Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP

(some as stated are only for Win95/98/NT)

The following table contains a select group of Programs or Registry files which solve Windows System problems or functional deficits, or significantly help you to get better use of your computer. ( Unless otherwise noted, the files here are for ALL Windows™ OSs. They should function normally on Win NT/2000/XP, but we would be interested in any feedback from users of these versions. There are a few compatibility notes listed under specific applications below.)

Images next to filenames or links have these meanings:



Immediate download of the file from The Starman's Realm
(usually as a .ZIP file)


Link to another page of The Starman's Realm with download file


Link to an offsite webpage with file(s) to download

All Software listed on this page is either ...

Totally FREE or Free for Personal use.

Note: If you don't see a program here to solve your problem, then ask me about it; I don't have time to list everything I use here, and there's almost always more than one way to do things!

Here's a new page that I started on Hex (Binary) Editors. I'll be starting a similar one on Text Editors and other specialty pages on particular subjects.

Programs Helpful To Everyone :

Problem with OS
(or Missing Function)
Comments about a solution or this software's features Software to Download

Copying and Pasting from the CLIPBOARD was a great idea... ( But what can you do if you want to use more than one 'clip' without first saving every time?! )

Solution, Use:

Clip Trak
        from ZDNet.

Clip Trak (v 1.3)
(Do NOT use Go!Zilla! or GetRight from ZDNet or PCMag.!)*

[ 403 kb .zip file]

NOTE: I was informed that ZDNET and PCMagazine now want a $15(US) FEE
for you to download any of their so-called 'free' utility programs !!

So, I've pulled my link to their pages in protest !
Even the author of this program is upset by their decision !!

Here's another program that will do essentially the same thing:

I've been recommending Mike's Startup Control Panel ever since people needed a means of accessing various ways that trojans such as BO and Sub-Seven could run again after a computer was re-booted... BUT this works quite well for anything that's bothering you at Start Up!

* I do NOT recommend using the Go!Zilla! or any other type of download manager software unless you are absolutely certain that it will not interfere with your computer's performance. Most of these programs include routines to CALL HOME in order to throw ads in your face at regular intervals and even to inform someone else about every file you ever download using their software (SpyWare)! Even if you don't care about the privacy issue, they obviously use extra memory and can slow down your overall speed online! Some of these programs will NEVER remove the ad/tracking routines no matter how you UN-install the program that installed them!!! If you're having problems, you might wish to try a program called AdAware which alerts you to some of the worst offenders of this class: ( If allowed, it will try to remove the offending software from your computer too! )

Problem with OS
(or Missing Function)
Comments about a solution or this software's features Software to Download

Desktop icons (shortcuts) do NOT always stay where you put them ! ( Impossible to restore their location !)

Solution, Use:
Icon (Position) Saver
        by Mario Knok.

Icon (Position) Saver (v 1.21)

[ 47 kb .zip file]
( 1 Nov 2000 )

        Icon Saver's Home Page: .

     When was the first time you found out that Windows doesn't always keep track of where you put your Desktop icons? What did you feel like when your beautiful arrangement was turned into an ugly chessboard of icon soldiers lined up by Name or rank? Well, Icon Saver makes sure that your icons stay where you put them! ( If you use more than one screen resolution, it will store the positions for each setting.) Placing a shortcut in your StartUp folder, will make sure your icon-positions are restored every time Windows starts. Clicking on Icon Saver's System Tray icon brings up a menu which allows you to save and restore the positions at any time. This package also includes two separate "console" programs, Save Icons and Restore Icons, so you can use it with batch files or at a Command prompt. [ Notes: Make sure your Desktop icons are not set to "Auto Arrange"!   Icon Saver stores position data in the Registry under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Mario Knok\IconSaver . The file IconSaverLib.dll, included in the distribution, is used by all three programs; place it in the same folder with them, or any other folder that's in your PATH. ] New: v. 1.21 helps prevent the accidental saving of corrupted positions when you're trying to restore them, by adding a confirmation dialog before saving! This was my suggestion... Thanks Mario.
  In the past, I had recommended another program here called Icon Manager, but there were times when it couldn't restore my icon's positions! ( I've never had a problem with Icon Saver and it restores the icons much faster!) At one time when I had over 70 icons on my Desktop, Icon Manager's .INI file got corrupted somehow when I was testing a Desktop "enhancement" and lost all the positions... AHHHHH!!! the frustration!! I still use Icon Manager when I want to hide all the icons on my Desktop, but there are other programs that can do this too. If you do use it, I recommend making a copy of iconmgr.ini whenever you add new icons to your display screen. ( If you run it together with Icon Saver, REMEMBER to SAVE your latest changes under BOTH programs! )

Icon position data for each resolution used is stored in:
C:\WINDOWS\iconmgr.ini (See text file on this!)

Desktop Icon Manger
(17 JAN 97)

The GUN ( Grown Up Notepad )
by Steve Hutchesson
Home page:

Download it Now !
The GUN (2.5)
[September 25, 2000]
(Only a 17.7 kb Zip file!)

This sleek little 'Missile Ware' as Steve calls it is the perfect replacement for Win 95 and 98's crippled(!) NOTEPAD program. To be specific, I actually like Notepad, it's the fact that it can't open files over 64kb that I hate, but The GUN can! And even though Win NT's Notepad can open large binary files, you might still want to try out The GUN. Written in Microsoft Assembler (MASM), The GUN is only 6,144 bytes and fast; "the file IO capacity has been rewritten to both increase the maximum file size and to allow the viewing and editing of binary files. This is very useful for viewing string data in binary files." GUN can now load files in excess of 10 MB depending on available memory. It's "...a fully enabled drag and drop application that has been optimised for speed and ease of operation. It has the full search capacity available from the operating system." GUN has a nice little feature called 'Toggle Margin' which places an empty column at the left edge of the window which makes it much easier to view some files. It also has 'Toggle Wordwrap,' but unlike Notepad neither of these features will affect how the file is written when it is saved. (Oh, there was one little thing I wished for: I liked the blue highlighting in Notepad, but the 'Selected text' color in GUN is black. All coding for colors was removed to keep GUN very small, and even I'd agree that performance wins out over a highlight color! ) Version 2.5 has a little configuration program to make a few changes to TheGUN.

FTP Explorer by Alan Chavis (FTPx Corp.)
Home page:

For More Info and screenshots from The Starman:
Click here: FTP Explorer

I've had some problems connecting to a couple sites with this lately, so it may be time to retire this program... can't beat it for its simplicity and ease of use though!

Programs/Files For Advanced or "Power" Users :

Problems with OS
(or Missing Functions)
Comments about a solution or this software's features Software to Download

Not for use under Windows XP (does nothing for that OS!)

There's NO default program to open any unassociated file in Win 95/98/NT/2000!

And no default editor either !

After installation, you still retain the option of using the "Open With" window by right-clicking on an un-associated file. [UNLESS you use Win2000: the File Manager's of these systems act strange: Only the "Open With" ---> "Choose Program..." selection is affected, but I can live with that for the benefits gained. You can always un-install it if you don't like the way it acts.] As written, it makes Notepad the default file opener for any unassociated files. It also adds Notepad to the right-click menu giving you a default editor for any file.    
More info:   Open Any File.

Open Any File  
[ 38 kb .zip]   (06 OCT 99)

A Registry (.REG) file made by The Starman!
( With .INF file for Quick Uninstall entry from "Add/Remove Programs" Control Panel )

Sure you can always plod through the Window's CALC program for Hex/Decimal conversions, but it doesn't have an HTML COLOR picker!

Please read my Review of BITS for some important information not included in the download:
BITS Information and Screenshot Page.

BITS Version 2.0  
[ .zip]
(see John's Website)
John L. Collicott

Under Win95/98, some DOS program's screen output can't be piped to a file!

Notepad can't read Unix LineFeeds
, but PFE can!

PFE 32-bit (version 1.01) saves the day! Please read my Review of PFE for important information on how to use it:
PFE 32 Review and Screenshots Page ( Read it! )    
  [ 607 kb]
(January 31, 1999)
Alan Phillips

Programs Just for The Internet:

?none at this time?

Programs for TECHnicians and Advanced Hackers:

 PTS Disk Editor by PhysTechSoft at:
Home page:

(Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology)
Download: PTSDE104.ZIP now!  
V.1.04 (30 NOV 1998) [162 kb .zip]

NOTE: Direct disk access is not allowed under Win2k/XP, therefore, PTS-DiskEditor will NOT function under Win2000/XP. But is still very useful in emergencies when you must use a DOS boot diskette!
For a Review of PTS-Disk Editor and SCREENSHOTS click here.

PTS Disk Editor: CAUTION: Do NOT attempt to WRITE to (Edit) any portion of your hard drive while MS-Windows ( or any other 'active' Operating System that randomly writes to your disk ) is running!   NORTON Disk Edit doesn't have 3 separate detailed WARNING Screens about this for nothing!! They're protecting themselves every way they can! As a matter of fact, Norton tells the Windows-dependent novice who knows nothing of DOS consoles, that it's impossible to run Disk Edit with Windows running (NOT true)! There are NO warning messages at all before the PTS-Disk Editor pops-up ready to go !! But, hey, that's the main reason I like it! If I ever wanted to make a change without having to shut-down the OS, then PTSDE gives me NO hassle. Saving any data DISPLAYED by PTSDE as a binary or text file is, unfortunately, a difficult thing to do! Although you could use a DOS-Window to copy and then paste what you see into a text file, this version of PTS-DiskEditor does NOT allow you to 'dump' sectors to a file like NORTON's DISKEDIT does! ( Note: This is the ONLY free program available from this company, and there are no help files included. SEE my Review of the PTS-Disk Editor for usage instructions! Or, see PTSDE's readme file - PTSde104.txt right now.)

Symantec now owns PQ's software products!
 Partition Info by PowerQuest
Home page:


GUI versions:
Download PartInfo for Win9x
( 16 SEP 2002 ) [ 347 kb .zip ]
Download PartInfo for WinNT/2000/XP
( 16 SEP 2002 ) [ 351 kb .zip ]
DOS version for use from boot disks:
[only 117 kb: Download ]

 Partition Table and
Boot Record Editor
by PowerQuest

GUI version:
Download PTEDIT32 (Win9x/NT/Win2000/XP)
( 18 FEB 1999 ) [173 kb .zip ]

 To Win 98/98SE/ME users: It appears that neither PartIn9x
nor PTEDIT32 will function on your systems without the file PQVXD.vxd!! If you can't find it elsewhere on the Net, you'll have to download:
vfd_folders.exe (05/20/2004 06:41PM) [1,261,568 bytes!] in order to extract that one little 19 KiB file from it! (Use WinZip, or be careful not to run other files!)

NOTE: PQ was acquired by SYMANTEC in DEC, 2003!
But you can still get free downloads from this Symantec FTP site:

PowerQuest's Partition and Boot Record Info for Windows program may be "freely copied so long as it is not modified in any way." Click here to see ABOUT box Copyright notice. (NOTE: You must have Administrator rights to run PartInfo for Win NT.)
Click here: To see a screenshot of PartInfo's Partition and Disk Information Display window. And Click here: To see a screenshot of PartInfo's Boot Record Display window. All of this information can be saved to a text file of your choice... Click here to see: An example of all the info saved to text.

More programs and links in the future!

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