Free Windows 7 Software & Resources
Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor scans PCs, programs & devices to check if it’s able to run Windows 7 (i.e. PC system requirements, kown compatibility issues)
SecurAble, by Steve Gibson, quickly tells if your computer supports 64-bit, as well as “Hardware Virtualization”.>
Hardware-Assisted Virtualization (HAV) Detection Tool checks if PC supports HAV, and if it’s enabled.>
INSTALLATION & SETUP RESOURCES:
Group Policy Settings Reference lists Group Policy objects (GPOs) settings for computer and user configurations included in the Administrative template files.
Release Notes focuses critical issues, such as those likely to affect a majority of users and may cause data loss, installation failure, and security issues.
Things to Know collection of less-serious issues likely to affect a smaller number of users and have milder consequences if not avoided.
Windows 7 Upgrade Paths outlines supported and unsupported upgrade paths for editions of the Windows 7 operating system.
- Install Windows 7 w/ Virtual PC 2007
- Install using a USB Stick
- Install on a Netbook
- Install on a Macintosh
- Install from a Mobile Phone
For Consumers & Home Businesses:
Windows Easy Transfer migrates important files, e-mail, pictures, and settings from your old PC to your new one.
Download Windows Easy Transfer for:
For Small & Medium Businesses:
USMT – User State Migration Tool for IT Pros migrating other users. USMT is part of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) helping install, customize, and deploy Windows 7. (Docs: ReadMe, Windows AIK Guide)
- GImageX graphical version of the ImageX command-line tool from the Windows AIK. (From MSDN)
- USMT Progress Monitor – provides feedback during OS delpoyment.
- W2KMigUser for migrating user files from Windows 2000
- Workstation Migration Assistant visual wrapper for the USMTool, to simplify the capture / restore process. (Support: USMT Tips)
For Big Businesses:
Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDToolkit) 2010 is the recommended process & toolset for automating Windows Desktop & Server deployment.
Additional Deployment Tools:
- Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT 5.6) – evaluate & mitigate application compatibility issues before deploying Windows, a Windows Update, or a new version of Internet Explorer.
- Desktop Deployment Planning Services is a Software Assurance Packaged Services Benefit that offers pre-deployment planning designed to help guide customers through deployment and business value planning stages of Desktop implementation.
- Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit an agentless toolkit finds computers on a network, performing a detailed inventory of the computers using Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), the Remote Registry Service, or the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).
IBM Hardware Pack provides guidance on consolidating workloads with Microsoft virtualization technologies on IBM System x and BladeCenter servers.
- Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer provides a streamlined method to identify missing security updates and common security misconfigurations.
- Security Baselines for Windows 7 & Internet Explorer 8 recommendations to help plan, deploy, and monitor the security of Windows 7 & Internet Explorer 8.
- Security Compliance Management Toolkit Series provides IT professionals an end-to-end solution to help plan, deploy, and monitor security baselines of Windows operating systems and 2007 Microsoft Office applications.
- Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool creates a bootable USB flash drive or DVD, download the ISO file and then run the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool. You can then install Windows 7 directly from the USB flash drive or DVD.
- .NET Version Detector displays installed .NET versions. (From MSDN)
- Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) provides directory services for directory-enabled application.
- Autoruns – See what programs are configured to startup automatically when your system boots and you login. Autoruns also shows you the full list of Registry and file locations where applications can configure auto-start settings. (From TechNet)
- BitLocker To Go Reader provides users read-only access to BitLocker-protected FAT-formatted drives on non-Windows 7 computers.
- Bluetooth Radar “finds” Bluetooth devices for quick file tranfers.
- Change Login Screen PowerToy Click on “Change Logon Screen”, select (and verify) your new Login Screen image. (From TechNet)
- CoreInfo – 64-bit command-line utility showing the mapping between logical processors and the physical processor, NUMA node, and socket on which they reside, as well as the cacheâ€™s assigned to each logical processor.
- Desktop Time Tracker keeps track of time spent on your projects from the system tray.
- Desktops organizes applications up to 4 virtual desktops.
- Disk2vhd – Run Disk2vhd on the system you want to migrate and specify the volumes for which you want data included, and Disk2vhd creates a consistent point-in-time volume snapshot followed by an export of the selected volumes into one or more VHDs that you can add to a new or existing Hyper-V or Virtual PC virtual machine.
- DNSExchanger allows quick switching of DNS Settings.
- Document.Viewer for FlowDocument, Rich & Plan Text Formats
- Elevation PowerToy for managing User Account Control (UAC)
- Explore as Administrator PowerToy overcomes the limitations of Windows Explorer inability to throw up a UAC prompt when creating a folder within or copying a file into a protected folder such a Program Files or Windows.
- Fishbowl for Facebook personalizes how you read your newsfeed, update status, comment, like, browse and upload photos.
- GmailNotifier full Windows 7 integration, notifing when you receive email from Google Gmail.
- Geosense provides accurate & reasonably ubiquitous positioning information without requiring or the assistance of GPS hardware, enabling more practical location-based applications and scenarios on Windows 7. (From TechNet)
- Hyper-V VM State to Memory Dump Converter (vm2dmp) converts saved virtual Machines to memory dump files for Debugging.
- InkSeine search files directly from ink without transcribing queries to a search box or a separate search application. With InkSeine, you circle a handwritten phrase within your notes to create a query.
- Insomnia (with source code) keeps your computer from temporarily going to sleep. (From MSDN)
- IPsecPing command-line IPsec endpoint testing / debugging tool.
- ISO Recorder PowerToy makes images of CD / DVD to create ISO images.
- Joulemeter estimates power consumption.
- LogParser – Parses many types of textual content, it’s a mature tool with well upgraded functionality.
- LUA Buglight identifies admin-permissions issues “LUA bugs” (Least-privilege User Account)
- NetMon 3.4 – Network Monitoring utility to capture and observe network traffic patterns and problems. (Support: TechNet & KB294818)
- NmDecrypt creates a new trace with decrypted frames added inline.
- Office Parsers analyzes the Microsoft Office (proprietary) Network Protocol.
- Simple Search searchs within frames and comments for raw ASCII like strings using a direct case-insensitive search or regular expressions.
- Top Users shows you the heavy talkers in a trace.
NetWiz (Network Monitor Wizard) assists in using NMCAP wizard – step by step GUI leverages the powerful command line interface of NetMon in order to capture traffic.
TCP Analyzer (x64 version) analyzes network traces of TCP connections providing various performance statistics and visualizations for the captured TCP connection.
- OffVis displays OLESS-based binary files in two ways: a hex view of the raw file contents on the left side – and the tree of objects built up from parsing those raw file contents on the right side. (From TechNet)
- Patch Registration Cleanup Tool – Repairs Windows Installer errors caused due to incorrect patch registration may be corrected using this tool.
- Power Plan Assistant smart power plan management application. (From Live)
- PowerShell Pack – 10 modules to supercharge your PowerShell scripting: manage RSS feeds, schedule operating system tasks and more.
- pptPlex – zoom in & out of slide sections and move directly between slides that are not sequential in your PowerPoint presentation (updated for multi-touch devices).
- ProcDump – command-line utility whose primary purpose is monitoring an application for CPU spikes and generating crash dumps during a spike that an administrator or developer can use to determine the cause of the spike.
- Process Monitor – advanced monitoring tool that shows real-time file system, Registry and process/thread activity.
- PsLoglist – command-line event log display utility that accepts wildcard matching for event sources.
- RAMMap – Advanced Physical Memory Usage Analysis Utility.
- Remote Desktop Connection Manager manages multiple remote desktop connections. It is useful for managing server labs where you need regular access to each machine such as automated checkin systems and data centers.
- Remote Server Administration Tools enables IT administrators to manage roles and features that are installed on computers that are running Windows Server 2003 / 2008, from a remote computer.
- SlickRun gives you instant access to any program or website. (From MSDN)
- Start Button Changer (From: Live)
- SyncToy synchronizes files and folders between locations or computers.
- Synergy – easily share a single mouse & keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. (From MSDN)
- System State Analyzer compares two snapshots of a computer.
- Taskbar Meters – three apps live on the Windows 7’s task bar: CPU Utilization, Memory, & Disk IO (along with quick access to Task Manager & Resource Monitor)
- Terminals – Tabbed Remote Desktop Client
- Time Zone Change Gadget easily swaps time zones when travelling.
- TweetCraft in-game Twitter client for World of Warcraft allowing you to send/receive Tweets in-game, upload in-game screenshots & AutoTweet achievements.
- Ultimate Windows Tweaker utility for tweaking & optimizing Windows 7 “promises” to make your system faster, more stable, and secure. (From TechNet)
- UnFreeZeMouSeW7 disable / enable standby mode on Windows 7 devices.
- VHD Tool – create & modify VHD properties & size.
- Virtual PC allows running many applications on a virtual Windows environment (Install Notes)
- Virtual Router turns a computer into a Wifi Hotspot using Wireless Hosted Network (Virtual Wifi)
- WhoCrashed shows the drivers which have been crashing your computer (From Windows Live)
- Windows Access Panel minimizes the trouble in accessing the buried settings & “hidden” system utilities. (From: TechNet)
- Windows Double Explorer manages two or more Windows Explorers.
- Windows Image to Virtual Hard Disk Converter (WIM2VHD) command-line tool to create sysprepped VHD images from any Windows 7 installation source. VHDs created by WIM2VHD will boot directly, ready for your first-use customizations. (From MSDN)
- Windows Installer CleanUp Utility removes a program’s configuration information if experiencing installation (Setup) problems. (Support: Compatibility)
- Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant installs the Windows Live ID online provider to link a Windows Live ID to a Windows 7 user account.
- Windows Mobile Device Center (x64-bit version) syncs content between mobile phone and computer.
- Windows NT Backup Restore Utility restores backups made from Windows XP & Windows Server 2003 computers.
- WinHlp32.exe required to display 32-bit Help files with the “.hlp” filename extension.
- Windows Speech Recognition Profile Tool – backup & restore their speech profiles
- Windows XP Mode – run Windows XP applications directly from Virutal PC. (Notes, Required Patch!)
- XP-More helps manage Virtual Machines duplication without editing raw XML.
MultiMedia & Imaging Tools
- Cropper screen capture utility making it fast and easy to grab parts of your screen. Use it to easily crop out sections of vector graphic files such as Fireworks without having to flatten the files or open in a new editor.
- Icon Maker creates 32-bit color icon files (sizes from 16×16 to 256×256 PNG icons)
- Image Composite Editor is an advanced panoramic image stitcher.
- ImageResizer PowerToy <Right-Click> quickly resizes image files. (From TechNet, Support: How to…)
- MFCopy command line tool showcasing Media Foundation APIs.
- Movie Maker restores missing Windows 7 features (i.e. capture external video, advanced editing features)
- MP4 Explorer extracts information, metadata and data from MP4 / MPEG-4 iso video files.
- Paint.NET – free image and photo editing software featuring an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.
- RAW Codec Drivers handle RAW image files with the same ease as JPEG or TIFF images:
- Rooler – take measurements of everything visible on your screen. (From MSDN)
- ScreenRecorder – captures a computer’s activites to a small video file. Share the file so people can watch the video just as if they are sitting next to you while showing them what’s happening on your computer’s screen.
- Touch Pack 6 games & applications optimized for Windows 7 Touch.
- Windows Media Encoder captures audio & video content (Support: Patch)
- ZoomIt – screen zoom & annotation tool for technical presentations. Zoom in on an area of the screen, move around, and draw. (Windows 7 Compatible)
AntiVirus & Anti-SpyWare Software (Free)
- avast! Home Edition (non-commercial & home use only)
- AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 9.0 (limited features, no support, for private and non-commercial use only)
- Avira AntiVir Personal
- BitDefender Free Edition
- Comodo Internet Security
- Microsoft Security Essentials
- Panda Cloud Antivirus
- Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus (part of the Google Pack)
- Keyboard IntelliType Pro 7.1 – 32-bit & 64-bit
- Headset LifeChat 1.4 32-bit & 64-bit
- Mouse & Trackball IntelliPoint 7.1 – 32-bit & 64-bit
- Webcams LifeCam 3.0 32-bit & 64-bit (LifeCam Readme File)
- XBox 360 Controller v1.2 – 32-bit & 64-bit
- Reclusa Gaming Keyboard Driver v1.05
- Habu Laser Gaming Mouse Driver v2.21
- Dell Latitude XT Tablet PC (Notes)
- Dell Latitude XT2 Tablet PC (Notes)
- HP TouchSmart tx2 Tablet PC (Notes)
- HP TouchSmart (Models: IQ504, IQ506, IQ804, IQ816)
DESKTOP WALLPAPERS & THEMES:
26 Awesome Windows 7 Themes (From MSDN)
AeroVG – Popular Theme from Windows Vista. (From: TechNet)
BGInfo displays relevant information such as the computer name, IP address, service pack version, and more.
Bing Teamâ€™s Best Windows 7 Themes
Bing Translator Team Wallpaper
Bing Wallpaper Downloader or BingPaper downloads daily images directly from Bing.
Digital Blasphemy’s Free 3D Wallpapers – “really-cool” 3rd party wallpapers (From MSDN)
DreamScene Activator – re-enables the discontinued Windows Vista Ultimate DreamScene feature that sets a video file as your desktop background. (From Sarah @ Channel 10)
Exchange Server Team Wallpapers (new logo)
Fantasy Planet on a Starry Night – 1920×1440 wallpaper (From MSDN)
Flight Simulator X Wallpaper 1024×768 & 1680×1050.
Forefront Identity Manager 2010 Wallpaper
I Think Different Themes (From MSDN)
National Geographic Photo of the Day Desktop Wallpaper Changer
(RED) Wallpapers raise awareness for people affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Shamrocks Theme Pack
SharePoint 2010 Logo (1920 x 1280) Desktop Wallpaper from MSDN
Silverlight Team’s Wallpaper – Dawn “Blue” & Dusk “Black” inspired widescreen & 4:3 desktop wallpapers
â€œSnapshots of Switzerlandâ€ – Wallpapers from Swiss Academic Team.
SQL Server Wallpaper (widescreen)
Visual Studio Theme
Visual Studio 2010 Wallpapers from MSDN
Wallpaper Generator – random gradient wallpapers (Support MSDN)
Wallpaper Juggler – configurable app to download wallpapers from InterfaceLIFT or WallpaperStock and change them periodically.
Wind-up Chicken Screensaver
Windows 7 Inspired Desktop Wallpapers
Windows 7’s (Hidden) Regional Themes.
Windows 7 Theme Pack 20 hand-picked, nature-themed macro photos from Microsoft’s Mike Swanson.
XBOX 360 Wallpapers (the NEW 2010 Version!)
“Zune Inspired” Wallpapers from Zune-HD artist, Marius @ deviantART
MOUSE & PEN POINTERS:
- Bull’s Eye Mouse Pointer – mouse pointer changes into red bull’s eye hovering over clickable controls on a Web page. (More info: MSDN)
- Left-Handed Mouse Pointers provides a more natural feel for left-handed users.
- PenAttention “highlights” the location of the (touch) pen without your audience seeing what you’re pointing at on the screen (From MSDN)
LANGUAGE TOOLS & RESOURCES:
- Indic Language Input Tool helps enter Indian text (Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Malayan, Tamil, Telugu).
- Maren – type Arabic in Roman characters (Romanized Arabic, Arabizi, Arabish or Franco-Arabic) and it converts on the fly to Arabic script.
File Management API (x64) extends File Management APIs to not only enable the discovery and restoration of deleted files from volumes that are not encrypted but also enable the recovery of files from Bitlocker encrypted volumes.
MultiPoint Mouse SDK framework allows building applications enabling up to 25 individual mouse devices to work simultaneously on one computer.
Windows 7 Training Kit for Developers includes presentations, hands-on labs, and demos highlighting key Windows 7 features.
Windows SDK for Windows 7 & .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (ISO Version) provides documentation, samples, header files, libraries, and tools designed to help develop Windows applications using both native (Win32) and managed (.NET Framework) technologies. (Documentation: Release Notes)
- UPDATED: Windows SDK for Windows 7 and .NET Framework 4 (Formats: ISO or Web Setup, Documentation: Release Notes)
Windows API Code Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework provides a source code library that can be used to access some features of Windows 7 from managed code. These Windows features are not available to developers today in the .NET Framework.
Windows PowerShell 2.0 SDK contains sample PowerShell code and reference assemblies.
- Engineering Windows 7
- input.microsoft.com – help Microsoft improve products by submitting feedback sent directly to the folks working on the features.
- Microsoft Windows 7 Partner Program Portal
- “Talking About Windows” IT pros discussing Windows 7
- Windows Experience Blog
- Windows Security Blog
- Windows 7 Blog for Developers
- Windows 7 IT Pro TechNet Support Forums
- Windows 7 Product Marketing/Management Team Blog
- Windows 7 Team Blog
- Windows 7 Website
- Windows Vista Activation Forum