My USB Flash drive as of August 2006


This is a list of software that I carry on my portable thumbdrive (1Gb). Almost all of it is Freeware (any exceptions are noted) and most of it is Open Source too.

The flashkey has an autorun.inf to start PStart on double click, or on the right click menu either open explorer or mount a Truecrypt archive (to protect customer data). Lastly the key is bootable with Acronis True Image V9

Installations for PC's

  • 7-Zip - Supports ZIP,RAR and many others and it's own 7z format is hard to beat.
  • Ad-aware - Spyware cleaner
  • ActiveSync 4.2 - PocketPC Sync software
  • Adobe Reader 7.08 - PDF Reader
  • Audacity - for recording and editing sounds
  • Autohotkey - hotkeys and keyboard macro program for repetitive tasks.
  • AxCrypt - File Encryption Software with a nice "Shred file" feature
  • Blender - suite of tools for 3D creation
  • CDBurnerXP Pro - CD/DVD burning solution
  • Codecs All-in-one - one of the most complete codec packs
  • DaemonTools - Virtual CD/DVD-ROM Emulator - Freeware for private use only (V4+ includes spyware, use 3.x)
  • .NET Framework
  • Exact Audio Copy - copy audio data from an audio CD with jitter correction.
  • EFS3 (Email Forwarding System) - POP3 gateway for any SMTP server
  • Wireshark - network protocol analyzer (changed its name from Ethereal)
  • Files and Settings Transfer Wizard - helps you copy files and settings from your old computer to a new computer (Commercial software found on Windows XP CD)
  • Filezilla - fast and reliable FTP client and server
  • Firefox - open-source browser (or *)
  • Firetune - optimization software for Firefox
  • Gaim - instant messenger client, which can handle multiple protocols, including AIM, ICQ, Yahoo!
  • Google Desktop - easy access to information on your computer and from the web
  • GTK+ - package needed for GIMP and Gaim
  • HTML Slideshow - create an HTML slide show of your digital pictures
  • HTTrack Website Copier - easy-to-use offline browser utility
  • ImageResizer Powertoy - resize one or many image files with a right-click.
  • Inkscape - Inkscape is a Vector Graphics Editor, similar to Adobe Illustrator
  • Flash player for Mozilla/Opera
  • InnoSetup - powerful script based freeware installation builder
  • Java Runtime Environment - allows end-users to run Java applications
  • KeePass - open-source password safe
  • LAME - LGPL MP3 encoder for use with EAC.
  • MySQL ODBC Connector
  • NVU - WYSIWYG HTML editor with site manangement features
  • OpenOffice - free office suite to use and distribute
  • OpenVPN - full-featured SSL VPN solution
  • PaintDotNet - image and photo manipulation software
  • PDFCreator - easily creates PDFs from any Windows program. Use it like a printer.
  • Barts PEBuilder - Create Windows bootdisk for PC maintenance tasks
  • Picasa2 - *
  • Planner - project scheduling tool
  • Quicktime Alternative - Play Quicktime files without installing Quicktime player
  • Realplayer Alternative - Play Realplayer files without installing Realplayer
  • RunPCRun Total Support - Have to carry around our support package!
  • Skype - The now famous VoIP software. Will be lovely when there's a proper Asterisk gateway.
  • Spambayes - Probability based mail filter includes Microsoft Outlook plug-in.
  • Thunderbird - cross-platform email and Usenet client
  • TightVNC - remote control software
  • TrueCrypt - create a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mount it as a real disk
  • WinSCP - SCP/SFTP client
  • XnView - View and convert graphics files - not free for commercial use

Applications - Working directly off drive

All the rest of these are executables working directly off the drive as well.

Diagnostics & Removal - Working directly from drive

  • Dependency Walker - scans any Windows module and builds a hierarchical tree diagram of all dependent modules
  • DiskMon - logs and displays all hard disk activity
  • Filemon - displays file system activity on a system in real-time
  • PortMon - displays all serial and parallel port activity
  • Process Explorer - shows you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded
  • Pstools - SysInternals 'Resource Kit'
  • RegMon - Real-time Registry monitoring utility
  • TCPView - detailed listings of all TCP and UDP endpoints on your system. Graphical netstat
  • TokenMon - monitors and displays a variety of security-related activity taking place on a system
  • Winobj - display information on the NT Object Manager's name space
  • Norton Removal Tool - Norton can be stubborn to remove at times.
  • autoruns - show all auto-starting locations
  • HijackThis
  • "remove msn messenger.cmd" - simply RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\INF\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove
  • RootkitRevealer - advanced rootkit detection utility
  • WinsockXPFix - simple winsock fix. i don't know if it's just netsh int ip reset but it does work.

Toolkit - Working directly off drive

Commercial Installations

Only two, but I have to have them.

* means there is some referral or partnership with these suppliers via the links given. Check out our stance on reviews and recommendations.



Thanks for this very useful list. The only difficulties are with Thunderbird which doesnt really manage a large mass of mails. Of course Outlook even doesnt work on a USB, and Foxmail is too basic... So on the way I recommend Gmail...

Thanks for the comment :)
I've never tried Thunderbird with POP. However I find Thunderbird with IMAP works very well -as of course only the headers are downloaded and then the body is brought in when you click on it. That way even with Gb's of email in your Inbox only a small amount of data is kept on the key and when you log back into your "static" email client all the changes you made are there.

I've been using Thunderbird with POP for quite a while right now, and yes, it isn't performing well when you have lots of mail already-- i noticed that the search functions don't work anymore. You can use WebMail and/or WebMail-Yahoo extensions so you can download those mails from yahoo and google.

How do you install the Java runtime environment from a flash drive? I needed that one, since I don't want to go from computer to computer and install Java everytime :(

"How do you install the Java runtime environment from a flash drive?"
I don't think it's possible at the moment. As I understand it Java looks at registry keys that are modified (by Administrator) at installation.

But when it is available it'll be straight on my drive (& this list :) )

This is a great list of application and utilities for a USB drive. I plan on looking into many of the options/ideas that you have presented here. Although I will say that I tend to be inflexible when it comes to my encryption software. For me StompSoft's Portable Vault ( is the only way to go for file security.

I guess it's mostly due to fact that I happen to really love the 256 bit blowfish encryption and having a good interface is a good thing too. At any rate, I did have a question though, "What makes NOD32 anti-virus better than, let's say Norton or McAfee?"

"What makes NOD32 anti-virus better than, let's say Norton or McAfee?"
Interesting question with lots of anwers.
I could go on about it's advanced heuristics, which is there to protect against viruses before the signature is downloaded (i've seen out of date installations carry on picking out a lot of the latest viruses)
I could tell you about it's 100% capture rate at the Virus Bulletin website
I may even wax lyrical on how fast it is since it weighs in at 6Mb installation and the core is written in machine code.

But what hits home for me is the fact that that we have gained customers who ring us up saying their computer has a problem, and the problem turns out to be Norton (admittedly very rarely McAfee has been a problem). NOD32 has never caused us a single issue in three years of deployment (touch wood),

Add to that, in my opinion it is a leader in terms of multi-platform support, virus detection, speed, cost and vendor support then I can only turn into a NOD32 fan-boy! :)

This is an excellent list. There are a couple that I do not have on my drive but I think I will very soon!

Here is my list:

It looks like your take on the USB drive is very similar to mine.

Now while I still maintain my inflexibility in regards to my StompSoft Portable Vault software, you have presented an extremely hard to deny answer to my question about anti-virus applications. I currently make use of Norton and I can't say that I have been ecstatic with it. I know that it often delays my startup time and it does miss viruses during it scanning. So, now I'm seriously considering NOD32. I perused their website but I am wondering if there is any more detailed info like spec sheet or something. A link to that would be great.

I'm not sure there is a 'spec' sheet as such comparing different features between Norton & Nod as I'm sure each vendor will sing the praises of their particular product and it'll be just marketing guff.

The proof is in the use I think. Nod allow you to download a 30 day trial version - install it and see the difference after you have removed Norton.

Thanks for the post Tim, your site looks very interesting and I shall be poking around it over the next day or so!

Thanks for the compliments. Feel free to dig around the site but keep in mind that it is very young (only started September 1, 2006) so it may be a bit lean at this time.


P.S. If anyone else wants to check out the site, the URL is

I have about 2 thousand songs, and I use a hard drive to take my music to friends and other places computers and listen to music. Problem is that most don't have iTunes and can't get the program, and other programs can't play every single song. Is there a way i can keep my songs synced with my home computer or at the very least, get some kind of portable application similar to iTunes that i can run straight off my hard drive?

Thanks for the info. I think that I will give it a try :)

Feel free to link to our site as well!

^install that so you can login to home computer.

^use to login to home computer.

Its not wise to carry around hard drive everywhere... its not too portable. Might want to try a flash drive using compression like zip and rar or something better for large files.

I use:
ad aware
spybot search and destroy
windows malware remover

do google for jotti scan they have huge list of antivirus products.

I would also recommend you check sysinternals for TCPview and process explorer to see how much bandwidth, cpu, ram each product consumes as well as times for scans.

I have used NOD32 on my home computer for the past three years and love it. In the past I have used McAfee and Norton. McAfee is nothing special and it's not horrible. But Norton is evil. It worms it's way into your system and screws things up. I wouldn't use it if it were free; in fact you couldn't pay me to use it. My employer, a Fortune 500 company. uses Norton and our systems run so slow it's frustrating. I have had friends who I have converted to NOD32 and they are all happy with it; especially those coming from Norton.

>How do you install the Java runtime environment from a flash drive? >I needed that one, since I don't want to go from computer to computer >and install Java everytime :( With this tool, you can make Java apps run directly from a flash drive

I think he was looking for the actual java runtime environment that runs from a USB drive, not a program that converts java programs so it can run from a flash drive.

I would like to point out the AVG free edition anti virus.I'm using it for years now and am very satisfied with it. NOD32 is very good but you have to buy it AVG comes free for home use. And it is low on consuming system resources.

You can call me biased, but I would still recommend spending £23 on NOD32 over the free AVG. Admittedly in the last two years AVG has got hugely better than what it used to be and the Virus Bulletin website shows it picks up all the viruses now (a couple of years ago I used to regularly come across AVG systems that were infected)

However, I would prefer to support Clamwin Free Antivirus project over AVG as it is truly "free".

SyncToy can synchronise files/folders & is quite configurable -

VLC Media Player isn't reliant on installed Codecs & will play most/all media. Interface isn't necessarily the greatest but once you are familiar with it it is useable...

Hi Dan, I just copied the Java runtime folder onto a stick, called my Java program with absolute paths - et viola! it runs without Java runtime installed. Example batch file (assuming "F:" ist the USB stick): F:\java-runtime\bin\java -jar F:\myprog\dist\myprog.jar happy to have discovered this! Daniel Keller

Hello. I like your list. But I have one question, does Daemon tools really have spyware attached? I have been using version 4(.08 I believe) for some time now and I can't say I've noticed anything suspicious... how did you discover this and what did you see (maybe the tool I can try to see the result?) thanks. Tyler

"Spyware" may be slightly over the top. But daemon tools does contain "adware" and is advertised as such.

NOD 32 is horrible. Yes it is simple and fast, but detection of virus is so bad, and real time protection is ultra bad. Norton is stupid, and it is stupid and stupid. Mcaffe has good guard but, scanner is absolutely worts. I recommended bitdefender antivirus. It is the best. It has good guard (real time protection), great scanner, biggest base of virus, and update that use every 1 hour.

Well the "Virus Bulletin" website - an independent website that tests all anti-virus products has a different take on it.

VB100 Results Overview: BitDefender (SOFTWIN) - 16 Success / 6 Failure / 34 No Entry
VB100 Results Overview: Eset NOD32 - 48 Success / 3 Failure / 5 No Entry

Even Symantec beats Bitdefender hands down.... I would recommend that when rubbishing products you may want to do some research first.