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The Ultimate Freeware Toolkit

It's been said that a mechanic is only as good as his or her tools. In this recipe I'll tell you about little-known freeware and shareware utilities that can help system builders do a faster, better job of diagnosing and repairing ailing computer systems. All of these tools are completely free of any spyware or adware, and none require any registration whatsoever. Together, these tools will equip your toolkit to fix a dozen common PC problems.

I personally carry a CD with many software tools designed to expedite PC diagnosis and repair. From this CD, I've selected a dozen of my favorites. Here's what I recommend:

1. When Good RAM Goes Bad

Trying to repair a computer with memory problems can become an exercise in futility. While a professional hardware-memory tester is handy, it's too expensive for most system builders.

On the other hand, a free software memory tester called MemTest86 is more than adequate for diagnosing bad RAM.

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