We've trawled the PC Advisor download section, which offers the latest and best software downloads for your PC, to bring you the five most popular programs that your PC just can't live without.

1. Microsoft Fix It Center 1.0.90

When a problem starts to affect your computer, attempting to work out the cause can be an immensely frustrating experience. However, this free tool from Microsoft has been designed to help diagnose and fix a range of software and hardware problems with your computer through the use of automated troubleshooters.

There are a number of troubleshooting tools available covering everything from Internet Explorer crashes to problems with hardware attached to your computer. Because the tool is able to scan your computer and determine precisely which hardware and software you have installed, it is able to provide tailored advice that could take a long time to track down online.

Download Microsoft Fix It Center 1.0.90

2. Hotspot Shield 1.571

Despite the name, Hotspot Shield can be used to protect both wired and wireless internet connections, and it has been designed to allow safe, secure internet access wherever you may be. From wireless hotspots in towns and cities, to making use of free internet connections in airports and hotels, there are risks associated with access the internet on the move. Hotspot Shield create a virtual private network which in turn helps to secure your internet connection and protect personal information from potential hackers.

Your IP address is kept private making it possible to browse the internet anonymously, but the key focus is on security. The program also has a number of other benefits. By acting as a proxy, Hotspot Shield makes it possible to access parts of the internet that might otherwise be blocked. Websites that are restricted to visitors from particular countries can be accessed regardless of where you are.

Download Hotspot Shield

3. CCEnhancer

CCleaner is a powerful tool for locating and removing leftover files that might be cluttering up your hard drive. But CCEnhancer makes it better still by adding support for more than 270 applications to the program, which means it'll be even more effective at removing junk files from your hard drive and free up even more valuable hard drive space.

These extra application definitions should work just as well as those installed by default, but if you have any problems then they're easy to remove. Launch CCleaner Enhancer, click Extra, then Delete Custom Rules and any changes made to CCleaner's configuration will be reversed.

Download CCEnhancer

NEXT PAGE: Recuva

  1. Software your PC can't live without
  2. Recuva

We've trawled the PC Advisor download section, which offers the latest and best software downloads for your PC, to bring you the five most popular programs that your PC just can't live without.

4. Recuva 1.39

Head abroad for a long holiday and you many take a handful of digital memory cards for your digital camera and, perhaps your laptop. Problem is, when various members of your family are taking photos and then moving them to the computer, it's too easy to delete the files thinking that they are already on your machine.

Windows doesn't ship with a decent file recovery application, which means that you need a third-party tool to recover files you've deleted from your trash can. As it's always worth keeping file recovery software installed on your computer, but it's a tool you may rarely use, commercial file recovery software may be out of the question.

Recuva is regarded as one of the best free file recovery tools. You can use it to scan your internal hard drive, any external drive and memory cards such as those in your digital camera. Just select the drive you want scan, run the process and locate the files you want to recover back to your computer.

Download Recuva

5. LookInMyPC 1.0

The key to troubleshooting PC problems comes in gathering all the necessary data. You could try to do that manually, running MSCONFIG, REGEDIT, various Control Panel applets, Task Manager and more, then manually noting down important points. But it's a lot easier to use LookInMyPC, which automatically locates and assembles all the information for you.

Simply launch the program, click Generate, and LookInMyPC will go to work, collecting the data you need. This includes real-time information on running applications, processes, and the users logged into your PC. Software-related data includes everything from the list of installed applications, to your service settings, Windows startup programs, antivirus and firewall programs. And there's basic hardware details on your CPU, BIOS, DVD, hard drives, RAM and more.

Download LookInMyPC

See also: Security software buying advice

  1. Software your PC can't live without
  2. Recuva