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15 downloads to invigorate your PC

Breathe life into your machine

Can't afford a new PC? These free tools for Windows will help breathe new life into your old machine.

Duplicate Music Files Finder

If you're running out of hard disk space, one of the biggest culprits is often music files. Without realising it, you probably have plenty of duplicates that hog hard disk space and wreak havoc with your media library. For instance, duplicate files often end up in separate areas in your library under different names, and you end up playing them multiple times by accident.

But finding duplicate music files can be very difficult - the same piece of music may have different file names and not appear to be a duplicate. This program from LC IBros Solutions finds duplicates by doing much more than looking at file names. It also compares file sizes, performs CRC checks and examines ID3 tags to find duplicates. It then deletes them for you.

Works with: Windows XP/Vista

Easy Duplicate File Finder

It's not just media files that fill up your hard disk, which is most likely clogged with plenty of other duplicates as well. Easy Duplicate File Finder scans your system, shows you in detail exactly what duplicates it finds, then lets you clean them one by one or in bulk.

Although all-in-one programs like Glary Utilities include duplicate file finders, this one has far more capabilities. You can specify minimum and maximum file sizes to search for, for example, and it does a more thorough job of examining files to determine if they're duplicates, including doing a byte-by-byte comparison. It can also protect system files so that you don't accidentally delete any vital ones.

Works with: Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP/Vista

SkyDrive

Running out of disk space, but don't want to spend the money for a new hard disk? Here's a simple solution - use this free online storage service from Microsoft. You get 25GB of free online space to do anything you want with.

Using the service is exceedingly simple. Just sign up for a Windows Live account and you're ready to go. It's completely web-based, so you don't have to download and install software.

Once you sign up, you can create folders on the site that you can either keep private or share with others. Then upload files to them, and you can get access to those files from any computer with an Internet connection via Internet Explorer 6 or above, Firefox 2 or above, or Safari 3 or above.

Note that you won't be able to use the service if it's a virtual hard drive; you can't save files to it directly from an application. Instead, you'll need to first create the files on your own PC, then upload the files to the service.

After that, you can delete your local files, so that you have extra room on your hard disk. Whenever you want to access your files, just head to the site and they're there.

NEXT PAGE: Troubleshoot hardware

  1. Breathe life into your machine
  2. Rein in applications
  3. Autoruns and Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI)
  4. Clean your Registry
  5. Clean your hard disk
  6. Duplicate Music Files Finder and Easy Duplicate File Finder
  7. Troubleshoot hardware
  8. Get a new operating system

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