(updated 7/8/2016)

Files available for download...

These products are suitable for many versions of Windows, as of this date: 2010-10-01. The link will either begin a download, or take you to a very recent website from which you can download the product.

Note: products mentioned early on may also apply to the lower categories. Each product typially gets one mention only.

More information on some of these programs can be found here...


The basis of a new PC...


Simulators...

Use these demos to test your computer's abilities. All credit to the software's originators.


Internet Explorer versions...

These are full versions that may help fix certain installation errors and update issues.


Helpful with Microsoft Office data files...

Microsoft Office is the de facto standard for creating and editing text documents, spreadsheets and presentations on PCs. Ther are many versions of this product - look here to view them...

MS Office is a relatively inexpensive product if bought in the correct version. The most economical is the retail version of Office Home and Student, which give the end user three household licenses. Divorcing the Outlook email client reduces the cost of Office greatly - make sure when you purchase an Office suite that you only get Outlook included if you absolutely need it, typically for an office environment when you need to share a calendar with fellow employees.

For those who do not have MS Office on their computers, installing these "viewers" allows Microsoft files to be opened and viewed, but not edited.

If you wish to open and edit Microsoft files, you can download Apache OpenOffice to do so. OpenOffice is similar but not identical, and the additional step of "saving as" must be done to share documents with users of MS Office.


Helpful with installs of Windows 7...

Outlook Express offers email and contact management for Windows XP users, but it is no longer available for use as of Windows 7. With Windows Live Mail now, you get what most people want in an email program - email, contacts, and a calendar.

WLM is available as a download from Microsoft, in a bundle of programs called Windows Live Essentials. When installing, select only the products you are familiar with or believe you need - the others are unnecessary and can always be gotten later if need be. One disappointing product in this bundle is the new version of Windows Movie Maker - if you are familiar with this program from a few years back, you might miss the "timeline" feature, so download the older version 2.6 instead.

The availability of Windows gadgets seem to be erratic - some installations have them, others do not. Also, getting gadgets online from Microsoft has become a problem. You can no longer go to the Internet and get them from Microsoft, you wind up downloading bundles of them from third parties.

For those of you looking for the traditional ones, like the calendar, the weather, the "speedometer", the picture puzzle, the slideshow, the RSS feeds, and the currency gadget, download this ZIP file and unpack what you want of it in the location where Windows is keeping what gadgets it has for you. I believe that Windows will then see them and make them available to you. From researching on the topic, there may be more than one location in which gadgets are kept, so you might have to shop around, and perhaps re-boot.


Helpful with installs of Windows Vista, aka Windows 6.0...


Helpful with installs of Windows XP, aka Windows 5.0...

Windows XP service packs...


Helpful with Windows 2000 (on the NT side)...


Helpful with installs of Windows 95/98, aka Windows 4.0...


Helpful with Windows 3.1 for Workgroups...


Helpful with DOS...


Helpful when you have a legal key with no installation media...

Many computers come without any operating system media. Some have recovery programs hidden on the hard drive that let you put a computer back to factory specs (research can inform you as to how to invoke the recovery), some come with programs to generate the recovery media early on while the computer is fully functional.

For those machines that don't have this media for whatever reason, if you have a legal key and you can find it, download the appropriate image file (ISO) and create the media you need on any working computer with DVD burning capability. (My preference is Nero.)

If you have purchased a computer and it has a legitimate key (sticker) on it, I respect the fees Microsoft might charge to provide replacement media in situations where you either haven't paid for the media in your original purchase price (laptops that do not come with OS media) or you have lost or damaged your OEM media somehow. But I also feel it is your right after purchasing a license to be able to create your own operating system media if you do not have it, and since the cost of housing downloadable files on the Internet is really negligible, I feel you should be able to do this for free. Microsoft should make them available, or others operating commercial sites for downloading software should be able to do so.

Finding the correct ISO on line can be tricky, and can also be risky. Since the creator of the ISO has control over its content, you must trust the creator. Here are links to some useful ISO files that seem to be kept at safe sources. Download the image file you need, then use software like Nero to create the appropriate CD or DVD.

All risk is on the end user. Visit this site to see a description and other details, and download what you need from there, or try these direct links.


Helpful in the past with errors, testing, viruses and malware...


Helpful with hardware issues...


Helpful with remote access...


Helpful with day-to-day tasks...


Miscellaneous downloadable files...


Temporary files...


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