Essential Software After Fresh OS Install
Most of us don’t like to format our Hdds even if we know it’s needed, the reason being, besides creating a backup for the data, all the software and settings would need to be reinstalled which is quite painstaking and time consuming, especially for those who like to experiment at the cost of their computers and need to format often.
It’s best to make a master DVD of all the 3rd party software along with motherboard CD and other drivers that are required on a fresh OS. (It’s better to back up your browser bookmarks as well i.e. .Json file for Firefox)
Mentioned below is 3rd party software (Freeware) that I recommend after a fresh OS install depending upon your needs
Drivers: Most required drivers will be included in the Motherboad, Graphics Card, Keyboard and LAN Card Disk
The common drivers are .NET Framework and Direct X 9.0/10.0/11.0
Browser and Plugins: I would recommend FIREFOX or Google CHROME don’t forget to install their respective FLASH
File Sharing: uTORRENT is my Bit Torrent of choice it offers features like Search, Streaming, RSS, Rating all within the software interface.
If you prefer direct downloads (rapidshare, hotfile, megaupload etc) you could opt for FreeRapid Downloader by Vity or FREE DOWNLOAD MANAGER
Chat/Messenger: DIGSBY or TRILLIAN are good multi messenger softwares you can login to Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, MSN etc all via a single interface, good for us who like to experiment with different providers.
Office Utilities: OPEN OFFICE a replacement for MS office
7-ZIP for all those compressed files (7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR), also supports unpacking of (ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, DEB, DMG, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MSI, NSIS, RAR, RPM, UDF, WIM, XAR and Z.) formats.
Antivirus: There are many free Antivirus softwares, I prefer to use AVAST, been using it for few years now and it’s never been a disappointment, keep in mind that an antivirus software is only effective if it’s frequently updated.
System Tuning: CCLEANER lets you clean the registry and unwanted files, programs can also be uninstalled from this software.
UNLOCKER a handy tool when you unable to delete a file in windows, and can’t figure out what program’s using it.
3DMARK is a Benchmarking tool to determine the performance of your computer's 3D graphic rendering and CPU workload processing capabilities.
SPECCY will give you detailed statistics on every piece of hardware in your computer. Including CPU, Motherboard, RAM, Graphics Cards, Hard Disks, Optical Drives and Audio support. Additionally Speccy adds the temperatures of your different components, so you can easily see if there's a problem!
Audio and Video: K-LITE MEGA CODEC PACK contains all the codec and tools that you would require to play a large number of formats
QUICK TIME PLAYER from Apple allows the playback of Quicktime movies (.mov) and many other formats.
VLC or KM PLAYER (versatile media player which can cover various types of container format such as VCD, DVD, AVI, MKV, Ogg Theora, OGM, 3GP, MPEG-1/2/4, WMV, RealMedia, and QuickTime among others.)
MEDIAMONKEY if you don’t like using Windows Media Player or I-Tunes
DVD Tools: DAEMON TOOLS to backup CD/DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray discs into "virtual discs" or "disc image" (.iso .mds)
CDBURNERXP to burn CDs and DVDs, including Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs, It also includes the feature to burn and create ISOs
Windows has a decent Disk defragmenter and cleaner hence 3rd party softwares with similar functions have not been listed above.