Keep your system clean

First off, this page is not meant to sell you anything, and I don't get any payment for the following recommendations - most of which are freeware, anyway. It's just my habit on this page to share a few tips and tricks. The programs I'll mention all run on my own system, Windows XP/SP3. There might be versions for other OS, but I haven't checked those.

Alright, let's go!

Sandboxie 3.50

My best find in recent months is Sandboxie - a light little program that allows you to run your browser (or any other program) in a 'sandboxed' i.e. virtual environment. Any changes an application makes while running in Sandboxie - be it setting cookies, altering the registry, installing programs - stay in the sandbox and won't touch the 'real' computer. When you empty the sandbox, it is all gone, like it never was there.
I use Sandboxie solely for surfing and I feel well protected now, knowing that my system is safe from whatever it might meet in the www.

Time Freeze 1.0 (Free)

Time Freeze FreeTime Freeze is right up there with Sandoxie in the list of my favorites, insofar as it does not only protect one program (as the free version of Sandboxie does), but it puts your whole system drive (C:\) in a virtual environment. The program is small and offers an easy interface, provinding an 'on' and 'off' button for your system protection.
If you turn Time Freeze off, all changes made to the computer will be transferred to the actual system. If you don't want to keep the changes, simply restart or shut down your computer while Time Freeze is still running. When the system starts again, it is back to the status in which it was before you turned Time Freeze on.


Maybe you're like me and prefer to run your own firewall instead of the one Windows came with, because you want to know what gets out of your machine as well as what gets in. Like me, you might run into some trouble to properly close your port 135, kept open by Windows DCOM process. DCOM is a thing that most of us will never, ever need, a stealthed port 135, however, is crucial for your computer's security. Most instructions to disable DCOM and close the port - even the one provided by Microsoft - involve long scary manuals and fiddling in the registry. The great little DCOMbobulator achieves the same result with a few easy clicks.


Download SUPERAntiSpyware!
A neat and reliable spyware detector and remover - more than once it still found something where others had failed. SiperAntiSpyware also taught me to refularly clean my sandbox, and finally set the dandbox to 'delete on closing' - simply because it happily pointed out the tracker cookies stored therein. While they could do no harm in the sandbox, it still proved that SAS has its eyes everywhere.

Mailwasher 1.33

MailwasherWhat Mailwasher does is simple - it allows you a preview on your emails stored at your mail provider before you download them on your computer. You can weed out and delete what you don't need and then send the rest to your usual mail client. If that happens to be Outlook Express - which will blindly shovel anything into your inbox - you just cannot recommend a thingie like Mailwasher enough.
I still run an ageold version, v.1.33 from 2001 or so - this was the last freeware version (available here) that allowed to maintain multiple accounts. It might not have all the bells and whistles, but it is light and fast and still fine enough for me.

Useful websites

© 2010 -

esch Tarot Utilities for your security Studio Contact Page Studio Home