WSCC Windows System Control CenterMy first pick isn't actually a Microsoft tool per se: Windows System Control Center \n\nis a one-stop downloader for almost 300 maintenance tools from Microsoft's Sysinternals and the ever-popular NirSoft suites: simply download WSCC \n\nfrom KLS-Soft, check all the tools you need and hit "Install". Minutes later you're equipped with some of the most useful tools out there, including \n\nDisk2Vhd, Autologon and Autoruns (also described below). WSCC saves these files under C:Program Files (x86)Sysinternals Suite, while NirSofts tools \n\nare found under C:Program Files (x86)NirSoft Utilities.\n\n\nRichCopy 4.0Everyone knows Robocopy, the command line "Pro" version of Windows Explorer's built-in file transfer tool, but now there's a great UI frontend \n\nfor Robocopy -- RichCopy 4.0. This \n\nMicrosoft TechNet invention spares you the headache of learning, checking and retyping command lines. Here are just a few of reasons why \n\nRichCopy is so great:\n\n\u2022 Copy data on a regular schedule (e.g. copy files from your HD to an external disk every night)\nvSerialize disk access: optimize disk access for ATA based devices over USB.\n\u2022 Faster file transfers (in some cases) by avoiding the system buffer for file operations.\n\u2022 Copy files asynchronously by using multiple threads.\n\u2022 Configure time stamps, file size checks and security settings.\n\nRichCopy is more resilient against slow connections or transfer errors and it's essential if you're regularly moving bulks of data from one place to \n\nanother.\n\n\nMicrosoft Attack Surface ScannerEver wondered if your system's security is as tight as it can be? Microsoft's Attack Surface Scanner is a sort of checklist that helps you analyze \n\nsecurity issues and plug possible vulnerabilities fast. MSATA scans ports, security event logs, autorun entries, services and firewall settings (amongst \n\nothers) and consolidates results into a CAB file.\n\n\nMicrosoft Standalone System Sweeper ToolNot so hidden, but a nice little gem nonetheless.In case of a (deep) infection of boot files by viruses or rootkits, there's not much a real-time \n\nscanner can do. In that case, MSSSST (yes, that's Microsoft's naming convention at its best) creates a bootable CD, DVD or USB key that hosts an \n\noffline copy of Microsoft Security Essentials -- including all the latest signatures downloaded from MS servers beforehand.\n\n\nNoReplyAll add-in for Outlook 2007 and 2010A nice little Outlook addition for sending e-mails in house: "NoReplyAll" (a Microsoft Research Project) prevents e-mail recipients from \n\nforwarding or using "Reply All" to spread your e-mail to other co-workers. You can even prevent the recipient from replying entirely. It only works on \n\nmachines that share the same Exchange server, but it's still a pretty useful addition to your daily Outlook routine.\n\n\nVMMap -- A peek inside your PC's memoryEver wondered how much address space, main memory and virtual memory a running process is using? VMMap has answers - and lots and lots \n\nmore. As one of my favorite Sysinternals Suite (see WSCC above), VMMap shows a graphical representation of the entire memory usage that helps \n\nyou understand the memory cost of every single application you're running or developing. The lower block of VMMap also details which files are \n\nbeing used by the process and how much memory is taken up in the process.\n\n\nDisk2VHDYet another Sysinternals tool that I couldn't leave out: Disk2VHD (also available via WSCC or directly from here) clones your physical system partitions into a virtual hard \n\ndisk file (VHD) for use in Windows Virtual PC or to boot \n\nfrom natively (VHD boot is only supported in Windows 7 Enterprise in Ultimate, though). This is fantastic for evaluating software or for moving over to \n\na new system: you can basically save your entire Windows OS, including all programs, settings and data, move to a system and still boot up your old \n\nWindows inside a virtual environment - just in case you forgot something! Beware: Disk2Vhd doesn't support partitions larger than 127 GB and it \n\nalso clones your entire partition record (including its partition signature), so you might run into issues if you're trying to mount the cloned ".vhd" file \n\nwith the system you created it in the first place.\n\n\nJoulemeterIs your laptop battery dying way too soon? Does your desktop suck up way more power than it actually should? Joulemeter might just be the right tool for you. This MS \n\nResearch invention monitors total power usage and helps you calibrate your laptop's battery. Furthermore, it's capable of actually monitoring power \n\nusage of each process running: Go to "Power Usage", enter the name of one of your running applications ("itunes.exe", for example) and hit "Start" to \n\nmeasure its overall impact on power usage. This is great for the battery runtime obsessed. By avoiding such power-hungry executables, you'll \n\nsqueeze the very last bit out of your laptop's battery life and even save some Watts on your desktop.\n\n\nMicrosoft Image Composite EditorMicrosoft ICE helps you stitch photos -- and even videos -- together and create nice little panoramas and sideshows. ICE supports the usual \n\npictures formats (JPG, PNG, GIF, TIF&) and video file types (WMV, AVI, MP4&) and makes them "one".\n\n\nMicrosoft Windows Performance ToolkitNumber 10 is one I can't live without. Microsoft's performance tools are the most reliable speed tests for accurately measuring PC performance \n\nover a certain period of time. For analyzing PC usage over a certain amount of time, use the "xperf -on DiagEasy" command to start and "xperf -d \n\ntrace.etl" to stop.\n\nI use it to troubleshoot a slow or stuck boot-up, shutdown, standby and hibernation. It ties in closely with all these processes and gives IT pros \n\nan overview of what's causing delays or problems. Simply launch XBootMgr.exe (via a command line or shortcut) and use parameters for testing boot \n\ntime, shutdown, standy or hibernate.\n\nNow, go to your Start menu and fire up "Windows Performance Analyzer" to open the ".etl" file created by the trace.\n\n\n\nSpeed LaunchBack in 2008, Officelabs launched an interesting productivity tool \n\ndubbed "Speed Launcher". You can use this to launch a series of programs, Websites or shell commands at the same time -- with just one click or by \n\nusing WIN+C keyboard shortcut and selecting the appropriate tile. For example, I created a series called "Research" that automatically opens Microsoft \n\nWord, OneNote and www.wikipedia.com at the same -- yes, that's quite a simple one but \n\nyou get the idea. To create a new series, simply drag & drop shortcuts onto the Speed Launch icon or right-click on it and go to "Manage Icons".\n\n\nScreen RecorderSick of repeating your instructions once, twice&tens times to PC newcomers or coworkers? Don't want to use TeamViewer each and every time \n\nto show your family how to burn a DVD or make a photo slideshow? Just use Screen Recorder and record \n\nthe instructions -- step by step! This free little recorder isn't exactly Microsoft-owned but is now a featured download over at TechNet and combined \n\nwith Windows Media Encoder. It records either the entire screen or just single windows and saves the clips into the WMV format.\n\n\nTCPViewSuffering from a slow connection? You get the feeling that something's bogging down your WiFi or Ethernet adapter? TCPView (also a part of Sysinternals and available via WSCC) is your chance to figure \n\nout which process is costing you how much bandwidth and deal with this connection hog. Simply launch TCPView and sort all processes by clicking \n\nthe "Sent Packages\/Bytes" or "Rcvd Packages\/Bytes" header to get the top bandwidth hogs.\n\n\nAutorunsThere's no better way to manage Windows boot-up than "Autoruns". This little Sysinternals gem doesn't just provide you with a better way of \n\nturning off unwanted startup entries (\u00e0 la "msconfig"). It's capable of disabling scheduled tasks, drivers, codecs, gadgets, IE add-ons and more. But be \n\ncareful what you uncheck: many of these drivers and services are necessary to boot your system.\n\n\nEnhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit 2.0EMET strengthens security for applications without having to recompile them or waiting for the developer to release a new version. It adds \n\nseveral mitigations to the application of your choice, including SEHOP (Structured \n\nError Handling Overwrite Protection), Dynamic Data Execution \n\nPrevention and mandatory ASLR (Advanced Space \n\nLayout Randomization).\n\nSimply go to "Configure Apps" and select the ".exe" file you want to protect. Note: though I haven't experienced any problems with the \n\napplications I tested, some of these security features might interfere with certain program features (think 3rd party plug-ins that need to access the \n\n.exe regularly).