I first heard of CCleaner from Scott Hanselman in his “The Developer’s Quitting Your Job Technology Checklist”. It since has been updated regularly and has many nice and useful features, all for free. CCleaner is developed by Piriform, a company dedicated to providing quality software for free. CCLeaner gets some pretty good press on tech blogs, but I don’t see a lot of mention of Piriform’s other awesome free software, Defraggler and Recuva.
Defraggler, as I’m sure you guessed, is a hard drive defragmentation app. I know defrag software is not very popular any more with the size and performance of today’s hard drives, but the tool itself is very clean and intuitive. I find myself using it every so often just to check out the state of my hard drive, even if I don’t actual run the defrag operation.
Recuva, a file recovery application, is my favorite tool that Piriform offers. For some reason I’ve always had a love for file recovery software. I’ve used the superb, but costly, GetDataBack tools before and had great success. But when I saw Recuva first come onto the scene, I was very excited about the idea of free file recovery software, especially from Piriform. Fortunately, the last time I needed such software was quite some time ago, back when Recuva first was introduced and before they had their deep scan option to scan for raw files. Initially, Recuva looked for unused file system tables for file information, but did not support low-level reading of the disk, which I needed at the time. Since then, they’ve introduced that and more to the application. I’ve since done some tests with Recuva and found it to be very promising. If you lose some files or accidentally format a disk, give it a try.
Piriform makes their money through advertising revenue and donations. If you use their software or enjoy what they freely provide, I encourage you to make a small donation to their cause. Free, quality software is good for all consumers, so show Piriform that their work is appreciated. I’ve donated a small amount to them before, and they send you a nice email thanking you for supporting them in their work.