As a computer geek and an IT administrator, I always get calls from people about their broken systems and I always have my USB first aid kit with me in order to troubleshoot any problems regarding problematic or broken systems. Today I’m going to talk about a portable utility which serves as a Swiss army knife for IT administrators and even for technical people who love to troubleshoot systems.
D7 is an all in one portable tool for troubleshooting and tweaking systems. Let’s talk about the features of D7. This article will be a little longer as the features of D7 can’t fit in a few paragraphs.
When D7 is started for the first time, you’ll need to agree to the terms and conditions and then a configuration window will appear when starting D7 for the first time.
You can configure different options in the configuration window. The main D7 window will consist of different tabs which have different set of functions and features. Let’s talk about each tab separately. But first of all, I’ll give some information about the universal menu buttons which are located at the top right of D7 window.
Universal Menu Buttons
There are menu buttons on the top right screen of D7 which include different troubleshooting tools. The first button is the Internet button. It includes many tools to test the internet. D7 also comes with its own browser which can be very helpful in resolving Internet issues. You can also test Flash, Shockwave, Java, Silverlight, PDF and SSL integration. D7 also gives links to download Microsoft Security Essentials and Microsoft System Update Readiness Tool.
The next menu button is User Account Control Settings in which you can configure user logon and user account control options.
The next menu button is the most critical one as it includes all the crucial Windows tools in one place. The tools include MSConfig, Registry Editor, Group Policy Editor, Task Manager, Device Manager etc.
You can also open different important directories with two clicks from the Open Folders menu button.
The last menu button is related to shutdown and restarting the computer. D7 can let you forcefully restart your system if it hangs during shutdown process. You can also delete or replace a file on reboot.
The items in the Tools menu button will only work when the third party tools are copied to the D7 folder. The tools include Process Explorer, Process Monitor, RegLite and BlueScreenView.
The first and default tab shows the information about the computer. The information includes system information including Operating System installed, page file, uptime, system name, user, installation date etc. and hardware information which includes the CPU, RAM, Video, Motherboard and BIOS information. You’ll also get alerts from Event Log, Device Manager and Windows Updates.
The main benefit of maintenance function of D7 is that it can integrate our favorite programs within itself. It will be able to integrate CCleaner, Malwarebytes, Defraggler, DataGrab, Piriform Recuva, TCP Optimizer etc. D7 Auto Mode will automatically run all the maintenance utilities that are installed and integrated with D7.
Integrating 3rd party apps in D7
Integrating 3rd party apps in D7 is very easy. Since D7 is portable software, the folder of D7 will contain everything related to D7. In order to integrate a 3rd party app, you’ll need to create a folder called “3rd Party Tools” in the main D7 folder and then put all the third party apps in their respective folders. For example, if you want to integrate CCleaner, the directory structure will look like this:
D7\\3rd Party Tools\\CCleaner
Integrating Recuva will make the folder structure like this:
D7\\3rd Party Tools\\Recuva
There will be no folder for files from Sysinternals. For example, if you want to integrate Process Explorer, it will go to D7\\3rd Party Tools\\psexec.exe
Repair tab will let you repair the most sensitive Windows issues which are usually corrupted by viruses and malware. For example, D7 will let you examine and modify the Hosts file, clear proxy settings, renew IP given by DHCP, reset network interfaces, repair Winsock and many more.
Tweaks tab will let you tweak many different Windows settings majorly related to the user interface. These tweaks can also be helpful in troubleshooting a corrupted system. For example, many viruses will disable “Show Hidden Files And Folders” setting and will not let you enable it. You can enable the settings through the tweaks tab.
This tab should be handled with great care as it can destroy the system if used improperly. You should note that D7 does not include an automatic malware remover. Instead, it will tell you what is suspicious and what to fix in your system. It will help you create whitelists and blacklists in order to fight malware properly. In order to use this function, you should read the full documentation about Malware tab.
Offline Tools Tab
Offline Tools tab will be used specifically for the problematic computer. If the computer isn’t booting, then D7 will be able to run from a PE environment run from a CD/DVD. Through Offline Tools tab, you’ll be able to edit the registry of Windows without booting into it, check the MBR records, remove policies, reset hidden volumes, get minidumps for further analysis and many other functions.
Problems with D7
There are some problems with D7 which you need to know before using D7:
- D7 is usually slow when starting. It usually becomes unresponsive but after sometime runs properly.
- D7 is only intended for very experienced professionals as most of its functionality can break the computer if used improperly.