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What's your Top 5 Software that you always install?


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Hi all,


Now that i'm starting out using Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, i'm trying to find what are the most important and common (free) software to have installed and running on Windows Server.


I'm trying to find free software like for example anti-virus, hard drives monitoring, security software, etc.. Not all the software, just the most important.


As an example i have foud and i'm using the as Anti-Virus, the new Avast for Business that is Free for companies (www.avast.com/avast-for-business). Until now im satisfied with the software.


So what is your Top 5 (or if you want Top 10) of software (specially free) that you always install and use in any Windows Server?



Edited by doliveira
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For me the first thing I install ( at least for my last two server builds) are StabilBits DrivePool, followed by Stabilbits DriveScanner



lots of Big Hard drives are the reason for having a server, right ?


The various types of RAID and maybe even storage spaces have some advantages but the Stabil Bits products make drive management almost effortless.


I was hooked when I got my first email from the scanner about a failing drive - and bought the replacement on the way home !

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StableBit Scanner for drive monitoring and checking.  It does more than look at the SMART data, it performs a read only surface scan and a file system scan once a month (configurable). 

StableBit DrivePool for pooling/storage (or just remote control of other systems).


TeraCopy for file copying.

Lock Hunter for dealing with locked files.

RSAT for managing computers on the network.

Notepad++ for a very robust text editor

Paint.net for a photoshop like ability to edit images

WinDirStat for manual disk maintenance

PDFX-Change for a pdf viewer

HashTab for verifying file checksums




For drive monitoring, Acronis Drive Monitor is okay. However, it suffers the normal limitation of not being able to identify drives on any HBA cards. Also, I'm not a fan of anything that lists "drive health" as a percent, as it is always, ALWAYS misleading.

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I am trying the acronis monitor, thanks for that one. hba is not an issue for me. I am too cheap to put sbscanner on my clients :)

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On a Server whose primarily a file server, TreeSoft  from JAM Software, figure out who is stealing your stuff

APC Network Shutdown  manages the VM and Hypervs as well as server in case of poweroutage

MS Forefront AV



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Also, in case it matters, I highly recommend alterativeto.net for looking for software. I know a few other members here recommend it as well. If you know a program that does what you want but you don't like it.... it's a great resource, as it lists ... well, "alternatives to" the specific apps.

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Anyone knows any free or commercial software that can monitor the server cpu, board, etc temperatures and if they get hot, send an email notification / warning?

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Anyone knows any free or commercial software that can monitor the server cpu, board, etc temperatures and if they get hot, send an email notification / warning?

If you don't mind paid, WinSitter will do this. So can Pulseway (much more expensive)


Aside from that, not really.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Pulseway, I second that...I've used it for a few years now and up until they changed their prices I had it on all my computers...now I just have it on the server. It lets you remote manage so much, hyper-v vms, AD, GP almost everything and you can setup alerts for whatever you like as well.

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