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Windows Vista is easily one of the most hated products that Microsoft has ever released. It is also the most bloated which means that it has the most features (or so Microsoft likes to call them) which nobody ever gets to use.

Now, contrary to what most people think, I actually believe that Microsoft must have given at least some thought to building all these supposedly great features into Windows Vista. Then, why is it that no one is using them?

I don’t know about the others, but I’ll tell you my reason. I don’t use half of these features because Microsoft has made them too damn hard to find! I find easier to configure and use my favorite Linux distribution than use Windows Vista.

But even I have to use Vista at times. It doesn’t matter that I can never make it work the way I want to, that the most useful tools are almost always hidden away in a menu thirty clicks away.

And that is the biggest reason why I really like Vista Utilities. It collects main Windows Vista features in one place.

vista utilities freeware

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Windows Vista Utilities is a free tool which provides the user with direct and easy access to all Windows Vista utilities and tools. That is what the description says and the software doesn’t disappoint.

The sidebar neatly categorizes the type of tools available under each button. Click on any button in the sidebar and you can access all the tools available under that category in the window pane.

vista utilities download

As you can see, there are a ton of options and possibly every utility bundled with Windows Vista has a place in one of the categories. Here is a screenshot of showing contents of ‘Security’ category

Vista Utilities - Security

Vista Utilities not only saves you time but also makes the Control Panel redundant, which has always been a mess anyway. I’ve always found the Control Panel difficult to navigate and have stopped using it altogether now.

Vista Utilities can be launched at startup and told to sit in the sidebar until needed. Once in the sidebar, a simple right-click brings up a menu giving you easy access to all the great tools, and saves the user the burden of switching applications.

I agree this isn’t one of those tools that you’ll use everyday, but it really does a good job of presenting all the options that a user has and you’ll be thankful that it’s there, the day you need to use it.

Are there any other must-have tools that you guys use to spice up your Vista experience? Share with us your favourite time-savers in the comments.

  1. Sharninder
    November 6, 2008 at 6:48 am

    @AllsoJack: The developer of Vista utilities, Ahmed Osama, has posted a comment explaining why AV software think this is a trojan. This is most definitely a false positive.

  2. AllsoJack
    November 6, 2008 at 5:11 am

    Now guys, any further information available? I use a free AV-Program so i can not use individual customer service of an AV-Company. Did someone get a comment of an antivirus company to these "false positives".

  3. Jack
    October 28, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Softpedia.com says it's false positive

  4. Navjot Singh
    October 28, 2008 at 7:40 am

    Even Kaspersky AV 2009 reports it as trojan.

  5. CaptainMouse64
    October 28, 2008 at 1:56 am

    [THIS COMMENT WAS REMOVED BY ONE OF THE MODERATORS]

    Reason: Irrelevant and Offensive

  6. Ahmed Osama
    October 27, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Hello,

    My name is Ahmed Osama and I am the developer of Vista Utilities

    Vista Utilities 1.2.2.47 is 100% CLEAN, which means it does not contain any form of malware, including spyware, viruses, trojans and backdoors.

    Note: Some antivirus and antispyware programs flag ... as being infected/malware, although the application is perfectly safe and does not pose a threat to your system. This is called a 'false positive'. The term false positive is used when antivirus software wrongly classifies an innocuous ( inoffensive ) file as a virus. The incorrect detection may be due to heuristics or to an incorrect virus signature in a database. [Similar problems can occur with antitrojan or antispyware software.]

    For more information go to this link
    http://www.softpedia.com/progClean/Vista-Utilities-Clean-106849.html

    Why Some antivirus and antispyware tell you that Vista Utilities contains trojans ?

    During the installation process of Vista Utilities it copies Microsoft DOS Commands files to the MS DOS Commands directory, those files are:

    VCompare.exe
    VConvert.exe
    VGetMAC.exe
    VIcacls.exe
    VIpconfig.exe
    VMakecab.exe
    VNbtstat.exe
    VNet.exe
    VNetstat.exe
    VPing.exe
    VProtection.exe
    VRoute.exe
    VTracert.exe

    Vista Utilities uses those files as MS DOS utilities not as trojans, just open any of this files and a MS DOS window will open that contains some help about specific Microsoft DOS command.

    Some antivirus and antispyware programs mark those files as trojans, but it's truly false positive.

  7. Sharninder
    October 27, 2008 at 12:38 am

    @scott: thanks for the info and trying out the software. I used avg and macafee on the utility and that cleared the way for me. Let's see what the developer has to say on this. For now, it definitely looks like a false positive that you're getting.

  8. Bob
    October 26, 2008 at 11:34 am

    I downloaded it again and it went through fine. Could it be the hosting server? I used the download link on the smartpcutilities.bravehost.com which downloads from spuupdateserver.fusedtree.com. Is this a relialable server? Could it be inserting trojans occasionally?

  9. Aart Nicolai
    October 26, 2008 at 11:04 am
  10. Aibek
    October 26, 2008 at 10:39 am

    I tested it as well, seems clean.

  11. Scott
    October 26, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    I downloaded the file from both the author's site & from Softpedia, and ran local scans of each. Both NOD32 & Malwarebytes found no problems with either file.

    I submitted each file to 2 different online multi-scan sites ( virusscan.jotti.org and virustotal.com ), and scanned each file. I found the exact same results for each of the two files at Jotti, and the exact same results for each of the two files at VirusTotal, and the MD5 is the same for each, so I think it's safe to assume you're getting the exact same file from each of the 2 download locations.

    At Jotti, the results were mixed: Most scans found no problem, but others did (5/20). Again, though, it could be false-positives. (Screen shot of results: http://img354.imageshack.us/img354/4297/vistautilitiesscanbo6.png )

    The VirusTotal results were mixed, too: 10/36 flagged the file. (Results page: http://www.virustotal.com/analisis/126ad8aef2a7cf2e6fe254c07ad99f68 )

    HOWEVER, those 2 sites use some of the same malware scanners, but some of the same scanners had different results... On Jotti.org, Avast, AVG, and Panda found no problem, but on VirusTotal.com, Avast, AVG, and Panda found a problem.

    I have a lot of confidence in NOD32 and MalwareBytes, so I'm not concerned. However, I'd be interested in what the author (or an independent party) has to say.

    • Aibek
      October 26, 2008 at 7:05 pm

      Scott, thanks a lot for the info. We have emailed the developer as well, let's see if he can explain us this.

  12. Bob
    October 26, 2008 at 5:46 am

    When I download VistaUtilities, I get an Avast alert saying it contains a Trojan. (Win32-Agent-AAYR [Tri]).

    What's up with that?

    • Scott
      October 26, 2008 at 9:55 am

      Hi, Bob - it may be a false-positive. Prior to downloading VistaUtilities, I ran 2 system scans (NOD32 and MalwareBytes' Anti-Malware), which found no problems. I downloaded the file, scanned the file itself, installed & opened VistaUtilities, and then ran the same 2 scans, and at no time did either find any problems.

      If you're concerned enough, you could contact the developer, and/or submit the file to Avast (if they allow that sort of thing).

  13. cylon64
    October 25, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    Link wasnt working when I tried, Softpedia states its 32bit only! can anyone confirm? Thanks

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