Any decent system administrator is going to have a robust set of tools, most likely stored away on a remote server somewhere. But what happens when you need some of those powerful tools outside your network?
In this case, adding some portable system admin tools to your arsenal is a fantastic way to stay equipped no matter where you are. Let’s look at some portable programs that any system administrator could use.
1. TFTPD Portable
We’re covering the bare basics here. TFTPD32 is your answer for file transferring on the go.
It supports a wide range of connection types, including the titular TFTP, and even comes with a fully functional client interface.
It has certain extended features for security and directory modification, but otherwise, this program keeps it simple.
Download: TFTPD32 Portable (Free)
2. Wireshark Portable
Wireshark is an esteemed network analyzer. It allows you to see what’s happening on a network you’re connected to, which is a function that’s almost crucial to bring with you on the go.
The fact this program comes with a portable variant is what makes Wireshark such a powerful tool. We’ve written on how to analyze your network with Wireshark in the past, and the program remains as capable now as it was then.
Download: Wireshark Portable (Free)
3. Angry IP Scanner Portable
Following up on Wireshark’s broad network analysis, Angry IP Scanner will let you scan specific IP ranges, as well as their ports.
Use this app to check if certain IP addresses are still active, and then use it to resolve hostname issues or run through other diagnostic steps.
Download: Angry IP Scanner Portable (Free)
4. OpenJDK JRE Portable
Troubleshooting applets that run off the Java framework can be troublesome at the best of times. If you’re working outside your network environment, or on a machine that doesn’t have Java installed at all, it’s a complete non-starter.
OpenJDK has a portable variant that can run off of a cloud folder, external drive, or local folder. It’s basically a way to run some Java applets without installing Java to Windows.
Download: OpenJDK JRE Portable (Free)
5. TightVNC Viewer Portable
TightVNC Viewer will cover most of your remote control needs while on the go.
It will allow you to connect remotely to a machine to view its desktop and send mouse and keyboard inputs. It’s basic, but a completely portable offering, so it’s somewhat expected.
As the name implies, this is a lightweight or “tight” program. Perfect for an on-the-go software kit.
Download: TightVNC Viewer Portable (Free)
RegScanner would be a must-have for most power users.
It’s a lightweight program that allows you to scan the registry, either for exact values or by categorical listings.
Pretty simple, but very handy to have with you at all times. Not sure why this would be a must-have? We’ve written about what the registry is and why you’d want to edit it.
Download: RegScanner (Free)
ProduKey shows you the product keys for specific Microsoft programs on your PC.
It’s very simple in execution, but this utility cannot be overlooked by system administrators, who may need to quickly check activation keys.
The program will display sensitive information, so do be careful when opening it. Additionally, the program will trigger a false positive with certain antivirus programs.
This is entirely due to the information it accesses. There is more information on the download page on the details of this false positive, so ready carefully if you’re concerned.
Download: ProduKey (Free)
BlueScreenView is a fantastic tool to use when you want to analyze minidump files created during a blue screen of death.
It will collect all relevant information that a blue screen will generate, down to the timestamp and drivers that caused it.
While much of this information could be gleamed by more advanced tools, BlueScreenView makes itself essential by being lightweight and completely portable.
Download: BlueScreenView (Free)
System Administrators Have It Hard Enough
It’s already a nightmare trying to juggle advanced networks, so why risk getting caught out without proper tools? Portable software kits are extremely helpful for anyone involved in system diagnostics or general repair.