Any decent sysadmin will have a robust set of tools, probably stored somewhere on a remote server. But what happens when you need some of these powerful tools outside of your network?
In that case, adding portable system administration tools to your arsenal is a fantastic way to stay equipped no matter where you are. Let’s look at a few portable programs that any system administrator could use.
1. Portable TFTPD
We cover the bare basics here. TFTPD32 is your answer for on-the-go file transfer.
It supports a wide range of connection types, including incumbent TFTP, and even comes with a fully functional client interface.
It has some extensive features for security and directory editing, but otherwise this program is kept simple.
To download: Portable TFTPD32 (Free)
2. Portable Wireshark
Wireshark is a reputable network analyzer. It lets you see what’s happening on a network you’re connected to, which is an almost crucial feature to take with you on the go.
The fact that this program comes with a portable variant is what makes Wireshark such a powerful tool. We’ve written about how to scan your network with Wireshark in the past, and the program remains as capable now as it was then.
To download: Portable Wireshark (Free)
3. Handheld Angry IP Scanner
Following Wireshark’s extensive network scanning, Angry IP Scanner will allow you to scan specific IP address ranges, along with their ports.
Use this app to check if certain IP addresses are still active, then use it to troubleshoot hostname issues or perform other diagnostic steps.
To download: Handheld Angry IP Scanner (Free)
4.OpenJDK JRE Portable
Troubleshooting applets that run from the Java framework can be troublesome at the best of times. If you’re working outside of 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 from a cloud folder, external drive, or local folder. It’s basically a way to run some Java applets without installing Java on Windows.
To download: OpenJDK JRE Portable (Free)
5. TightVNC Portable Viewer
TightVNC Viewer will cover most of your remote control needs on the go.
It will allow you to remotely connect to a machine to view its desktop and send mouse and keyboard input. It’s a basic offering, but fully portable, so it’s somewhat expected.
As the name suggests, this is a light or “tight” program. Perfect for a mobile software kit.
To download: TightVNC Viewer Portable (Free)
6. Registry Writer
RegScanner would be a must for most power users.
It is a lightweight program that allows you to scan the registry, either for exact values or by categorical listings.
Quite simple, but very practical to have with you at all times. Not sure why this would be a must-have? We wrote about what the registry is and why you would want to modify it.
To download: RegScanner (Free)
ProduKey shows you product keys for specific Microsoft programs on your PC.
Its execution is very simple, but this utility cannot be overlooked by system administrators, who may need to check activation keys quickly.
The program will display sensitive information, so be careful when opening it. Also, the program will trigger a false positive with some antivirus programs.
This is entirely due to the information it accesses. There’s more information on the download page about the details of this false positive, so be prepared if you’re concerned.
To download: ProductKey (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 the drivers that caused it.
While much of this information could be clarified by more advanced tools, BlueScreenView makes itself essential by being lightweight and completely portable.
To download: BlueScreenView (Free)
System administrators have enough difficulty
It’s already a nightmare trying to juggle advanced networks, so why risk getting caught without proper tools? Portable software kits are extremely useful for anyone involved in system diagnosis or general repair.