Here's a list of some great software I use on a regular basis. This list should help make computer use, troubleshooting, and repair a good deal easier.
First on the list is Ninite. This is a tool that lets you install quite a bit of software at once with minimum work. Great for fresh copies of windows, and a good way to get most of the software I'm going to list.
Ninite - https://ninite.com/
VLC Media Player - http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html
VLC is a great media player, better than standard WMP. It has more options and can play more file types out of the box.
GIMP - http://www.gimp.org/
GNU Image Manipulating Program. It's not as good as photoshop, but it's free, and close. Way better than paint, and acceptable for most things. Ironically, you can google this and the first result isn't a guy in leather.
Open Office - https://www.openoffice.org/
It's like Microsoft Office, but free. There's also a portable version.
MalwareBytes - https://www.malwarebytes.org/
One of the best malware scans out there. The paid version gives you constant protection, but scan and removal is free.
Angry IP Scanner - http://angryip.org/download/#windows
This really just lets you see who and what is using IP addresses on the network. Great for finding stuff. Use Fing on Android.
Restoration - http://download.cnet...4-10322950.html
Sometimes you delete stuff you don't want to, this is how you get it back.
I also suggest having a Linux live disk, it can make some things a lot easier on a corrupted computer.