Category Archives: IObit

Advanced System Care 6 – Newbie Friendly (With a Little Help)

imageSome months ago, IObit asked that I take a look at their latest Advanced System Care – Version 6 (free edition). Since I’ve reviewed IObit’s various applications as far back as 5 years ago (ancient history in Technology/Internet time) – and, since I’ve generally rated the company’s free offerings at the high end of the scale, it was easy to say “Yes”.

For this particular review though, it was time to do something a little different. Not only would I run with the application for several months (as opposed to my normal test period of two weeks, or so) – but, three of my “I’m only a regular user” friends would run with it as well.

The primary objective of structuring the test in this manner was to to isolate and compare the experiences of a techie, against the real life computing experiences of a “regular” user – one who has little or no understanding of the Registry, Junk Files, …………

There was no miracle transformation during the time that I worked with my small group. They did not magically turn into “super techs.” But, it’s fair to say, that each of them has a better understanding of the relationship between various parts of their OS, and the need to keep the OS neat and tidy.

Equally as important, at least for this review, was the unanimous agreement  (in this small friendly sample), that Advanced System Care, when run regularly, improved their computer experience.

But did it? Let’s find out.

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Installation:

Installation was fast and clean and did not lead to the expected (from the group) – “what’s this” or “what does this mean”, or……………..

User Interface:

As you’ll see in the following screen shots the GUI is relatively uncluttered and straightforward.

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The application is broken down into three modules – CareToolbox – and, Turbo Boost, as shown below.

Care:

Selecting specific settings to apply to a particular action/s can be accomplished by pointing to an item. If the item can be selected, a settings icon will appear as shown below at the arrow. Across the board, the group found this method awkward, easy to miss, and not instinctive.

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The settings menu allows for a considerable degree of choice. Participants in the test found that choosing which repairs to select was, in most instances, easy.  That’s not to say, that the occasional phone call wasn’t required. But, that’s a matter of user experience as opposed to a shortfall in the application.

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The results of a quick scan (less than a minute on a relatively clean system), are shown below.

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Users will have the option of selecting “automatic repair” prior to running the scan. Less experienced users should exercise caution.

Clicking on repair, in this example, completed the job in less than 30 seconds.

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Who makes mistakes? Me, you – we all do!

IObit, recognizing this, has built in a safeguard – the Rescue Center. Each time a cleaning operation is launched, the first process is the creation of a backup point so that Registry, and Internet changes, can be reversed if necessary.

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Bummer Time (or not?) -

From the Quick Settings menu, clicking on “Activate all functions” ……….

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pops up a teaser.

Keeping in mind that this is a FREE product, I must admit to being astonished by the negativity generated on many forums by this teaser. I wonder how these people respond to ads on TV, or in their newspaper – items that they’ve paid for.  

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Toolbox:

The Toolbox is chock full of goodies (lots of goodies) – some of which are in fact, built in OS system tools. Still, having access to a wide range of tools, all in one place, is a bonus.

More advanced users who like to carry around their “IT Toolbox” on their keychain (on a USB stick, of course   Smile) should find the portable tool creation applet worthwhile.

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Overall Rating:

My assessment: A-

On the whole, this application does what it says it will do – and, it’s fast. But, I will mark it down for a rather convoluted settings menu access.

The groups assessment: A+

Participating in an application test was, I think, a bit of a thrill for my guys – particularly one in which (HELP!) was just a call away. What surprised me was, just how quickly folks grasped the fundamentals with just a wee bit of help.

Overall, participants were pleasantly surprised at both the built-in functionality of the application, and the ease of use. And, in what may come as a surprise to more experienced users – participants were astonished at the availability of such a high quality application for FREE.

System requirements: Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, XP and 2000.

Languages: English, Arabic, Belarusian, Czech, ChineseSimp, ChineseTrad, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese(PT-BR), Romanian, Russian, Serbian (cyrillic), Serbian (latin), Slovenian, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese.

Download at: Softpedia

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Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tools, downloads, Freeware, IObit

Giveaway: Advanced SystemCare 5 PRO – Valentine’s Day Feb 14, 0:00 – Feb 14, 24:00 PST (24 Hours Only)

imageIObit has been offering a comprehensive PC care utility (Advanced SystemCare), that takes a one-click approach to help protect, repair, and optimize your computer, since 2006. IObit continues this strong tradition with Advanced SystemCare 5 PRO, which will be available for download on Valentines Day.

Heads up: The free offer is available starting at 12 am PST, February 14, and will last 24 hours only.

Visiting the download site prior to, will generate the following notice.

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Regular readers will know, that I have tested and recommended previous versions of both the free, and pro versions of Advanced SystemCare. While I haven’t yet had a chance to comprehensively test Advanced SystemCare 5 PRO, I have little doubt this version continues to provide a super convenient solution for PC maintenance and protection.

I did however, start it up – perform a quick scan – and was not surprised to see the “Poor” PC Health notice, since this particular test platform is scheduled for an OS reinstall later in the week.

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Advanced SystemCare 5 PRO integrates IObit’s latest Toolbox, which has more than 20 dedicated smart tools for everyday PC maintenance – including tools for system cleaning, optimizing and repairing, tools for security enhancement, and tools for full control over the system.

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Fast facts:

Keeps your PC running at peak performance – Fully optimizes Windows for ultimate system performance and top Internet speed by unleashing the built-in power of your system, based on how you use your PC and your network configuration. It turns your PC into a business PC, a productive workstation, an entertainment center, a game machine, or a scientific computing PC.

Defends PC security with extra protection – Detects and analyzes Windows security environment. Scans and removes spyware and adware using up-to-date definition files in order to prevent spyware, hackers and hijackers from installing malicious programs on your computer. Erases and updates your PC’s activity histories.

One click to solve as many as 10 common PC problems – Advanced SystemCare 5 inherits the ease-of-use from previous versions, with more powerful capabilities. With one click, it scans and repairs ten PC problems and protects your PC from hidden security threats.

Real-time optimization with ActiveBoost function – ActiveBoost, technology that actively runs in the background intelligently managing system resources in real-time, constantly detecting inactive resources and optimizing CPU and RAM usage.

More than 20 dedicated smart tools for everyday PC maintenance – Advanced SystemCare 5 integrates IObit’s latest Toolbox which has more than 20 dedicated smart tools for everyday PC maintenance or advanced needs, including tools for system cleaning, optimizing and repairing, tools for security enhancement, and tools for full control over the system.

Cloud technology to keep database up-to-date – The new “Cloud” technology ensures the database is kept updated at all times so that you can benefit from the latest definitions and configurations.

Boost your PC for working and gaming – You now have two Turbo Boost options, Work Mode and Game Mode. In addition, you can now adjust the configuration of each mode from the main screen.

Next-generation registry deep clean and optimizer – Safely cleans registry junk, compacts registry bloats and defragments the whole registry for maximum performance. Finds and fixes the registry errors that other utilities miss with “Deep Scan” technology.

Automatically works in the background – This powerful utility works continuously, automatically and quietly in the background on your PC. You can set it as your schedule or just let it work automatically when your PC is idle.

Powerful hard drive defragmentation – Fast, powerfully and incredibly effective Disk Defrag function to defragment hard drives – up to 10 times faster than other defragmentation tools.

Bottom line: As well as keeping your machine physically clean, it’s always good practice to keep your computer’s operating system and subsystems clean, so that you can get maximum performance from your machine. This application can certainly help you do just that.

System requirements: Windows 8, Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit), Vista (32-bit and 64-bit), XP (32-bit and 64-bit).

Download: You may download a fully licensed free version of Advanced SystemCare 5 PRO, starting at 12 am PST, February 14, 2012 at: iobit’s Valentines Day Giveaway

Update: February 14, 2012.

Unless you’re prepared for a very long wait for a response from IObit’s mail server, you might be better off avoiding this offer.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, downloads, Free Full Versions, Giveaways, IObit, System Utilities

Is IObit Uninstaller 2.0 A Revo Uninstaller Worthy Competitor?

imageLike most geeks, Revo Uninstaller is my main “go to” program for uninstalling applications – except anti-malware applications, which tend to be tricky to remove. Luckily, AppRemover, a powerful free anti-malware, antivirus application remover, supports the removal of virtually all of the most popular antivirus and antispyware applications.

IObit, the developers of the highly recommended Advanced SystemCare, has spread its wings in the last few years and released a raft of applications (both free and commercial), which cover a broad spectrum of computer consumers’ needs. One of these is IObit Uninstaller – now in its second version – which is designed to go toe-to-toe with the venerable Revo Uninstaller.

IObit Uninstaller 2.0, is a simple executable file which does not require installation – making it suitable for a USB toolbox. I emphasize this point, since I often get reader questions wondering why a particular application is not listed in “All Programs”, or elsewhere.

Since IObit Uninstaller is a simple executable, it’s blazingly fast out of the gate – as it should be – and launches into a simple, and instinctive, user interface.

For this review walkthrough, I have chosen to uninstall an application updater on my test system – Nvidia Update – which, as you can see – IObit Uninstaller has located and listed under “All Programs”.

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Prior to completing the uninstall action, the application offers an opportunity to create a Restore Point.

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In this case, the uninstall process took a matter of just a few seconds following which, a secondary scan (Powerful Scan), was offered. The Powerful Scan has been designed to clean out any leftover entries – including cleaning up the registry.

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As the following screen capture indicates, using the Powerful Scan was a good choice since the initial scan had not deleted the program file directory.

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As illustrated in the following screen shot, IObit Uninstaller offers the user a number of additional uninstall options – other than the straightforward “All Programs” option. You’ll also note, that the application is available in a number of selected languages.

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Fast facts:

Batch Uninstall – Uninstall several applications so easily with just one click.

Standard and Advanced Uninstall – While Standard Uninstall works as the Windows built-in Add/Remove Programs function, Advanced Uninstall function helps you scan Windows registry and hard drive for any possible installation leftovers.

1-Click Toolbars Removal – Annoyed by so many toolbars in your system? Here’s the simplest and fastest solution.

Portable Application – Look for a pure uninstaller that does NOT need an installation and will not screw your system again? IObit Uninstaller is the answer.

Forced Uninstall – Even if a program is not listed in Windows built-in Add/Remove Programs, this feature still can help you automatically find the program’s leftovers and traces in your system and remove them completely.

Log Manager and Restoration – Easily view what has been changed by IObit Uninstaller. Every time an “Advanced Uninstall” is performed, a restore point image will be automatically set for possible future system restoration.

Free and Easy-to-use – No IT knowledge needed, just download it and simply run it to remove all junk programs.

System requirements: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP.

Download at: Softpedia

Frankly, I don’t think either product has a marked competitive advantage – one over the other. Both applications perform essentially the same function – uninstall applications. Still, there are differences that should be noted.

IObit Uninstaller Pluses – The user interface sidebar lists a number of items   that may be important to an average user, including – installed toolbars, recently installed applications, large programs, rarely used applications,  and Windows Updates. Full 64-bit compatibility.

Revo Uninstaller Pluses – Revo Uninstaller (as illustrated in the following graphic), provides an opportunity to dig deep into an application prior to removal and, additional information on an entry can be generated by following the enclosed Google search link.

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The following graphic illustrates additional functionality available in Revo  including – Autorun Manager, Tracks Cleaner and access to Windows System Tools. These additional features may have more value to an advanced user than to an average user.

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In the final analysis – which one is better?

I don’t think it’s quite as simple as to which one is better. But, I do think IObit Uninstaller may be better suited to those users who are not as familiar with system maintenance as more educated users. It seems to me, that Revo Uninstaller has more broad appeal for those users who like to dig just a little deeper.

Additional free uninstaller software - 

MenuUninstaller is a free Context Menu alternative to the Windows Add or Remove Programs applet

SlimCleaner Final – Optimizer, Uninstaller, Shredder and Anti- Hijacker Built In

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Maintenance, downloads, Freeware, IObit, Portable Applications, Software, Uninstall Tools, Windows Tips and Tools

Advanced SystemCare Free – Version 4.0 Blasts Off Today

imageIObit has been offering a comprehensive PC care utility (Advanced SystemCare), that takes a one-click approach to help protect, repair, and optimize your computer, since 2006. IObit continues this strong tradition with the release of Advanced SystemCare Free Version 4.0, which is now available for download.

This latest edition continues to provide a super convenient solution for PC maintenance and protection – including the ability to complete all maintenance in a minute or two, with just one click.

There are a host of improvements in this new edition but, for now, I’ll focus on just two, since I haven’t yet had a chance to comprehensively test the application.

One click to solve as many as 10 common PC problems – With one click, it scans and repairs ten PC problems and protects your PC from hidden security threats. The newly added “Disk Scan” and “Vulnerability Fix”, helps scan and fix disk errors and Windows vulnerabilities.

More than 20 dedicated smart tools for everyday PC maintenance – Replacing the original “Utilities” module in version 3, Advanced SystemCare 4 integrates IObit’s latest Toolbox, which has more than 20 dedicated smart tools for everyday PC maintenance, or advanced needs – including tools for system cleaning, optimizing and repairing, tools for security enhancement, and tools for full control over the system.

Installation and configuration are straightforward and one screen “follow the bouncing ball” simple. I should point out that a toolbar is no longer offered as part of the install.

A new and improved user interface, focuses on  four major PC areas – as shown in the following graphic.

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First pass test scan results, using the Quick Care Module. Click on graphic to expand.

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First pass test scan results, using the Deep Care Module which includes all of the tools in the Quick Care Module plus Passive Defense, Disk Scan, Vulnerability Fix, and Disk Defrag. Click on graphic to expand.

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Newly added Toolbox Module. Click on graphic to expand.

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Turbo Boost Module. I’ve illustrated two functions here. Click on graphics to expand.

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Fast Facts:

Extremely Easy to UseCompletes its work with just one click! Scans, repairs and secures your PC in one minute.

Next-generation Free Windows XP/Vista/7 Registry Cleaner and System OptimizationSafely cleans registry junks, compacts registry bloat and defragments the registry for blistering-fast performance.

Quick and Extensive System Clean-upBoosts your system’s performance with Advanced SystemCare Free, the powerful free XP registry cleaner by cleaning missing files, destroying unwanted files, deleting obsolete files, and removing junk files. Supports deep-cleansing of more than 50 types of junk files.

Speeds Up PC Performance and Internet AccessTunes up Windows by releasing the built-in power of your system. Dramatically improves both system and Internet performance by up to 400%.

Enjoy That New PC Feeling AgainWhatever version of Windows you’re running, enjoy that “good as new” speed usually only experienced on a brand new PC.

Powerful Hard Drive DefragmentationFast, powerfully and incredibly effective Disk Defrag function to defragment hard drives – up to 10 times faster than other defragmentation tools.

Defends PC Security with Extra ProtectionSecure your PC – quickly and easily. Scans and removes spyware and adware using up-to-date definition files. Prevents spyware, hackers and hijackers from installing malicious items on your computer. Erases and updates your PC’s activity history with this powerful free XP registry cleaner. Security and Privacy assured!

Fixes Multiple System ErrorsMore than a mere free XP registry cleaner – keeps your PC stably and running at peak efficiency.

Safe and Free100% free with no spyware or adware! Advanced SystemCare Free is a safe and trusted PC protection and maintenance solution from a leading software vendor.

System requirements: Windows  7, Vista, XP, 2000 (32bit and 64bit).

Download at: Download.com

Bottom line:

As well as keeping your machine physically clean, it is always good practice to keep your computer’s operating system and subsystems clean, so that you can get maximum performance from your machine. This free application can certainly help you do just that.

It’s no accident that Advanced SystemCare  (all versions cumulatively), is listed number one in CNET’s diagnostic software downloads.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tools, downloads, Freeware, Integrated Tune Up Solutions, IObit, Slow Computer, Software, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Smarter Than Ever – IObit Releases Free Smart Defrag 2

IObit announces a new version of their free disk defragment software – Smart Defrag 2.

Defrag In a real sense, it’s often difficult to measure an increase in system performance following Hard Drive defragmentation. Nevertheless, I do agree, that defragging is a positive maintenance process, and should be done regularly.

A  quick recap on disk fragmentation: What is it?

Creating and deleting files and folders, installing new software, and downloading files from the Internet, will cause a Hard Drive to become fragmented. When you delete files or folders, the first available empty spaces on the Hard Drive are filled in randomly when you create new files and folders – as you do when you save pics from your camera, install software, save emails, or create documents.

To keep fragmentation to a minimum, I run the paid version of TuneUp Utilities 2011 in the background, which continuously optimizes, amongst other things, my computer’s hardware, including automatic disk defragging.

The latest release (March 18, 2011 ), of the award winning free system tool, IObit Smart Defrag 2 , can also run on this type of “set and forget” basis. I occasionally hear from users that they can’t remember the last time they defragged their disk/s – they’ll get to it – eventually. But, they don’t have to – IObit Smart Defrag 2, can do this for them on a continuous basis.

Sporting a brand new user interface, (which remains uncluttered), IObit Smart Defrag 2 continues to be easy to use, and as in previous versions – it’s fast and efficient, and best of all, it’s free.

Installation: Be cautious.

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NEW – Boot time defrag allows files which can’t be defragged, or moved while the system is running, to be defragged. These files include pagefile, hibernation file, MFT, and system files.

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If you’re running the automatic defrag feature, you’ll have ready access to a simple reporting tool.

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Running a full defrag, and full optimization (which places  frequently used files and folders into the fastest area of the disk), took just a few minutes.

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Fast facts:

Extremely Fast and Efficient Defragmentation Enhanced – Using IObit’s latest defrag engine and the new “Boot Time Defrag” technology, Smart Defrag 2 has not only the world’s fastest defragmenting speed but also the most advanced defragmenting ability. It’s been specially designed for modern, large hard drives, which eliminates the long waiting time.

Always-on Automatic Defragment Enhanced – Smart Defrag 2 works automatically and quietly in the background, so it continually and constantly keeps your computer fragment-free.

New! “Boot Time Defrag” Technology – Smart Defrag 2 uses a new “Boot Time Defrag” technology which allows you to defrag files during the system boot process – files which cannot be defragged or are not safe to move after the system is already up.

System requirements: Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit), Vista (32-bit and 64-bit), XP (32-bit and 64-bit) with SP2/SP3 or Home/Professional/Media Center, and 2000.

Languages: English, Albanian, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Flemish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italiano, Japanese, Korean, Malayalam, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Vietnamese, 简体中文, 繁體中文.

Download at: Download.com

The addition of a “boot-time defrag” feature (not always available in a free defrager), coupled with an improved defrag engine, makes Smart Defrag 2 a worthy competitor in a crowded freeware defrag market.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tune Up Utilities, Defrag Tools, Defraggers, downloads, Freeware, Hard Drive Tools, IObit, Software, TuneUp Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

IObit’s Advanced SystemCare Free 3.7 DOES NOT Install Spyware

There are times when you have to fall on your sword, and for me, this is one of those times.

On Friday of last week, I posted an article which laid out a case that IObit’s Advanced SystemCare Free 3.7, installed malware on a users machine based on test results (including rough copy), provided to me by an associate who is relatively new to this type of analysis.

The responsibility for posting this false information is mine of course, since I did not perform due diligence prior to posting. If I had, I would have found:

The testing methodology was not up to standard.

The results of the analysis were factually incorrect.

Questions raised following the posting of this article, led me to setup a “test of the test”, in which ten independent technologists installed Advanced SystemCare in an attempt to duplicate the results. In all cases, the application installed correctly with no indication that malware was part of the package.

In the circumstances, I offer my apology to IObit (whose products I have recommended without reservation, numerous times in the past), and to the readers of that particular posting.

Moreover, I apologize to regular readers who have come to depend on factually correct and unbiased product reviews, and recommendations. In this case, I have let you down.

Bill Mullins

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Filed under IObit, Personal Perspective, Software