Tag Archives: defrag

Softpedia’s Unlimited Giveaway for System Mechanic 10.5 – Today ONLY

System Mechanic (normally $49.95) can be had, today only, for FREE, over at Softpedia. A big “Thank You” to regular reader Charlie L., for one more super heads up.

System Mechanic is a highly effective performance-tuning application designed for the average user.  System Mechanic is the most inclusive system application I have ever tested. And, the developers have managed to do this in such a way, that an average user does not have to drill down through complex menu structures to correct performance issues that negatively impact his computing experience.

You can read a full, hands on review of System Mechanic 10, originally posted here October 29, 2010.

System Mechanic 10 – A One Click Computer Maintenance Solution

imageIt’s difficult to be in IT and avoid being asked for advice on computers – everything from operating systems – (should I be running Windows 7?); malware – (is the Internet really unsafe?); problems – (what’s wrong with my computer? It’s always…..); and my favorite question – why is my computer so slow?

Usually, the “why is my computer so slow?” question, comes up because the user is fed up with slow, and unreliable performance. Surprisingly, the answer to this common question is pretty simple, and in most cases the problems are easy to correct.

As most experienced users know, PCs don’t slow down without a reason. All computers have characteristic operating patterns that lead to predictable, but preventable issues. Simple maintenance, practiced regularly, which is easy even for a non-expert, if he’s using the right tools, will keep a PC running smoothly for years.

Regular readers here are use to reading reviews on free, quality applications, that help users identify the most common problems that have impact on a computer’s speed and behavior, and then match the problems with the appropriate free software solution.

That works very well for the kind of readers that this site attracts – generally high end power users, or users who are intend on learning. But, for an average computer user, putting together a toolbox of free system applications may not be a complete and effective solution.

And that brings me to System Mechanic – a highly effective performance-tuning application designed for the average user.  System Mechanic is the most inclusive system application I have ever tested. And, the developers have managed to do this in such a way, that an average user does not have to drill down through complex menu structures to correct performance issues that negatively impact his computing experience.

System Mechanic can uncover literally hundreds of issues that can impact a computer’s performance and reliability, and then correct identified problems – often, with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Installation is simple, following which you will have the opportunity to run System Mechanic for the first time. On launch you will be presented with the following screen. You’ll notice that you won’t be left on your own to figure things out – System Mechanic has some great tutorials, including videos, to get you started.

(All screen shots are taken from my test machine – clicking on any graphic will expand it to its original size).

image

First up is a System Analysis – available in two flavors: Quick Analysis, or Deep Analysis.

image

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In this test,  the Quick Analysis took under a minute on my Windows 7 machine, and the Deep Analysis took less than 4 minutes on the same machine.

image

The application provides a breakdown of the issues that need to be addressed, and offers an automated solution.

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Having corrected the 7 issues affecting overall performance on the test platform I then kicked in to “Active Care” mode, so that the program could automatically deal with additional issues that would, over time, negatively impact performance.

image

(partial list only)

Tool, tools, and more tools; each one designed to address specific system issues, are a strong point of System Mechanic – as the following screen capture illustrates.

image

For power users, each tool is broken down into sub- categories, giving the user fine control over relative issues.

image

Two weeks after installing System Mechanic on a test system that gets a very heavy duty workout on a daily basis, System Status remains “Good”.  Given the grind that this machine is put through every day, this is a very impressive result.

image

Fast facts:

ActiveCare – automatically and effortlessly fixes and maintains your PC during idle time, keeping your system running like new.

Optimize your PC for peak performance

Repair problems and errors, and prevent them from recurring

Clean up system clutter

Fix security vulnerabilities

Maintain reliability and speed

Cleans, defrags, & repairs registry

Accelerates PC startup 19 ways

Defrags & recovers orphaned RAM

Defrag

Complete low-level drive defrag

Turns off unused background programs

Perform dozens of performance boosting optimizations in one step

Straightforward actions to fix all problems or only those you want

PC Health Status Gadget for Windows 7 and Vista

For additional specific information please go to Softpedia.

System requirements: Windows 7/Vista/XP (64 or 32-bit).

Download a trial version at: The developer’s site – (Iolo).

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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6 Comments

Filed under downloads, Free Full Versions, Giveaways, Integrated Tune Up Solutions, System 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.

image

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.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

10 Comments

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

5 License Giveaway Of TuneUp Utilities 2011 – Two Days Left!

Two Days Left! It’s not too late to get your entry in!

As part of Tech Thoughts “Keep your PC in top shape focus”, TuneUp Utilities has generously provided me with 5 free licenses for TuneUp Utilities 2011, (retail value 49.95).

To enter the contest to win a free license, simply add a comment at the end of this article. On December 7, 2010, all comments will be added to the online List Randomizer, and the first 5 names that come up, will win a free license (installable on up to 3 PCs), for this award winning application.

As with previous giveaways, you don’t need to write a paragraph – “enter me”, or something similar, is enough. There’s no need for me to acknowledge your entry, but rest assured, if you comment – you’re in.

Good luck!

Read the following review, and I’m sure you’ll agree; this is a contest worth entering!

TuneUp Utilities 2011 – Tune Up Your PC To The Max

 

imageIf you’re an average PC user, I’m willing to wager that your computer underperforms. Getting the best out of your PC – getting what you paid for from that high powered beast, is more complex than it has ever been.

Sure, if you are technically competent, you are likely aware of, and comfortable using, any number of free system tools readable available for download on the Internet – tools that can act as a helpmate in tweaking and maintaining computers.

But, typical users need more than just a helpmate application to assist them in tweaking and maintaining their computers. Drilling down through complicated operating system structures to get maximum performance from an operating system, is generally outside the range of a typical computer users skill set.

Just like high end users though, average users want maximum performance  from their machines as well – if they only knew how. Luckily, there are applications designed specifically for average users that take the “if they only knew how”, out of the equation. Applications that make it easy for a typical user to achieve the same level of high performance, as a techie.

Despite the fact that I’m a huge fan of free software, I have to admit – there are times when only a commercial application will meet all of a typical users tune up needs, in one application. And that brings me to TuneUp Utilities 2011.

I’ve been using TuneUp Utilities since 2003, and I’ve come to rely on it to help me get the very best out of all my machines. Despite the fact that I’m a huge fan of free software, there are times when only a commercial application will meet all of my needs in one interface.

Let’s take a walkthrough to look at  just some of the powerful features which are available in  TuneUp Utilities 2011. Clicking on any screenshot will increase the size to the original.

Following installation, you will have the opportunity to analyze your computer to search out issue that are negatively impact performance.

image

When the analysis phase is completed,  system issues that require action can be dealt with easily and quickly.

image

All system issues have been fixed and all recommendations show green across the board.

image

If you prefer not to go the automatic route, an abundance of applets (32 in total), are available to analyze and repair, maintain and improve, and configure the operating system, as the following screen capture shows.

image

The “fix problems” applet shows here, that Windows Media Player presented a problem with my personal privacy on the test machine, which was easily fixed.

image

Common computer problems are a snap for TuneUp Utilities 2011 to deal with. Simply select the problem, and in a couple of clicks the issue is resolved.

image

Customizing Windows to get that “just you” look, couldn’t be easier. Virtually every Windows element can be customized.

image

For this test, I set TuneUp utilities to run once every 3 days, and after 9 days of operation you can see from the screen shot, the machine remains fully optimized.

image

Since I last tested TuneUp Utilities in October 2009, the developer’s have made substantial improvements to an already top notch application – including the following:

TuneUp Program Deactivator with TuneUp Programs-on-Demand Technology – For the first time ever, you can turn off programs completely and drastically reduce the load on your PC: The services, startup entries, background processes, or scheduled tasks in a program that are turned off will remain inactive until you need them again.

TuneUp Start Center – Thanks to the fresh look of the Start Center, users will find all optimization features in seconds: Features stand out more clearly as they are now divided into five categories for maximum readability and immediate access. TuneUp Utilities tuning highlights appear immediately under the categories of “Status & recommendations”, “Optimize system”, “Gain disk space”, “Fix problems”, and “Customize Windows”.

TuneUp Turbo Mode – With a single mouse ‐click, shut down over 70 background processes that slow down Windows 7, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. By pressing a button, you get an immediate boost of power when working at your PC, a smoother gameplay, and complete control over background activities that slow down your computer.

Tuning status – Tuning status shows how many optimizations have already been performed with TuneUp Utilities, and what potential for optimization still remains. You will never forget or overlook a single tuning measure again!

Rating function for programs – The experiences of countless TuneUp Utilities users help you make the best tuning decisions. Windows performs best and is most effective when you turn off programs, deactivate startup entries and/or uninstall third‐party software that you don’t need on a daily basis. But it’s often unclear what lies behind a cryptic program entry. The new rating functions supports you here to make better decisions on each program.

Overview of all functions pane – Made for true Windows experts: The new “Overview of all functions” view on the Start Center gives you instant access to all TuneUp Utilities™ features and settings—32 in total!

As with previous reviews of  TuneUp Utilities, I could go on and on describing the additional features that are included in this terrific application but, I think you get the point. This program is overwhelmingly inclusive, and provides virtually every tool and applet, that an average computer user is ever likely to need.

Is it worth $49.95 for a 3 machine (many of us have more than one computer), license? In my view the answer is a definite – yes. TuneUp Utilities 2011 is easier to use than ever, is overwhelmingly inclusive, and provides virtually every tool and applet, that an average computer user is ever likely to need.

Take a free test run on TuneUp Utilities 2011 for 15 days, and see if you don’t agree that this is one commercial application that offers excellent value.

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

Download a fully functional 15 day trial version at: TuneUp Utilities

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

35 Comments

Filed under Contests, Giveaways, Integrated Tune Up Solutions, Slow Computer, Software, Software Giveaways, System Utilities, TuneUp Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

TuneUp Utilities 2011 – Five License Giveaway!

I’m stepping back slightly from what I said earlier this year in “Software License Giveaways – Go Big Or Go Home”, and instead, I will continue to host license giveaways for applications from mature software developers. The type of applications that have real value for an average user.

As part of Tech Thoughts “Keep your PC in top shape focus”, TuneUp Utilities has generously provided me with 5 free licenses for TuneUp Utilities 2011, (retail value 49.95).

To enter the contest to win a free license, simply add a comment at the end of this article. On December 7, 2010, all comments will be added to the online List Randomizer, and the first 5 names that come up, will win a free license (installable on up to 3 PCs), for this award winning application.

As with previous giveaways, you don’t need to write a paragraph – “enter me”, or something similar, is enough. There’s no need for me to acknowledge your entry, but rest assured, if you comment – you’re in.

Good luck!

Read the following review, and I’m sure you’ll agree; this is a contest worth entering!

TuneUp Utilities 2011 – Tune Up Your PC To The Max

imageIf you’re an average PC user, I’m willing to wager that your computer underperforms. Getting the best out of your PC – getting what you paid for from that high powered beast, is more complex than it has ever been.

Sure, if you are technically competent, you are likely aware of, and comfortable using, any number of free system tools readable available for download on the Internet – tools that can act as a helpmate in tweaking and maintaining computers.

But, typical users need more than just a helpmate application to assist them in tweaking and maintaining their computers. Drilling down through complicated operating system structures to get maximum performance from an operating system, is generally outside the range of a typical computer users skill set.

Just like high end users though, average users want maximum performance  from their machines as well – if they only knew how. Luckily, there are applications designed specifically for average users that take the “if they only knew how”, out of the equation. Applications that make it easy for a typical user to achieve the same level of high performance, as a techie.

Despite the fact that I’m a huge fan of free software, I have to admit – there are times when only a commercial application will meet all of a typical users tune up needs, in one application. And that brings me to TuneUp Utilities 2011.

I’ve been using TuneUp Utilities since 2003, and I’ve come to rely on it to help me get the very best out of all my machines. Despite the fact that I’m a huge fan of free software, there are times when only a commercial application will meet all of my needs in one interface.

Let’s take a walkthrough to look at  just some of the powerful features which are available in  TuneUp Utilities 2011. Clicking on any screenshot will increase the size to the original.

Following installation, you will have the opportunity to analyze your computer to search out issue that are negatively impact performance.

image

When the analysis phase is completed,  system issues that require action can be dealt with easily and quickly.

image

All system issues have been fixed and all recommendations show green across the board.

image

If you prefer not to go the automatic route, an abundance of applets (32 in total), are available to analyze and repair, maintain and improve, and configure the operating system, as the following screen capture shows.

image

The “fix problems” applet shows here, that Windows Media Player presented a problem with my personal privacy on the test machine, which was easily fixed.

image

Common computer problems are a snap for TuneUp Utilities 2011 to deal with. Simply select the problem, and in a couple of clicks the issue is resolved.

image

Customizing Windows to get that “just you” look, couldn’t be easier. Virtually every Windows element can be customized.

image

For this test, I set TuneUp utilities to run once every 3 days, and after 9 days of operation you can see from the screen shot, the machine remains fully optimized.

image

Since I last tested TuneUp Utilities in October 2009, the developer’s have made substantial improvements to an already top notch application – including the following:

TuneUp Program Deactivator with TuneUp Programs-on-Demand Technology – For the first time ever, you can turn off programs completely and drastically reduce the load on your PC: The services, startup entries, background processes, or scheduled tasks in a program that are turned off will remain inactive until you need them again.

TuneUp Start Center – Thanks to the fresh look of the Start Center, users will find all optimization features in seconds: Features stand out more clearly as they are now divided into five categories for maximum readability and immediate access. TuneUp Utilities tuning highlights appear immediately under the categories of “Status & recommendations”, “Optimize system”, “Gain disk space”, “Fix problems”, and “Customize Windows”.

TuneUp Turbo Mode – With a single mouse ‐click, shut down over 70 background processes that slow down Windows 7, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. By pressing a button, you get an immediate boost of power when working at your PC, a smoother gameplay, and complete control over background activities that slow down your computer.

Tuning status – Tuning status shows how many optimizations have already been performed with TuneUp Utilities, and what potential for optimization still remains. You will never forget or overlook a single tuning measure again!

Rating function for programs – The experiences of countless TuneUp Utilities users help you make the best tuning decisions. Windows performs best and is most effective when you turn off programs, deactivate startup entries and/or uninstall third‐party software that you don’t need on a daily basis. But it’s often unclear what lies behind a cryptic program entry. The new rating functions supports you here to make better decisions on each program.

Overview of all functions pane – Made for true Windows experts: The new “Overview of all functions” view on the Start Center gives you instant access to all TuneUp Utilities™ features and settings—32 in total!

As with previous reviews of  TuneUp Utilities, I could go on and on describing the additional features that are included in this terrific application but, I think you get the point. This program is overwhelmingly inclusive, and provides virtually every tool and applet, that an average computer user is ever likely to need.

Is it worth $49.95 for a 3 machine (many of us have more than one computer), license? In my view the answer is a definite – yes. TuneUp Utilities 2011 is easier to use than ever, is overwhelmingly inclusive, and provides virtually every tool and applet, that an average computer user is ever likely to need.

Take a free test run on TuneUp Utilities 2011 for 15 days, and see if you don’t agree that this is one commercial application that offers excellent value.

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

Download a fully functional 15 day trial version at: TuneUp Utilities

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

157 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tools, Computer Tune Up Utilities, Giveaways, Integrated Tune Up Solutions, New Computer User Software Tools, Software, Software Giveaways, System Tweaks, System Utilities, TuneUp Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

TuneUp Utilities 2011 – Tune Up Your PC To The Max

imageIf you’re an average PC user, I’m willing to wager that your computer underperforms. Getting the best out of your PC – getting what you paid for from that high powered beast, is more complex than it has ever been.

Sure, if you are technically competent, you are likely aware of, and comfortable using, any number of free system tools readable available for download on the Internet – tools that can act as a helpmate in tweaking and maintaining computers.

But, typical users need more than just a helpmate application to assist them in tweaking and maintaining their computers. Drilling down through complicated operating system structures to get maximum performance from an operating system, is generally outside the range of a typical computer users skill set.

Just like high end users though, average users want maximum performance  from their machines as well – if they only knew how. Luckily, there are applications designed specifically for average users that take the “if they only knew how”, out of the equation. Applications that make it easy for a typical user to achieve the same level of high performance, as a techie.

Despite the fact that I’m a huge fan of free software, I have to admit – there are times when only a commercial application will meet all of a typical users tune up needs, in one application. And that brings me to TuneUp Utilities 2011.

I’ve been using TuneUp Utilities since 2003, and I’ve come to rely on it to help me get the very best out of all my machines. Despite the fact that I’m a huge fan of free software, there are times when only a commercial application will meet all of my needs in one interface.

Let’s take a walkthrough to look at  just some of the powerful features which are available in  TuneUp Utilities 2011. Clicking on any screenshot will increase the size to the original.

Following installation, you will have the opportunity to analyze your computer to search out issue that are negatively impact performance.

image

When the analysis phase is completed,  system issues that require action can be dealt with easily and quickly.

image

All system issues have been fixed and all recommendations show green across the board.

image

If you prefer not to go the automatic route, an abundance of applets (32 in total), are available to analyze and repair, maintain and improve, and configure the operating system, as the following screen capture shows.

image

The “fix problems” applet shows here, that Windows Media Player presented a problem with my personal privacy on the test machine, which was easily fixed.

image

Common computer problems are a snap for TuneUp Utilities 2011 to deal with. Simply select the problem, and in a couple of clicks the issue is resolved.

image

Customizing Windows to get that “just you” look, couldn’t be easier. Virtually every Windows element can be customized.

image

For this test, I set TuneUp utilities to run once every 3 days, and after 9 days of operation you can see from the screen shot, the machine remains fully optimized.

image

Since I last tested TuneUp Utilities in October 2009, the developer’s have made substantial improvements to an already top notch application – including the following:

TuneUp Program Deactivator with TuneUp Programs-on-Demand Technology – For the first time ever, you can turn off programs completely and drastically reduce the load on your PC: The services, startup entries, background processes, or scheduled tasks in a program that are turned off will remain inactive until you need them again.

TuneUp Start Center – Thanks to the fresh look of the Start Center, users will find all optimization features in seconds: Features stand out more clearly as they are now divided into five categories for maximum readability and immediate access. TuneUp Utilities tuning highlights appear immediately under the categories of “Status & recommendations”, “Optimize system”, “Gain disk space”, “Fix problems”, and “Customize Windows”.

TuneUp Turbo Mode – With a single mouse ‐click, shut down over 70 background processes that slow down Windows 7, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. By pressing a button, you get an immediate boost of power when working at your PC, a smoother gameplay, and complete control over background activities that slow down your computer.

Tuning status – Tuning status shows how many optimizations have already been performed with TuneUp Utilities, and what potential for optimization still remains. You will never forget or overlook a single tuning measure again!

Rating function for programs – The experiences of countless TuneUp Utilities users help you make the best tuning decisions. Windows performs best and is most effective when you turn off programs, deactivate startup entries and/or uninstall third‐party software that you don’t need on a daily basis. But it’s often unclear what lies behind a cryptic program entry. The new rating functions supports you here to make better decisions on each program.

Overview of all functions pane – Made for true Windows experts: The new “Overview of all functions” view on the Start Center gives you instant access to all TuneUp Utilities™ features and settings—32 in total!

As with previous reviews of  TuneUp Utilities, I could go on and on describing the additional features that are included in this terrific application but, I think you get the point. This program is overwhelmingly inclusive, and provides virtually every tool and applet, that an average computer user is ever likely to need.

Is it worth $49.95 US for a 3 machine (many of us have more than one computer), license? In my view the answer is a definite – yes. TuneUp Utilities 2011 is easier to use than ever, is overwhelmingly inclusive, and provides virtually every tool and applet, that an average computer user is ever likely to need.

Take a free test run on TuneUp Utilities 2011 for 15 days, and see if you don’t agree that this is one commercial application that offers excellent value.

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

Download a fully functional 15 day trial version at: TuneUp Utilities

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

9 Comments

Filed under Computer Maintenance, Computer Tune Up Utilities, downloads, Integrated Tune Up Solutions, Software, Software Trial Versions, System Tweaks, System Utilities, TuneUp Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Optimize Your Hard Drive/s With Free Auslogics Disk Defrag 3.1

A  quick recap of disk fragmentation:

Fragmentation is caused by creating and deleting files and folders, installing new software, and downloading files from the Internet. 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.

Despite the fact that their is some disagreement as to the value of defragging modern Hard Drives, there is a slight leaning in the tech community toward defragmentation being a positive maintenance process. I support this point of view.

Seven million downloads of Auslogics Disk Defrag from CNET, and an average user rating of 4.5 Stars speaks to the value of this small application, and to the popularity of defragging.

The application (last updated October, 2010), is extremely easy to use, does not require any analysis phase and is faster than most disk defragmentation software I’ve tested in the past, and best of all, it’s free.

Auslogics Disk Defrag 3.1, can be run on a  “set and forget” basis. I occasionally hear from users that they can’t remember the last time they defragged their disk/s – but they’ll get to it – eventually. But they don’t have to – Auslogics Disk Defrag 3.1, can do it for them on a continuous basis.

The user interface is uncluttered and as simple to follow as any I’ve seen. The following graphics illustrate just how easy it is to get Auslogics Disk Defrag 3.1 up and running.

image

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Fast facts:

Optimizes file system

Disk Defrag will speed up your computer by moving system files to the fastest part of the disk. It will also move data files from the MFT Reserved Zone to prevent MFT fragmentation.

Consolidates free space

In addition to defragmenting your files, Disk Defrag can defragment free disk space. The free space is merged into a large contiguous block, which is an effective way of preventing file fragmentation.

Can defrag automatically

This feature ensures that file fragmentation is eliminated as soon as it occurs. You can set Disk Defrag to run automatically when your system goes idle. The program will analyze the disks and defragment them in the background if required.

Provides flexible scheduler

Defragmentation yields better results when it is performed on a regular basis. Disk Defrag is supplied with a flexible scheduler that will help you to schedule defragmentation according to your needs.

Can defrag a single file or folder

Have no time for defragmenting the entire hard drive? With Disk Defrag you can defragment a single file, several files or a folder.

Supports multi-terabyte volumes

Disk Defrag is supplied with a powerful engine that can easily defragment large multi-terabyte volumes. It can also defragment several drives at once, which makes the defragmentation process a lot faster.

Compact & Fast

Smart defragmentation algorithms allow Disk Defrag to run much faster than similar defragmenters and consume less system resources.

Before you begin the defrag process, I suggest that you run a program such as CCleaner, which will empty your Recycle Bin, Temporary Internet Files folder, and other locations where clutter tends to accumulate on your PC.

As well, you should consider uninstalling any applications you no longer use. Revo Uninstaller is a free utility that will uninstall unneeded applications more thoroughly than the Windows native uninstaller.

These steps are not absolutely necessary but, they are a good practice.

System requirements: Windows 7, Vista/XP/2000/2003, 32-bit and 64-bit and dual-core CPU supported.

Download at: Download.com

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

9 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, Defrag Tools, downloads, Freeware, Hard Drive Tools, Slow Computer, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

System Mechanic 10 – A One Click Computer Maintenance Solution

imageIt’s difficult to be in IT and avoid being asked for advice on computers – everything from operating systems – (should I be running Windows 7?); malware – (is the Internet really unsafe?); problems – (what’s wrong with my computer? It’s always…..); and my favorite question – why is my computer so slow?

Usually, the “why is my computer so slow?” question, comes up because the user is fed up with slow, and unreliable performance. Surprisingly, the answer to this common question is pretty simple, and in most cases the problems are easy to correct.

As most experienced users know, PCs don’t slow down without a reason. All computers have characteristic operating patterns that lead to predictable, but preventable issues. Simple maintenance, practiced regularly, which is easy even for a non-expert, if he’s using the right tools, will keep a PC running smoothly for years.

Regular readers here are use to reading reviews on free, quality applications, that help users identify the most common problems that have impact on a computer’s speed and behavior, and then match the problems with the appropriate free software solution.

That works very well for the kind of readers that this site attracts – generally high end power users, or users who are intend on learning. But, for an average computer user, putting together a toolbox of free system applications may not be a complete and effective solution.

And that brings me to System Mechanic – a highly effective performance-tuning application designed for the average user.  System Mechanic is the most inclusive system application I have ever tested. And, the developers have managed to do this in such a way, that an average user does not have to drill down through complex menu structures to correct performance issues that negatively impact his computing experience.

System Mechanic can uncover literally hundreds of issues that can impact a computer’s performance and reliability, and then correct identified problems – often, with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Installation is simple, following which you will have the opportunity to run System Mechanic for the first time. On launch you will be presented with the following screen. You’ll notice that you won’t be left on your own to figure things out – System Mechanic has some great tutorials, including videos, to get you started.

(All screen shots are taken from my test machine – clicking on any graphic will expand it to its original size).

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First up is a System Analysis – available in two flavors: Quick Analysis, or Deep Analysis.

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In this test,  the Quick Analysis took under a minute on my Windows 7 machine, and the Deep Analysis took less than 4 minutes on the same machine.

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The application provides a breakdown of the issues that need to be addressed, and offers an automated solution.

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Having corrected the 7 issues affecting overall performance on the test platform I then kicked in to “Active Care” mode, so that the program could automatically deal with additional issues that would, over time, negatively impact performance.

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(partial list only)

Tool, tools, and more tools; each one designed to address specific system issues, are a strong point of System Mechanic – as the following screen capture illustrates.

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For power users, each tool is broken down into sub- categories, giving the user fine control over relative issues.

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Two weeks after installing System Mechanic on a test system that gets a very heavy duty workout on a daily basis, System Status remains “Good”.  Given the grind that this machine is put through every day, this is a very impressive result.

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Fast facts:

ActiveCare – automatically and effortlessly fixes and maintains your PC during idle time, keeping your system running like new.

Optimize your PC for peak performance

Repair problems and errors, and prevent them from recurring

Clean up system clutter

Fix security vulnerabilities

Maintain reliability and speed

Cleans, defrags, & repairs registry

Accelerates PC startup 19 ways

Defrags & recovers orphaned RAM

Defrag

Complete low-level drive defrag

Turns off unused background programs

Perform dozens of performance boosting optimizations in one step

Straightforward actions to fix all problems or only those you want

PC Health Status Gadget for Windows 7 and Vista

For additional specific information please click on links to the developer’s site.

Individual Tools

Such as Startup Optimizer™ and EnergyBooster™ for users who want total control.

All-in-one Tools

Such as PC Accelerator™ that supercharges your PC up to 300% by running multiple performance-enhancing and speed boosting tools at once.


Patent-pending 

ActiveCare®

Automatically and effortlessly fix and maintain your PC during idle time, keeping your system running like new.

If you’re an average user, disappointed with your computer’s performance, or you’re just tired of having to deal with reoccurring unexplained issues, you’ll find that System Mechanic is worth every penny of its $39.95 purchase price.

BTW, a  single product license allows installation of the application on all of your personal PCs. Since many of us now have more than one computer, hopefully, more software vendors will follow Iolo’s innovative pricing structure.

System requirements: Windows 7/Vista/XP (64 or 32-bit).

Download a trial version at: The developer’s site – (Iolo).

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tools, Computer Tune Up Utilities, downloads, Slow Computer, Software, Software Trial Versions, System Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP