Tag Archives: optimization

Free Tweak-SSD – SSD Tweaking and Optimization Software

Back when the World was young (1984) – and, me too for that matter – I bought my first Hard Drive. A mega sized 10 MB HD (yep, 10 MB – not 10 GB) with a seek time of 198 ms. I paid $800 ($1,780 in today’s coin) for this “Model T” of hard drives – which required one to invoke the DOS Park utility to secure the heads in case of misadventure.

It would be an understatement to say that we’ve come a long way since – but, I’ll say it. We’ve come a long way. Mechanical Hard Drives, while not quite passé, are becoming the new “Model T” of storage devices.

SSDs – Solid State Drives – which do not employ any moving mechanical components and, are far less susceptible to physical shock; capable of faster boot times; faster system shutdown; along with faster sleep and hibernation modes, are the choice of “serious” computer users.

I like to think of myself as a serious user so, just as soon as SSDs dropped in price to a reasonable level, off I went to my supplier and walked out with an OCZ Vertex Plus 60GB SATA II SSD (a tiny little thing), in hand.

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Both Windows 7, and Windows 8, set up nicely on an SSD and the OS will optimize the drive, to some extent. But, a user can take the optimization process much further. Doing so can increase an SSD’s response considerably.

I must admit, that I had no reason to quarrel with the response time of my OCZ Vertex Plus. Even so, when I happened to find a free application that promised to optimize the drive even further, to effect an additional increase in speed, I had to give it a try. I’m glad I did.

Tweak-SSD – the freebie version – did exactly as advertised and increased performance noticeably. Some examples:

Boot time is as close to instant on as I’ve seen. No, it’s not really instant on – but, it’s not far off.

MS Word now opens in less than 2 seconds as opposed to 4/5 seconds previously.

Firefox opens virtually instantly.

In fact, broadly speaking, every application on the system opens noticeable faster following Tweak-SSD’s optimization.

Following the first boot after running the application, I’ll tell you frankly – I was astonished with the system performance. Wow, hardly describes my response.

The following is a quick walkthrough with this “push button” application:

A simple click on the Start bar gets the process underway. The application is designed to recommend suggested settings.

Clicking on any screen shot will expand it to it’s original size.

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Fast facts:

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System requirements: Windows 7, Windows 8 (both 32 bit and 64 bit editions).

Download at: Totalidea Software

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, downloads, Freeware, Hard Drive Tools, Solid State Drives

TweakGuides.com – A Tweakers Paradise?

imageComputing is more or less all about generics – a sort of, one size fits all approach. But, if you’re like me, the last thing you want is a machine that’s configured to run with settings which don’t take into account your specific requirements. Luckily, there are more than a few free tweaking apps available, which help average users apply the most common system tweaks.

But, if you’re considering customizations beyond the basics – tweaking your games, browsers, video card, or overclocking your CPU for example, you’re going to have to to dig a little deeper on your own. Unless you’re aware of TweakGuides.com, that is.

If you’re looking for a site that covers tweaking the way it should be covered – detailed, suitable for both novice and advanced users, and written in plain language, then TweakGuides.com is the place for you.

Just some of the goodies available at TweakGuides:

Firefox Tweak Guide

Google Customization Guide

The Gamer’s Graphics & Display Settings Guide

Game Tweak Guides

But, I’ve held onto the best for last – TweakGuides Tweaking Companion – a terrific compilation of Windows customization, optimization and troubleshooting advice for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

From the site:

The TweakGuides Tweaking Companion (TGTC) is the complete system customization and optimization guide for all Windows users. Designed for novice and advanced users alike, it is written in plain English to help you genuinely understand all key aspects of Windows and your PC.

The guide covers every major topic, from the correct installation of critical drivers and software, through to simple explanations and recommendations for every significant Windows setting and feature, all the major performance and convenience tweaks and customizations, as well as detailed troubleshooting advice.

Also provided are links and instructions for a large number of reliable free applications which can enhance your system and give you viable alternatives to purchasing commercial software.

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In all cases, the regular system specific edition of TweakGuides Tweaking Companion (PDF) is free.

Once downloaded, first extract the PDF file from the .ZIP archive using the built-in Windows compression utility, or the free 7-Zip utility. Then use the free Foxit Reader software to read the PDF file.

To round out the free offerings, the site provides a very active forum – the place to go for questions, answers, and advice, on operating systems, software, and hardware.

A big shout out to regular reader Michael F., for introducing me to this super site.  Thank you Michael.

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Filed under downloads, Firefox, Freeware, Google, System Tweaks, Technicians Advise, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Auslogics BoostSpeed 5 – A Powerful “One Stop” Optimization And Maintenance Suite

imageIf you’re a regular visitor to this site you’re more likely than not, a high end power user. As such, you know that simple maintenance, practiced regularly, using the right tools, will keep a PC running smoothly for years.

Better yet, you’re proficient at putting together a toolbox of free system applications designed to correct performance issues that negatively impact your computing experience.

Typical computer users on the other hand, are much less likely to have the experience needed to identify the common problems that have impact on a computer’s speed and behavior, and then match the problems with the appropriate free software solution.

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.

So, average users, for the most part, need an “all-in-one” performance-tuning application designed specifically for this market segment. Preferably, an application that’s comprehensive – yet, “one click” simple. Not an easy task for a product developer – many have tried, but few have really been successful.

Auslogics, well known, to we geeky types, for its free Auslogics Disk Defrag 3.1, is one of those companies that has successfully managed to work within the confines of a “one click” simple solution by developing Auslogics BoostSpeed 5.

Auslogics BoostSpeed 5 can uncover bundles 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.

Let’s take a walkthrough to look at  just some of the powerful features which are available in  Auslogics BoostSpeed 5. Clicking on any screenshot will increase the size to the original.

Installation is simple, following which you will have the opportunity to run BoostSpeed 5 for the first time. On application launch, you will be presented with the following screen.

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Running a system scan, on day one of the test, pulled up the usual Registry errors, and gave me the opportunity to clean out junk files, broken shortcuts, and (most importantly for me), clean the Browser cache.

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Day 2 System scan results: It’s easy to see from this second manual scan, that crud builds up on a PC very quickly.

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Cutting back on crud accumulation is easy with BoostSpeed 5 though. Setting up an appropriate schedule to automatically handle cleanup and repair, is a snap with the built-in scheduler.

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One of the features in the application that caught my attention was the security advice pulled up by the System Advisor. The focus here is on security holes that an average user would lack the background, or experience, to consider.

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On the oft chance that the user makes an error while running a system applet – redemption is just a step away. The Rescue center can reverse changes in any of the applets shown in the following screen capture.

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

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

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Since personal privacy is a major issue for many users, the addition of a disk wipe utility (plus a shredder utility), is a bonus.

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Manipulating Internet settings for best performance is generally a hit and miss operation – many applications which promise to boost performance simply don’t work.

BoostSpeed’s built-in Internet Optimizer did work – at least marginally. I suspect that a typical user might see a more robust difference than I did, since my connection was already heavily tweaked.

A user can chose to manually optimize the connection (not recommended), or preferably, sit back and have the applet do the heavy lifting.

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Finally, all application functions can be accessed from the “right click” context menu, which is reachable from the Taskbar icon as shown in the following screen capture.

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Fast facts:

System Scan

File Recovery

Disk Doctor

Disk Explorer

Disk Defrag

Registry Defrag

PC Disk Cleaner

Registry Cleaner

Internet Optimizer

Windows Tweak Manager

Track Eraser

Duplicate File Finder

File Shredder

Disk Wiper

Boot Time Startup Manager

Uninstall Manager

Service Manager

Task Manager

PC System Information

Task Manager Rescue Center

When I received an invitation to review Auslogics BoostSpeed 5, I wasn’t sure I could do it justice in a short review – the application’s features are so inclusive that it would take a small book to cover all the features, and the related benefits of each. It’s safe to say that this application provides virtually every tool and applet, that an average computer user should need.

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 may find that Auslogics BoostSpeed 5 is worth its $49.95 purchase price.  If you’re not satisfied, Auslogics offers a full refund within 30 days of purchase.

BTW, a  single product license allows installation of the application on three personal PCs.

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

Download a 15 day trial version at: the developer’s site – Auslogics.com

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Auslogics, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tune Up Utilities, downloads, Integrated Tune Up Solutions, New Computer User Software Tools, Slow Computer, Software, Software Trial Versions, System Tweaks, System Utilities

Advanced WindowsCare Personal – Great Free System Optimizer

Advanced WindowsCare Personal, a free all-in-one utility, is a terrific collection of system tools and utilities to fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC. Having tested this application, over the last year or so, I’m convinced that a typical user can really benefit by having this application on their system.

With this free program you can tweak, repair, optimize and improve your system’s performance; and its ease of operation makes it ideal for less experienced users.

You can quickly find the tool you’re looking for: spyware scanner, adware blocker, tracks eraser, registry cleaner, startup manager, junk file cleaner and more. New, or inexperienced users, will love the one click system optimizer which analyzes system configuration and suggests changes to optimize performance. Before making any system changes, Advanced WindowsCare Personal, creates a backup copy first, a very important feature.

Key facts:

Spyware removal – scans and removes spyware and adware.

Security defense – prevents spyware from being installed.

Registry cleaner – scans and cleans your registry to improve your system’s performance. System optimization – optimizes and repairs system configuration

Startup manager – manages programs which run automatically on startup

Privacy sweep – erases all traces, evidence, cookies, internet history and more.

Junk file cleanup – removes junk data from your disks and recovers disk space.

Memory cleaner – monitors and optimizes free memory in the background.

Disk manger – provides detailed information on files and folders

If you need a one click collection of system tools and utilities to help you keep your computer in tip top shape, Advanced WindowsCare Personal should meet your needs and more.

System Requirements: Windows 2000/ XP/ Vista

Download at: Download.com

Glary Utilities is another free all-in-one utility, to fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC that offers additional feature. Check it out on this site at “Glary Utilities – Perfect Collection of Free System Tools”.

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Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Freeware, Memory Optimizers, Privacy, Registry Cleaners, Slow Computer, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Memory Management, System Tweaks, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools