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PC Health Insurance: iolo System Mechanic 9

Health insurance matters for your PC too. And it's not just about emergencies -- it's actually the preventative care and regular healthy practices that can avoid panic calls to the computer doctor.

I'm often uninstalling and reinstalling new applications, so my systems are particularly susceptible to the cruft that Windows systems accumulate over time -- as the hard drive fills up with junk files, disk access slows down with files split up across multiple fragments, and more and more applications insert themselves as part of the start-up process to eat up the processor with background tasks. And even when I'm careful to properly uninstall old applications, it's still amazing so see the junk they leave around, including remnants of orphaned files, broken shortcuts, and unneeded entries in the Windows registry file.

So I've been using iolo technologies System Mechanic as an all-in-one approach to keep my PCs under control, with system and security analysis, repair, and optimization (see previous post).

iolo may not have the name of Symantec / Norton, but System Mechanic has been developed over 11 years, and iolo reports that it is currently the #1 best selling PC tune-up product in the US, Canada, UK, and France.

System Mechanic version 9, released in July, enhances the tests (especially for Windows 7 and new Internet services), speeds up processing, and adds expanded Tune-up Definitions that are downloaded with product updates to further strengthen the testing.

There's also a new EnergyBooster feature to temporarily boost your system performance by shutting down background processes; an integrated Total Registry Revitalizer to clean, compact, repair, and back up the registry; a PC Health Status Gadget for Windows 7 and Vista; and Incinerator features for file and Recycle Bin deletion with DoD security.

System Mechanic has some 40 tools to fix, speed-up, and maintain PCs. It organizes these in an integrated console, so you can choose one of the integrated All-in-one Tools to find and fix system issues, or drill down to the Individual Tools to examine specific problems and customize the repairs.

iolo is currently running deals on its website for System Mechanic 9 -- $49.95 list, $39.95 on the website, with annual renewals for $29.95, or $19.95 for a limited time. Even better, you don't need to buy multiple copies: one license can be installed on up to three machines. The subscription includes automatic upgrades for all version releases, not only minor upgrades, but also major new versions (like this version 9 for existing users). And iolo provides free, unlimited technical support and customer service.

Interested? -- Download the demo version to try it out.

See my full article -- Good PC Health: iolo System Mechanic 9

More on using System Mechanic ...

I like to run the full System Analysis once a month or so, and then step though the reported problems, especially to fix junk in the registry and to find new pieces of applications installed to run at startup. It also reports possible security vulnerabilities, especially file type associations that could be used by viruses.

I'll also run some of the individual tools after major changes to my system, particularly after uninstalling old applications to clean up before installing new versions. There's a surprising amount of junk left over from old apps, so Repair Registry Problems, Clean PC Clutter, and Repair Broken Shortcuts are particularly useful.

Version 9 also expands System Mechanic for configuring your system, including Windows startup and advanced Windows options, as well as measuring and enhancing your system's performance, including the hard drive, Internet bandwidth, and background programs. It also overlaps with firewall applications with its System Guard option for blocking unwanted programs and Internet pages.

You may never use all the options, but, for example, some of the other interesting tools are Optimize Windows Startup, to suggest removing unnecessary startup programs, Monitor Hard Drive Status, with real-time hardware sensor readings, Measure Internet Download Speed, and Track System Changes, to snapshot system status and compare after changes like installing new applications.

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