Continuation of my evaluation of TuneUp Utilities 2010 versus System Mechanic 9.5.5 that I started on Jan. 15. If you want to read the whole evaluation saga, blow-by-blow, twist-by-twist here is the Jan. 15 first post and the Jan. 16 second post.
On Friday night I ran TuneUp Utilties’ 1-click maintenance three times in a row until it told me that there were NO PROBLEMS on my PC. I had also done a registry compact using TuneUp Utilities and had the C-disk checked, thoroughly, by Windows.
To keep this as pithy as possible, I will try it in bullet form, each bullet dealing, chronologically, with the sequence of events:
- Just to make sure that TuneUp Utilities was ‘A-OK’ with the PC I ran it again. Now, I had shut-down that PC after I had previously run TuneUp Utilities. So all I had done in between the two invocations of TuneUp Utilities was to shut-down and then power-up this PC. TuneUp Utilities said it found 4 broken shortcuts! Strange. It had fixed 2x the first time around the day before. Where did these 4 come from? Checked? All to do with Office applications. Strange. Hadn’t run Office on that machine in a week. So where did these come from. Does TuneUp Utilities do an incremental search; i.e., not a full scan each time? I know System Mechanic has a deep-scan for broken shortcuts. Well, I was not amused or too impressed. So here was I running TuneUp Utilities 2010 for the 4th time and it is now finding new problems … WHEN I haven’t done anything else on this machine. Hhhhmmmmm.
- I fired up System Mechanic 9.5.5. [I had to update. This PC which had not been powered up for a ‘week’ was at 9.5.3. Install was clean and trouble free.] It found 8 problems; 176 registry errors. Sacré Bloody bleu! 176 registry errors. TuneUp Utilities 2010, first time around, said it found and fixed 265 registry errors. That was 3 invocations ago. The last two times TuneUp Utilities 2010 said I had NO registry errors. Now System Mechanic is saying I have 176 registry errors. << John 11:35 from the Bible. >> I checked. Looked like the usual litany of registry errors that System Mechanic picks up. Yes, I was expecting this. Yes, I had heard of this. But, who is right?
- The Windows Registry isn’t ‘American Idol.’ There can’t be shades of gray. We either have invalid entries or not. I don’t think it can be subjective. If you have a registry entry that is pointing at something that no longer exists … that is an error.
This is not right. Wish I was MORE motivated with this stuff. Way back, in the 1970s, before PCs came to be and before I became “Mr. SNA,” I was, for a couple of years, a VTOC guru — IBM disk Volume Table of Contents (VTOC). I would read VTOCs, in hex, like others read the Old Testament. So yes, I could, if I was interested dive in and start reading the damn Registry and see who is pulling my middle leg … is it TuneUp Utilitites 2010 or System Mechanic 9.5.5. I don’t think, and I could be wrong, that they can BOTH be right. But, I am not really motivated. This coming week I have to do some serious work on a Network Monitor for a client. That will be enough technology to keep me going.
- I don’t know. But I do know that in the seven years (or more) that I have used System Mechanic … it has never screwed me. Yes, with Windows 7 it hung; it hung more than once. But, it never screwed anything up. In contrast, Avast, with its ‘false positive,‘ on December 3, 2009, did screw me (and I have had prior ‘false positives’ with them though none were as debilitating as the last). Adobe Acrobat has taken years off my life. Thanks to Microsoft I am dependent on red wine. But, System Mechanic. Ah! As far as I KNOW, and I could be wrong, it has done me or my PCs no (major) harm. As with my gas permeable contact lenses, ‘experts’ who get to see my PCs invariably comment as to how well they appear to be looked after. Yes, I nurse all my PCs. And System Mechanic has been my primary tool in doing that for 6-7 years. So I can’t just stop believing System Mechanic. So I am in a quandary.
- The glutton for punishment that I am, I then ran TuneUp Utilities 2010 again. Four (4) registry errors. That didn’t seem too bad. I checked. All four entries started with ‘SM’ — System Mechanic. I can buy that. SM creates some duff entries. Yep, I can buy that. But, just 4. But, we are neither here nor there. Did System Mechanic find and fix 176 errors? Or, is it that TuneUp Utilities doesn’t check for the same types of registry errors.
Bottom line, I am still not sure about TuneUp Utilities 2010. For the time being, System Mechanic 9.5.5 will prevail per the age old adage, the ‘Devil You Know.’ Maybe the person who asked me to review TuneUp Utilities 2010 (and she is probably regretting this request already) may help me get to the bottom of this. But, for now lets us just say that I am very confused. Not amused. If any of you reading this can shed some light … PLEASE do. I need all the help I can.
Good luck. Cheers.