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Posts Tagged ‘System Mechanic 9.5.5’

It has now been 75 days since I totally uninstalled my fully paid up for System Mechanic 9.5.5 on January 22, 2010.

Given that I had been a loyal and near-daily user of System Mechanic since c. 2002, throwing it out was quite a move. But, 75 days later, I am real glad I did so. System Mechanic was a pain. I am now realizing that it was ‘high maintenance.’ It kept on coming up with stuff just to justify it being there.

I have been using the Auslogics Registry Cleaner since around January. I used it again this morning. I tend to invoke just once a week. So far, so good. No dramatics. It doesn’t tell me I have 425 registry errors. This morning it told me I had 17. I didn’t even bother to check the log. 17 registry errors in a week, on this system, seems right.

I don’t know whether Auslogics picks up ALL of the invalid entries in my registry. From my experience all the so called registry cleaner products have their own bias.

All I can comment is on my own experience with Auslogics. So far, so good. The price, $0.00, is also good. So I will stick with them.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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Had an email from iolo this morning asking me, as preferred customer (sic), to PREVIEW their new, Premium Service.

It is a phone-based support scheme. Curious, as ever, I checked it out. IT AMUSED ME.

For $29.95 somebody purporting to be an iolo rep. (but most likely my 4th cousin in Sri Lanka working for an outsourcing firm) will walk you through a full run of System Mechanic. [It is not clear whether the $29.95 for the one-time call gets you anything other than a 30-day trial of System Mechanic 9.5.5.]

For the $29.95 they also CLAIM to offer an one-time service for … among other things … INSTALLING Windows. That could be a deal, though I am not really sure my 4th cousin knows too much about Windows 7 … other than that he probably has 7 windows in his house in Kotte.

This is OBVIOUSLY not for me.

I am NO LONGER a System Mechanic customer nor fan. [But, I will readily acknowledge that System Mechanic never did me any harm, over a 6-7 year period, when I used it with XP.]

Reading their ‘informecial’ blurb, and I won’t provide the link because I do not in any way appear to be encouraging let alone endorsing this ‘service,’ it sure appears that the ‘Super Tune-Up’ is NOTHING other than a full run through of all the System Mechanic tools — and it amuses me that, quite coyly, iolo does NOT mention anything about virus removal. They know that trouble shooting viruses could be beyond the pay grade of my 4th cousin. They might have to hire my 2nd cousin who comes from a house with 14 windows.

OK. Jokes apart. They are those that need this hand-holding. $29.95 might not be a bad price. I regularly check my local CraigsList to see the types of services being offered around here. Yes, there are a LOT of clowns out there. Yes, there are those that boast that they will set you up with pirated software. Worse still you might end up with an undesirable character in YOUR house, on YOUR PC. Just before Christmas I saw a post in CL by somebody from an adjoining town offering Professional PC Support. The wording and the location made me ‘suspicious.’ I called the cell phone number that was listed. Got v-mail. BINGO.

It was a local ‘doctor’ (I won’t mention his exact specialty because that would NAIL HIM) arrested last February on a very serious RAPE charge. They yanked his license. He can’t practice as a doctor — and more significantly write any more prescriptions. But, he can advertise on CL … to come to YOUR house and work on YOUR PC. Yes, he has not been convicted. He is innocent until proven guilty. But, IF he showed up on your doorstep and you suddenly recognized that you had seen him on TV last year … that would not have been funny. Worse still. He comes. He is a ‘fun’ guy. You let him work on your PC. You let him take it home to really fix it. In June you are watching WMUR (our local TV) and you suddenly see his face on TV … the court case has finally begun. I assume you would not be too amused.

So, compared to hiring somebody unknown from CL, paying $29.95 to have my 4th cousin walk you through System Mechanic might not be a bad deal … plus with the exception of me, all my relatives are mild mannered, very polite, not sarcastic and talk proper (without my heavy accent).

BOTTOM LINE: System Mechanic 9.5.5, TuneUp Utilities 2010 & Auslogics

I DO NOT think System Mechanic 9.5.5 is Windows 7 ready. That is why I uninstalled it.

Based on my ‘limited’ testing, albeit just on XP SP3, I do not think TuneUp Utilities 2010 is an incisive, industrial-strength offering. From what I have seen, and I could be wrong, TuneUp Utilities is a waste of time.

I continue to play with the Auslogics products. I used their Disk Defrag on this Windows 7 machine a couple of hours ago. I will confess that they certainly possess a jen se quoi. They somehow inspire a degree of confidence (which is kind of strange because most Aussies, in person, only seem to signal … let’s party, party, party, till we all pass out … which, in general, is fine with me). More on this later this week. Got to take the kids to Disney on Ice. So, my last thoughts. iolo. Lie Low. Skating on ice. Question is whether it is thin ice.

Good luck. All the best. Cheers.

Anura Guruge
www.guruge.com

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I downloaded Auslogics Registry Cleaner, Registry Defrag and Disk Defrag onto my ‘backup’ XP/SP3 system last night. This was the same, quite ‘clean’ and fairly fast system I used to try out TuneUp Utilities 2010.

The downloads, all from CENT, were small and hence fast (though it took me a second to find one of them within CNET given the other stuff that CNET is trying to promote). Installation was slick.

OK, I was wrong, and I am glad. All of the products are NOT free. That is good. The Registry Defrag needs to be purchased after a free trial. Some of their other products, such BootSpeed, also have to be purchased. One of the three products I installed asked me, quite nicely, whether I would like to have the ASK.com toolbar installed. I politely declined, but that means they also get some revenue from ASK.com. This is good. You can no longer produce quality software just on goodwill and a smile. This is why I get so upset with the folks who are constantly trying to pirate software. As I have said often, I can see what SEARCH STRINGS result in folks visiting this blog. Even TODAY I have folks coming here because they did a search on how to obtain a hacked product key for System Mechanic. Maybe, if MORE people paid for System Mechanic etc. we might have better, more stable products.

The Initial Test

Since I still had System Mechanic 9.5.5 and TuneUp Utilities 2010 on this XP machine, I decided to run those before I let loose Auslogics. Ran System Mechanic first. Told me I had 14 registry errors. Hhhhmmm. I had hardly done anything on this machine since SM and TU U 2010 claimed to have thoroughly scrubbed it a few days ago. I didn’t let SM fix the errors. I now ran TU U 2010. It said I had 7 registry errors. It gets curiouser and curiouser. Am I to now deduce that TU U 2010 isn’t as adroit as SM in picking up registry errors. This really has become a whore’s market.

Bracing myself for surprises, I ran Auslogics Registry Cleaner.

It has two modes. Safe Mode  and an Advanced Mode for experienced users. The latter mode does not check the registry entries for SOFTWARE, shared DLLs and ActiveX. Not checking the SOFTWARE section, in Safe Mode, surprised me. That is where I find most of the errors. But, I was trooper. I went along. Ran it in Safe Mode, since with just 40 years of hands-on, full-time computer experience I do not consider myself an experienced user. Auslogics Registry Cleaner came back and said I had 84 registry errors. That was like a Shane Warne googly, though as history has shown Shane is no match for us Sri Lankans with suspect arm actions. [Don’t worry. This is arcane cricket humor and rivalry for those of us from the Commonwealth (and Massachusetts is DEFINITELY now excluded from this select band).

I now ran Auslogics in Advanced Mode. 116 errors, but, Shane be praised, I didn’t get any shared DLL errors.

This is beyond the pale. SM says 14. TU U 2010 says 7. The mavericks from Oz claim 116. They can’t all be right. HELP. Where is Dickie Bird when I need him. (That is a cricket joke too.) I am not sure whether I should question the Aussies for ‘chucking?’

Used Registry Defrag. Said my registry was 7% fragmented. I like the pre-analysis. SM you need this. Also said that compacting my registry would only result in, at most, a 1% increase in performance. Bravo. I like honesty.

I ran Disk Defrag, without first checking any of the advanced options. Seemed to work quite well.

Today, I ran SM 9.5.5 again. It found 12 registry errors.

Ran Oz. It found 4 registry errors — all associated with SM! That makes sense. Told it to clean up. Ran it again. Said ZERO.

Bottom Line: Day 1.5

Not sure. The Oz software seems to work. But are they right? Are they correct? Can I trust them? And I won’t even go into the antecedents of the Australians … now that I am an old man.

I will continue to test, check, question, double check and ponder. Stay tuned.

Good luck. Cheers.

Anura Guruge
www.guruge.com

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I totally uninstalled System Mechanic 9.5.5 from my Windows 7 Professional system this afternoon.

Yesterday’s hang by System Mechanic 9.5.5, as I had then stated, was the last straw.

I had been a loyal, always fully paid-up customer of iolo since about 2002 … maybe even earlier. I think I started with System Mechanic 4. Definitely 5.x.

But the hangs I have had with Windows 7 is beyond the pale. So System Mechanic is history. I feel strangely relieved.

So, what am I now going to do? TuneUp Utilities 2010, based on my testing (please see the CATEGORY), is not a viable alternative.

I got thinking. System Mechanic and TuneUp Utilities are overkill for my needs. Though advanced in age, I kind of know my way around computers having worked with them since 1969. I do not need 1-click maintenance. I certainly do not need MEMORY DE-FRGMENTATION. I actually don’t believe that memory de-frag, à la System Mechanic, does anything … even if you just have 1GB of physical memory. Especially with Virtually Memory, physical memory usage is so dynamic that allocations have to change by the second. So memory de-frag is but a gimmick.

I only need three things: registry cleanup, registry defrag and disk defrag.

So yesterday I started looking. I do lead a sheltered life. Because I have had SM for so long I hadn’t looked around to see what was available. Yes, I had heard of CCleaner but I had never used it.

I learned a lot, very quickly, yesterday. It is a whore’s market when it comes to PC tools. There are tools which are outright SPYWARE. That is one of my biggest concerns about PC tools and anti-virus products. How do YOU know that they are legit?

I read some good stuff about Defraggler. What is amazing is that CCleaner and Defraggler are FREE. That kind of worries me — I am the cynic’s cynic. A professional, hard-nut cynics. Yes, I don’t just look a gift horse in the mouth, I ask a vet to do a X-ray for me.

Anyway, I stumbled upon the Australian auslogics.com. Hhhmmmm. Decent reviews from reputable outfits … not bogus blogs set up by the company itself. Three separate products that appear to meet my bill: Disk Defrag, Registry Cleaner and Registry Defrag. Hhhhmmmm. But, they are free. Hhhhhmmmmm.

I have contacted the company. I want to understand their business model. How do they make money? They claim to provide tools for the likes of Sony and HP. Is that enough? I do not know. But, I am going to try these products. No, not on my production Windows 7 machine. I will start on my backup XP system. So stay tuned. I will keep you posted.

Thanks. Good luck.

Anura Guruge
www.guruge.com

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A few minutes ago I deleted iolo System Mechanic 9.5.5 from my Windows 7 Professional machine because I had had it with the stupid hangs. My patience, in my dotage, is legendary (but to be honest the kids are the biggest beneficiaries of it). But, I just couldn’t take the damn hangs. So System Mechanic had to go.

I uninstalled it using the Windows 7 Control Panel Uninstall. So it was Windows 7 that did the uninstall. (Yes, later, using instructions from iolo I went and removed the iolo folder from the registry. But, that is another story. Bloody iolo.)

When the uninstall was over I noticed a ‘ghost,’ generic icon on the Task Bar where the System Mechanic icon used to be!

Ah?

Clicked on it? Said that the program associated with that icon was no longer installed. DAMN RIGHT. You (meaning Windows 7) uninstalled it. Remember?

That is STUPID.

I had to now manually delete the generic icon. Come on Microsoft. Can’t you do better than this?

So the BUG: Windows 7 doesn’t clean up the Task Bar icon when it uninstalls an application.

Gee, thanks Microsoft. You guys are the best?

Thanks. Good luck. We need it.

Cheers

Anura Guruge
www.guruge.com

P.S. iolo has TWO folders in the Registry under HKEY_CURRENT_USER. One says System Mechanic 5. That is encouraging when you are trying to delete ALL SIGNS of System Mechanic 9.5.5. The other one, that iolo does NOT talk about, is called TMRU Como. I deleted that too. I didn’t want anything from iolo polluting my system. Good bye and good riddance. Yes, I had a few months left on my fully paid up System Mechanic license. But getting rid of SM was well worth it. Just for the record, I was a HUGE fan of System Mechanic since c. 2002. It was just the damn hangs with Windows 7 that drove me to distraction. Sorry. Old age. Grumpy OLD MAN.

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My hope that with System Mechanic 9.5.5 (January 8, 2010) we might finally have seen an end to the damn annoying System Mechanic hangs with Windows 7 was dashed today.

System Mechanic 9.5.5 hung, on this Windows 7 machine, after I did a complete Registry Tuneup. That was MY final straw. Damn System Mechanic.

I have suffered System Mechanic hangs since day one of Windows 7. I gritted my teeth and gave them the benefit of the doubt. Check my System Mechanic postings — there is a CATEGORY called ‘System Mechanic.’

This is beyond the pale.

My recommendation right now … if you are on Windows 7 … tread lightly with System Mechanic. If you haven’t bought it as yet, don’t waste your money right now.

That said, I am not sure what you should you instead either.

Per my current finding, I would also NOT recommend TuneUp Utilities 2010. It might not hang, but I am not sure WHAT IT DOES or doesn’t do.

To be honest, I had not used System Mechanic to ‘repair’ anything on this machine for a week or so. I don’t run SM every day any more. After close to 3 months, I have a fairly decent handle on this machine. Most nights, I can fairly accurately guess how many Registry errors SM is going to report. Based on my usage pattern, which is fairly consistent, I get about 20 errors a day. The same culprits.

I don’t have a problem running up 120 Registry errors. I have so much horsepower and memory on this machine that a little tad of Registry inefficiency isn’t going to slow me down. << smile >>

So for the last week, or so, I have just used SM to tell me what is wrong on the machine. But, I wouldn’t let it fix anything.

This morning, I had a bit of a break from the book and exploited that to clean this machine. Then SM 9.5.5 hung.

I actually think I am no longer at 9.5.5! I did get an update this morning. Said it was new definitions. I don’t believe them. I think, at a minimum, I am at 9.5.5a.

Well, we need 9.6. 9.5 is not a dog. 9.5 is a pig, and it doesn’t even have lipstick on its snout to make it a bit for palatable.

By the way, the Network Speed Test is 9.5.5 is WRONG! That is a shame. Used to be very good. Today, for a lark, I tried it a FEW times. It was WAY, WAY off. I used http://www.speedtest.net to check the results. As with Registry errors, I am fairly good at estimating my network speed. This morning I was not a 3.9MBps.

So, bottom line. System Mechanic 9.5.5 is NOT WINDOWS 7 READY. So in reality I am NOT sure what we can use on Windows 7 right now. If you have any suggestions let me know.

Thanks. Good luck. We need it.

Cheers,

Anura Guruge
www.guruge.com



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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.

Anura Guruge
www.guruge.com

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