Review: iolo System Mechanic 9.5
|Platforms:||Windows XP, Windows Vista (32/64-bit), Windows 7 (32/64-bit)|
|Requirements:||30MB hard drive space, IE 6 or later|
It’s the first law of computing: every PC slows down over time. There are many different factors behind this, however, and so figuring out how best to speed up your own system is no easy task. Should you defrag your hard drive? Remove unwanted apps? Clean your Registry? Or something else entirely? Install iolo System Mechanic 9.5 and you won’t have to waste any more time worrying about this, because the program will handle everything for you. We left it to run a deep scan on a test system, and after 30 minutes or so (rather longer than the suggested 5-7 minutes) it delivered a detailed report telling us what the problems were.
High on the list was 4.8GB of leftover files that the program said could safely be deleted. This surprised us, as other tools, like CCleaner, said the figure was more like 1.6GB. Inspecting the report in more detail revealed that System Mechanic had somehow found “4.03 GB of clutter in 1583 temporary Windows files”. Which files, exactly? There was no way to tell, but we were reluctant to wipe them without knowing.
Fortunately the program got much more specific elsewhere. System Mechanic 9.5 didn’t just list our Windows startup programs and leave us to decide which ones could be removed, for instance. Instead it identified 3 startup programs that we could do without (all reasonable choices), and then offered to remove them at a click.
The report also explained that two of our drives were more than 9% fragmented, and the Registry was even worse, with 11% fragmentation and 2,091 errors. And as a bonus, System Mechanic 9.5 also offered to optimise our Internet connection, and fix 13 vulnerable security settings.
There’s plenty of data on offer here, then, but if you’re a PC novice, or simply in a hurry, then there’s no need to waste time on the technical details. Just check a box, click the Repair All button and System Mechanic will go to work, fixing everything on its list.
And after that, System Mechanic’s ActiveCare feature takes over, automatically fixing Registry, hard drive and other problems while your PC is idle, so it’s always running at peak performance.
System Mechanic’s functions don’t stop there, though: iolo have crammed in many other tools that you might find useful. EnergyBooster closes down memory-hogging programs and processes just temporarily, for instance, freeing up RAM for games and other resource-hungry apps. The Incinerator securely wipes files so they can’t be deleted. And Privacy Cleaner clears the tracks left by Windows, browsers, media players and more.
This is a comprehensive suite, then, that comes packed with useful maintenance tools. Some of them don’t provide as much information on what they’re doing as we’d like, and that makes us nervous: if we’re told it’s safe to delete 4GB of data, then we’d like the opportunity to verify that. Other cleanup tools are as good as you’ll find anywhere, though, and so if you’re willing to explore the program, find out what works for you, then System Mechanic definitely deserves a place in your maintenance toolkit.