Iolo’s System Mechanic has been a fixture on my computer systems for years. The program “cleans your memory, your hard drive and your registry speeding up your computer as it works.” Although I have purchased previous versions of the program, I was provided with the current version, System Mechanic 10 by iolo.
Over a year ago I reviewed a previous version of System Mechanic. The features mentioned in that review are still present in this one with an additional three program features that are meant to improve your computer’s performance even more. There is one new purchase option, Whole Home Licensing™, that allows you to save money and install the program on all of your home computers using one license.
The three new program features are, the CRUDD Remover™ that will remove redundant programs from your computer; Program Accelerator™that “realigns programs with their dependent files”; and Internet Connection Repair™ that fixes bad connections.
First, my computer system is running Windows7, Norton Internet Security, BOINC and Super AntiSpyware. I also have a variety of other programs like Microsoft Office; Adobe Shockwave, Reader and Flash; and various ebook reading programs. Installing the program was easy. I simply went to iolo’s website and downloaded it. At the proper place I filled in the license code and installation proceeded from there.
The first time I tried to open the program after installation, it seemed to get stuck. The problem may have had more to do with the programs I run run on my computer than the program. After restarting my computer the program came up and I was able to test out the new features.
The program opens slowly because it is gathering information from your computer as it opens. When System Mechanic first opens, there is a gauge that shows the overall health of your system. The first time you run the program you click on the “analyze” button and it will analyze your system and tell you if there are any problems. You have the option of simply fixing the problems or viewing the problems to choose what you may or may not want to fix.
There are five main menu options on the left: Dashboard, ActiveCare, Internet Security, Toolbox and Reports. Under Dashboard are Overview (the system gauge) and problems. Those are performed by the “analyze your system” and fixing any resultant problems.
As mentioned previously, under ActiveCare you can turn on a variety of maintenance tasks that will run in the background of your computer and keep it running smoothly. Of course, programs running in the background can also so slow down your computer. That said, you can choose which automatic features to enable or disable. In addition to the previous actions that can be automated, there is one new action and that is “Automatically repair broken Internet connections”. All thirteen actions that can be automated are:
- clean up system clutter
- repair registry problems
- optimize startup configuration
- repair hard drive errors
- repair security vulnerabilities
- repair unoptimised internet configuration
- repair drive fragmentation problems
- repair low memory problems
- repair broken shortcuts
- back up registry every 14 days
- repair registry fragmentation problems
- repair broken Internet connections – new
- download and install updated Tune-up Definitions
Internet Security monitors your computer to make sure that you have an antivirus/malware program and a firewall that are installed and running. You can choose to have monitoring turned off.
The Toolbox is where you will find features that you can manually run at your convenience and on your schedule. There are two subcategories called All-in-One Tools and Individual Tools. The All-in One Tools combine certain individual tools to perform overall tasks like PC Accelerator or PC repair.
The individual tools are similar to the automated tasks. Each one addresses a different area of concern like defragmentation of your registry or hard drive, cleaning up the broken registry items and broken shortcuts and optimizing your startup processes and Internet connection.
This is where the three new program features can be found. Running CRUDD Remover™ will show you what programs on your computer may be considered redundant. For instance, when I ran the program Norton Internet Security, Malware Bytes, and Super Anti-Spyware came up as redundant programs. I was given the opportunity to remove one or more of the programs. I chose to keep them all because I run them for different reasons.
Program Accelerator™ is similar to hard disk defragmentation. According to the website Program Accelerator uses “patent pending technology” and “realigns programs with their dependent files”. They claim that simply defragging your hard disk can make matters worse.
Disk defragmenters make it worse, blindly compacting and separating related files even more!
Program Accelerator™ jump-starts your sluggish programs by fully re-aligning your whole PC file system.
That being said why do you need both Program Accelerator and Hard Disk Defragment options? Realigning program files and defragmenting do actually do different things. Once the files are aligned, the whole program and dependent files can be moved to free up space rather than being moved in bits and pieces.
System Mechanic has always had an Internet optimization feature but now they have added an Internet Connection Repair feature as well. I haven’t had a reason to try this feature so I can’t comment on how well it works.
Overall System Mechanic 10 performed much faster than previous versions. Analysis, Program Acceleration, Hard Disk Defragment, and Memory Defragment worked very quickly without the momentary slowdowns that previous versions have had. Even having all of the automatic options enabled hasn’t slowed down my computer.
Windows7 also provides disk cleanup and disk defragmenter under System Tools that can be found under Accessories on the program menu. Those programs are free. I prefer System Mechanic because on my computers it has worked better than the Windows counterparts.
Many people find that the free programs included in the Windows operating system work just fine. Since I am constantly downloading eBooks and other files, and updating programs I prefer the more powerful System Mechanic tools.
System Mechanic 10 has improved the speed of its previous processes while including two more to optimize your computing experience. I like having all of the options available and being able to pick and choose what I want enabled for automatic cleaning and process improvement.
For others System Mechanic 10 may prove to be more than they want or need to work with. For those who never add programs and rarely use more than their email or word processing programs, the free included programs are just fine. For those who like to have more control, System Mechanic 10 may be just what you are looking for.