It’s quite common to have your Windows system accumulate cruft after extended periods of usage. Be it because of unwanted programs adding themselves to the startup, or our mindless install spree – these cruft accumulate and tend to slowdown your system.
System Mechanic aims to speed up your install by cleaning up the cruft, removing useless programs and generally helping you out in keeping your Windows install shipshape.
On launch, System Mechanic presents you with a welcome screen. The welcome screen shows you how you can start making use of System Mechanic with links to video tutorials and guiding you what’s new in the current version.
Once you get past the welcome page, System Mechanic offers a quick overview of your system status, with an option to analyze your system and report the findings.
System Mechanic offers two types of analysis – quick and deep analysis. Deep analysis performs a more comprehensive analysis, including a hard disk scan.
Once the scan is complete, System Mechanic will provide you with a summary screen showing you a status of your overall system & security status and a report of the findings.
Each of the reports have an option of letting System Mechanic perform an automatic correction or you can opt to fix these manually.
System Mechanic comes with a wealth of automated tasks. These tasks include
- Clean up temporary files
- Repair Registry problems
- Declutter startup programs
- Check for hard drive errors and correct them
- Report and repair security vulnerabilities
- Optimize hard drives
- Repair broken shortcuts
- Backup registry
and many more. These automated tasks are disabled by default and each of these can be enabled/disabled. The tasks can be further customized to start or to prevent from running under variety of situations as to not slow down your regular operation.
System Mechanic Toolbox
The Toolbox consists of tools which allow you to analyze, detect and clean up various system subsections. The toolbox is further subdivided into two categories – All-in-one tools and Individual tools.
All-in-one tools are a collection of various tools aimed at specific tasks. The tasks include
- PC Accelerator
- PC Repair
- PC Cleanup
- PC Security
- Registry Revitalizer
These are combination of tools – let’s take a look at some individual tools.
The individual tools are further grouped into the tasks they perform, such as
- Increase performance
- Enhance Protection
- Clean up System Clutter
- Repair Problems
- Manage system configuration
- Perform Diagnosis
- Manage add-ons
There are way too many tools for me to write about, I will mention of the most useful tools that you’ll probably run quite often.
CRUDD Remover analyses redundant programs and provides you with a list of unnecessary programs.
In my case, it indicated that I have VLC and Media Player Classic as redundant programs – not bad, but I do use them both and need them
EnergyBooster allows you to turn off background programs that are not needed. There’s an automatic mode which disables programs as classified by Iolo, as well as a manual mode so that you can turn off programs as you desire. I’d recommend that you not use the auto mode as it ended up killing my media player, Dropbox & SnagIt processes- all of which are essential for my daily work without a prompt.
Stick to manual mode & turn off/on the required programs. If you find yourself closing the same set of programs over and over again, System Mechanic provides you with an option of creating profiles – add all the programs to a profile and close them all in one shot – this is very handy.
Startup Organizer allows you to select which programs and services Windows should start when loading. As with most, there’s an “automatic” mode and a “custom” mode which allows you to select what parts of startup must be analysed.
Designated Drivers will search for updated drivers for devices installed in your computer. This will help you the hassle of checking multiple places for driver upgrades.
Program Accelerator and DriveAccelerator
Program Accelerator attempts to speed up program launch by realigning them. Drive Accelerator is a defragmentation tool for your hard drive. The Program Accelerator took about 3 hours to perform a complete de-fragmentation and realignment of programs on a badly fragmented 500GB drive.
Registry Backup And Restore
The registry backup tool performs a backup of your current install. It can also restore previous backups. This plus an automated task ensures that you always have a reasonably recent backups of your registry. Though it is disappointing that I can’t change the time interval being automated registry backups – it’d be nice to have a daily or even weekly backup option.
Find And Remove Junk Files
System Mechanic comes with a pretty nifty tool to remove junk files – error logs, temporary files and the like. While the automatic clean mode is pretty good, the custom clean option give you a wealth of options interms of file types to be excluded, locations to be checked and so on.
Running this on my system resulted in System Mechanic fining about 8GB of junk files – pretty good.
Drive Medic Emergency Boot CD
This allows you to create an bootable CD that you can use to start from, incase your OS cannot start.
Customize Advanced Windows Setting
This tool is a heaven for all tweakers – there are quite a lot of things that you can tweak about to your heart’s content.
So the big question: how does it perform? I installed System Mechanic on my 1.5 year old HP Envy running on Windows 7 laptop. I’ve never run any sort of ‘performance tuning’ utility on this and my system was littered with install of Eclipse, Visual Studio, Steam and a whole bunch of games. My system would take nearly 2 minutes to boot (by “boot”, I mean start of Windows logo to a usable desktop, not login screen). After running System Mechanic’s automated wizard, the boot time reduced to 45 seconds – which is quite remarkable.
With an easy to use interface, 1-click maintenance and undo functionality and extensive customization features, System Mechanic is quite a comprehensive tool for monitoring, diagnosing and improve your system performance and is highly recommended.
System Mechanic can be purchased from Iolo’s website for $49.95 and is well worth the price especially when you consider the fact that the latest version is compatible with Windows 8 and can be installed on all your home systems.
If you’ve read till here, you’ll be happy to know that Iolo has graciously provided us with three, 1-year license of System Mechanic 10.8. All you have to do to enter this giveway is
- Either tweet about this giveaway or share it on facebook and
- post a comment mentioning the funniest methods people have taken to keep their systems clean, along with the twitter/facebook status link.
The giveaway will run for 3 days and 3 random winners will be informed via email on June 21, 2012.
So, all the best and bring forward those entries!
Congrats to Dhul, Ashwin & Quốc for winning the giveaway! I have sent you guys an email with the instructions on how to install System Mechanic.
Product Reviewed: System Mechanic 10.8
System Mechanic is a pretty comprehensive tool for optimizing your system performance. Read our review and see how it performs.