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PLEASE! NEED HELP! - System Mechanic-vs-TuneUp Utilities 2012

Posted on 2011-10-21
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System Mechanic is on my Dell Studio 540 (Win 7, 64-Bit). It is on the system because the original "Dell TuneUp" was replaced automatically (without my consent) with System Mechanic. It's OK!? But I also have an installation file for the new "TuneUp Utilities 2012". I have had good luck with both; but my gut says TuneUp 2012 might be better (although some people say TuneUp 2011 slows the system down).

To help me decide, your feedback on either and/or both would be appreciated.

GADGETDUDE
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Question by:GadgetDude
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by:MidnightOne
ID: 37015399
Do any of those utilities actually do anything useful for you?
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by:younghv
ID: 37015490
I hate to generalize, but I have never known any of those "Tune-up" type programs to do anything helpful. I have read several authoritative posts/articles warning of detrimental/slow down effects from using them.

If there is anything in particular that you are trying to accomplish with them, please let us know. In general, it is going to be much better for YOU to be the one deciding what does or doesn't run on your system, rather that an automated tool.
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by:Jason Watkins
ID: 37015491
Really? This seems more like bloatware than anything else.

Keep Windows updated,
DO NOT run as an administrator, but keep an administrative account,
Get an anti-virus program, like MS Security Essentials,
Install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware,
Use a web browser other than Internet Explorer (Firefox, Chrome),
Implement strong passwords for all of your user accounts.
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Davis McCarn earned 1000 total points
ID: 37015634
Hmmmmm.....
The cybercrooks learned how to elevate their attack to use the SYSTEM account in 2009 so all the myths about BASIC or LIMITED accounts being safer is no longer true.They can be useful to prevent software installation; but, that's about it.
Most important; these days, is to ALWAYS take every update for Flash, Java, Adobe Reader, and any other web apps (SKYPE, IM clients, Firefox, iTunes, etc) as fast as your fingers can click as they are the attack vectors used since 2004ish.
Now; back to the askers question......
CCleaner is as good as TuneUp or System Mechanic, if not a little better, and it is FREE ( http://majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=4191 ).  Seven does a much better job of keeping the registry clean; but, those pesky temp files still build up and CCleaner's listing of the 35+ folders makes it one of the easiest and thoroughest out there.
CCleaner has one shortcoming in that you have to run it manually; though, that also means it's not using up resources and ram like Tuneup or System Mechanic.  I got a year of System Mechanic for $8 about a year ago and uninstalled it 2 days later as it did not one whit better than CCleaner.
CCleaner's temp file eraser literally took a client's machine from 24 seconds opening Word to 2 and it had only taken her 18 months to build up the 4.9 Gigabytes of trash to delete.
Want a funny.... Run CCleaner at least weekly and IE is faster than Firefox :)
But hey; what do I know, I've only been fixing these things for 35 years.
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by:GadgetDude
ID: 37016113
I will give everything that has been said some very serious thought. My problem is that I look to the "automated" software because I am not the "Genus" you members are.
In essence, they don't do that great a job?! Guess it's time for some deleting and refunds.
I have both CCleaner AND System Mechanic (which was "automatically" installed because Dell is no longer using "Dell Tuneup") on my Dell Studio 540 with Win 7 64-bit.
My main goal with these programs it to have a lightning fast start-up, shutdown and application runs. So much crap is put on your PC by so much software, I don't know where to start. I thought these programs would keep tabs on this stuff. Again; obviously, I am not a genius.
THANKS!
GadgetDude
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by:nobus
ID: 37016331
>>  My main goal with these programs it to have a lightning fast start-up  <<   then install an SSD drive, and use plenty of ram

personally, i never touch tune-ups, or cleaners -- and certainly not on automatic mode
if i clean anything, i do it manually, so i know what i do - at least i like to think so...
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by:BillDL
ID: 37016386
Hi GadgetDude

System Mechanic IS Dell Tuneup.  They are both software titles by a company named iolo.

Dell PC Tuneup by iolo:
http://dell.iolo.com/pctuneup/

iolo System Mechanic:
http://www.iolo.com/system-mechanic/standard/

Look familiar?

Personally my objection to this type of utility is the way it is advertised:

"Like a car, without regular maintenance PCs begin to accumulate errors that cause slowdowns, crashes, and even potential system failure."

What a crock of BS.  Cars have moving parts that need lubricated and wear out.  If we are to accept this analogy, then System Mechanic/PC Tuneup empties your ashtrays, removes the chewing gum and confectionary wrappers from the door side panels, vacuums the grass from the trunk where you put your golf clubs, and checks and tops up your tyre pressures, windshield "skooshers", blades, and oil level.  It certainly can't turn off the Engine Management Warning light on the dashboard nor diagnose and fix your worn brake pads, slipping clutch, stretched handbrake cable, or holed exhaust pipe.

The software vendors lay claim to some "malware detection and cleanup".  There is nothing worse than a fast-fit car mechanic who masquerades as an "engineer".  malware detection is best left to purpose made anti-malware/anti-virus applications rather than a jack of all trades and master of none.

The software was automatically updated because your Dell computer is running ... now what do they call it?  "TotalCare" or something like that which checks the Dell site to see if any patches or updates have been released for your operating system, installed "dell branded" software, hardware drivers, and BIOS.  Iolo have probably "updated" the software to keep ahead of the date game. Having "2011" software near the end of the year is seen to be slack when everyone else is releasing "2012" software, so they change the odd cosmetic thing here and there and reissue it under a different name or version that just does the same things.

Programs like this are aimed at people like yourselves who are afraid of breaking their computer or who aren't altogether sure what separate (and often free) utilities can do the same job.  Having looked at the new and existing features I can immediately think of a free program (native Windows utility or 3rd party) that performs each function well.  Some people feel that they don't have the time to run the programs separately or are unsure of how to use them, hence the all in one suite.  System Mechanic/PC Tuneup is not completely ineffective and nor is is really "bad".  It probably does what it does as well as any similar suite of tools, but there is a lot of hocus-pocus fancy language in the advertising:

"CRUDD Remover™ NEW
Commonly Redundant or Unnecessary Decelerators and Destabilizers (CRUDD) Remover™ helps identify and eliminate duplicate programs that clog your system."


What a mouthful .... of smart sounding trademarked nonsense.  It reads like an Edward Lear poem for kids.

The screenshot shows some fancy dials and stuff, but is just your Add/Remove Programs which coincidentally also shows you how often the program is actually used and lets you decide if you still need it installed.

I designed my own utility named "SHIT Wiper™":
Smash Hidden Internet Explorer Temporary Files.
It is much nicer to use than "Control Panel > Internet Options > General tab > Delete (browsing history)" because it has a dial rather than a boring progress bar and a nice big brightly coloured button.

I think you will get what I am saying, and it's not laced with sarcasm levelled at you.  It's the fancy names that they use for otherwise relatively simple functions, and the embellished claims that get me.

Have a read at this excellent article by a respected EE Expert:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/A_7989-Registry-Cleaners-Good-or-harmful-to-your-PC.html

I also agree with the other highly regarded expert here (Davis McCarn) in that CCleaner is an excellent product.  If using it, I would suggest that you only tick one box at a time in the Registry section and save the backup file before fixing the issues in that category.  Reboot when done and run it again.

Bill
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by:burrcm
ID: 37016880
So the consensus appears to be "NO!", and I must agree. My method. If you have one hard drive, partition it so you have a small partition for the operating system. Say 50/100GB. Second partition for data. Direct user folders here so by default, anything saved will go here. (Google for details or post back for instructions). Install your programs on the OS partition (C:) and once set up, take an image of the partiton for later recovery if needed (into the data partition). Keep AV up to date together with windows updates etc. Anytime you add a program and the system is still running OK, update the image. You can keep several copies of course. Now, if the worst happens and you find the OS has been seriously compromised, you can restore the OS partition from the image and be running again in a few minutes. Now update AV, which will be out of date as it has been recovered from the image, and scan the data partition in case any nasties have found their way there. This process is reasonably robust and will avoid many issues which may otherwise arise.

Good luck

Chris B
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by:Davis McCarn
ID: 37017532
IMHO, Windows 7 is not capable of a lightning startup; but, impresses me with how well it caches components of the software you use and that it keeps the registry much cleaner.  
When I setup a new system running 7, I first uninstall all of the junkware (with no internet access ), use CCleaner to clean the registry (which only finds 40-50 entries instead of 4-500 on XP or Vista), connect to the net and do nothing but Windows Update until it says it is done, then add Microsoft Security Essentials, Java, Flash Adobe Reader, Winpatrol, their apps, and generally download the "basic driver" for their printer.  I tell them to run CCleaner weekly, leave it on overnight on Tuesdays (Vista and 7 defrag at 1AM, Wed) and to try to always choose Custom on any software they install so they can avoid bloat.
Winpatrol is, by far, the easiest program I have found for controlling Windows.  On the Startup Programs tab, right-click on an uneeded entry and choose Disable.  If your not sure, Google the entry in the Command column and you'll know in 30 seconds whether you need it or not.  If you make a mistake, right-click the diabled entry and choose Enable to fix it! ( http://www.winpatrol.com )
BTW,  CCleaner has instructions for setting it up as a scheduled task if you really want it automated...... ( http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner )
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by:Davis McCarn
ID: 37017567
P.S. I generally don't tell end users about CCleaner's registry cleaner as it is a path to possible destruction; but, almost all of the better cleaner's authors learned long ago to stay out of the dangerous areas.  If any of you are truly adventurous, try JV16 Power Tools which grades the entries (green, yellow, or red, depending on how dangerous deleting them might be); but goes to places like inprocessserver which nobody else will touch.
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by:younghv
ID: 37017683
The comments from BillDL here (http:#a37016386) really need to be read thoroughly; as does the EE Article by 'rpggamergirl'.

I can't think of a valid reason for running any kind of registry cleaner on a Windows OS, and many reasons (as described) for not doing so.

CCleaner is great for removing all of the Temp/Junk files that accumulate (including Persistent Cookies) and even has a 'smart' function to retain the cookies you want (such as Experts-Exchange).

Perhaps a better temp file cleaner is available here: http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/files/file/187-tfc-temp-file-cleaner-by-oldtimer/ (Gotta love something written by an "OldTimer")

Naturally opinions will vary in this kind of topic, but I personally avoid the various mechanical/utility programs so readily available. Much better for any of us to learn how to configure our own OS (ask more EE questions if needed) and stay in control of our own systems.
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by:nobus
ID: 37018363
wy windows 7 64 bit on SSD boots up in less than 20 sec..
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by:Jason Watkins
ID: 37018369
Not everyone has an SSD. My Windows 7 VM boots in 35 sec from a spinning HDD.
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by:nobus
ID: 37018418
i only mentioned it - because he asked for a lightning start
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by:younghv
ID: 37018462
Now I'm going to have to shut down my system and time the reboot!
LOL!

I haven't paid much attention, but my impression is that it is much faster than XP...and a quantom leap forward from Vista.

<looking for stopwatch>
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by:nobus
ID: 37018552
i did not count the hundreth's of secs...
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by:younghv
ID: 37018676
:)

24 seconds for a cold boot with a HDD.
System and all components about 1 year old.

(24.0176 seconds)
;)
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by:nobus
ID: 37019114
applause..rolling drums..
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