Friday, September 22, 2006

One Click System Maintenance

Español | Deutsche | Français | Italiano | Português

One of the things I dislike about Windows is the need for software utilities to take care of system settings and conditions. Battling such things as Spyware, viruses, registry hacks, and other things that directly impact the usage of our systems just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I’ve been involved with Information Technology for over 37 years on any number of systems, both large and small, and needing something to ‘stick a thumb in the dike’ seems wasteful of my time when there are other things I want and need to do.

Don’t get me wrong, some of the utilities have become highly respected and ‘loved’ because they work well. Registry Mechanic, Spybot Search & Destroy, Adaware SE, and Anti-Virus software from Norton and others have become cornerstones of my daily system ‘experience’. A lot of you folks have found the satisfaction of improving your system’s operation by installing some of these tools and using them to good effect. The only problem is they are individual programs and need to be executed at different times (not all at the same time). I can, and sometimes do, spend almost 2 hours just running Spybot, Registry Mechanic, etc. That’s 2 hours I could be spending in getting productive work done. I have been searching for a ‘One Click’ solution that I could launch and take care of all the functions at one time and either match or exceed the results from all those separate programs.

I’m glad to say that I found one! Advanced WindowsCare by IOBit. They have just completed their Beta testing and have now declared their Release Candidate and I must say, it is well worth a look.

The software combines several tools into a single pass. The package will scan Spyware, Registry, do a Privacy Sweep, Optimize your system settings to tune it for your usage habits with System Analysis. The Security Defense installs specific spyware filters to prevent the stuff from even installing on your system. Then, after all that, will scan for, and remove, the temporary files that get written during normal operations. It also has a Memory Cleaner that will release memory being hoarded by a poorly written software package.

In my testing, I ran Registry Mechanic before and after a repair run of AWC. Both programs found the same registry problems. The really interesting result after the scans was, Registry Mechanic xame up empty after AWC repaired the Registry. The Spyware ‘filtering' works so well that Spybot AND Adaware SE found nothing to do after scanning. That says a lot for AWC.

Another powerful feature is that a Restore Point is made prior to the actual scan run and everything that is found can be manually deselected for repair. It also does it in just a few moments. The only things it won’t do is scan for viruses and defragment your hard drives. IOBit has a dandy defragmenter as a separate product that you might want to consider, too.

The really impressive part of this, however, is that it performs all of those tasks, and more, without requiring a large chunk of money. They will be releasing a ‘Personal’ version that will be free, but the Pro version is still not to expensive. The task performance is as good as, if not better than, the list of tools mentioned at the top of this article.

So check it out and have fun!