System Mechanic 3.2
System maintenance utility. $19.95 (from the Web)
Features: Tracks program installation; registry cleaning; removes temporary and duplicate files.
Pros: Frees up hard disk space; keeps system clean and stable.
Your PC needs periodic maintenance to run smoothly. However, there are so many para- meters involved that without a good utility to check everything, you’d be lost. System Mechanic is one such utility with a collection of necessary tools to keep your system up and running properly.
It has a neat, easy-to-use interface and three sets of tools–File tools, System tools, and Internet tools. The File tools remove junk files, find and fix broken shortcuts, and keep a close watch on the files being deleted. You can find all the temporary files with extensions TMP, CHK, BAK, and GID, and it gives you the option of either removing them permanently or sending them to the Recycle Bin. It has an option called the Incinerator to permanently remove files without sending them to the Recycle Bin. Files sent to the Incinerator can’t be retrieved. You can also find and remove duplicate files that clutter up your hard disk unnecessarily. It lets you search all drives based on name, size, or the date of creation. However, all duplicate files may not be candidates for removal. So, be careful while using this feature.
The System tools have options to remove invalid uninstaller information and invalid entries in the registry and Windows startup manager. Sometimes, instead of doing a proper uninstall, you delete the program’s directory. This leaves its entry in the Add/Remove Programs list, which is then difficult to remove. System tools lets you remove these entries easily. You can also disable or remove unwanted entries from the Start menu, and disable programs that load during Windows startup. This helps in loading Windows faster.
System tools also includes a safe installer option. This lets you take a snapshot of the system before an installation and generates a full report. After you’ve installed the program, it shows you the changes in your system–the files that have been added, etc. This is useful in uninstalling programs that don’t have a proper uninstall option. You can check if any files related to the program remain on your system after uninstallation, and remove those.
The Internet tools option can erase all the history entries in Find files, Find computer, and Recent documents in the Start menu. It can also clear your Internet cookies, Internet cache information, history of visited Web pages, and more. There’s also an option to optimize your Internet and network speed by changing the settings, but it doesn’t make any noticeable difference.
The software is included on our CD as shareware with a trial period of 30 days. However, if you buy it, it turns out to be pretty expensive compared to similar utilities such as Norton System Works, which include many more tools.