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Computer maintenance is something which every user should do from time to time. Why? Because computers tend to slowdown over time. This happens regardless of what you use your computer for.
Hard drives get cluttered with files and folders, and when you move or delete them, the storage space which they took on your hard drive, often remains redundant. You see, your hard drive consists of clusters and sectors, on which data is stored. When you copy or move a file, they are saved to an empty cluster.
If the files are stored on clusters next to each other like say for example A and B, they will open faster. But, if they are instead stored on A and K, your PC will take some time reading them and this will be slower. This is called as disk fragmentation.
Similarly, programs and games which you install leave remnants when you uninstall them. These are not just files on your hard drive, but start-up entries, Windows Services and even Windows registry items. These can slow down the start up time of your computer and the performance of your computer.
How do you fix such issues? With Iolo System Mechanic of course. We have been big fans of the software, and I personally used System Mechanic way back in the early 2000s, when Windows XP was released.
Computers were much more expensive back then, and we had to rely on software like System Mechanic to keep our PCs in top shape. Fast forward a decade and a half and the software has improved by a great extent, and still continues to help keeping your computer at its full speed.
Let’s see what Iolo System Mechanic has to offer. The program has a a nice GUI, which uses a dark background color for the sidebar on the left, and a light theme for the main pane on the right.
There are 5 tabs on the sidebar:
The Dashboard is the main screen of System Mechanic, and shows you the status of your system. This is shown in a statement as well as in a speedometer sort of graphical display. This is also where you run the one-click scanner, and fix the issues which System Mechanic detects. You can deselect the scan result listings which you don’t want to fix, and they will be skipped.
There are three tabs on the Dashboard, which display the following:
Issues – The problems which were detected.
History – Issues which were detected, fixed, etc
PC Status – How your PC’s condition is.
Let’s move to the next section, the Toolbox. This is similar to the dashboard, except it has individual tools which you ran one at a time. This is also divided into sub-sections,
Clean lets you delete junk files, private browsing data, fix registry issues, remove installed programs, and erase private data.
Speed Up as the name suggests lets you optimize the internet connection settings, fix internet connectivity issues, defragment hard drives to speed up the performance of the disk. The program accelerator re-aligns program data on your hard drive, and the Memory Mechanic frees up the RAM to be used for programs. The Startup Optimizer helps reduce the time taken by Windows to start-up.
The Protect tab’s Security Optimizer can fix Windows security vulnerabilities, while the Incinerator can be used for securely deleting files to prevent chances of recovery. This works kind of like a recyle bin, which is available on your desktop and can be used from the Windows File Explorer’s right-click context menu.
The Recover tab has two tools, System Troubleshooter and System Restore, which let you fix common issues, and undo recent system changes.
The Manage tab has one tool, but it is very powerful. It is called the Super Control Panel, which can be used for customizing advanced settings related to the Action Center, Administrative Tools, AutoPlay, Backup and Restore, Color Management, Credential Manager, Date and Time, Default Programs, Desktop Gadgets, Device Manager, and more, some of which are not available in the regular Control Panel. And it is also great to manage all these features from a single interface.
The ActiveCare tab lets you configure how System Mechanic will handle the Automatic PC maintenance, when your computer is idle. It can clean and repair registry issues, eliminate unneccary or dangerous start up programs and defrag the hard drives.
It can also delete private browsing data, junk files in the recycle bin, files which are using a lot of storage space including memory dump files, error reporting files and log files, and temporary files from other programs. Additionally, it can also fix broken shortcuts and delete Windows’s Clipboard content. You can enable Active Care to run at a time and interval of your choosing.
The LiveBoost tab houses options for boosting the performance of the system in real-time. To do this it uses four tools, OptiCore, RAMJet, AcceleWrite and PowerSense.
OptiCore and PowerSense lets your computer’s processor cores to run at optimal speed, thus improving the responsiveness of the system, and reduces lags. RAMJet lets the program optimize the RAM usage of your PC. AcceleWrite helps in boosting the hard drive’s performance.
The Security tab has two tools, Anti-Malware and Firewall. You can use these two for checking if the anti-virus and firewall software you have installed on the computer, are working fine. If you have Windows Firewall enabled, you can disable or go to the default settings manager tool, from this tab.
Iolo System Mechanic has a special feature called SafetyNet, accessiible from the toolbar on the top. This is the application’s built in system restore function of the computer, which you can use to revert the computer to an earlier point of time, whe it was working fine.
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