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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger
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    Recommendation on apps similar to Norton Utilities

    What recommendations would you have for a suite similar to Norton Utilities? I'm looking for something that is as easy to use, SAFE to use, etc. I am mainly interested in a replacement for Norton WinDoctor, Disk Doctor and CleanSweep. I am sure there are standalone programs that do what these 3 do but I would rather have them all in one install.

    THANKS

    Jeff
    Jeff
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  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendation on apps similar to Norton Utilities

    Jeff,

    Give Iolo System Mechanic a try. I've used it through a number of versions and have great confidence in it's recommendations.

    You can get a free trial at System Mechanic
    BOB
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  3. #3
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Recommendation on apps similar to Norton Utilities

    Bob,

    Thanks for the recommendation. I have heard of System Mechanic as it is one of the better known system utilities. However, I do have some reservations about replacing Norton Utilities with it as some have said that you can get into serious trouble with a few of its features. I'm guessing, but would this be said because it is possible to mess up your system files? Norton's utilities are quite safe in this regard and it is nearly impossible to render your system inoperative running them. If you have any experience in this area and/or wisdom, cautions, etc., I would grately appreciate hearing them.... either from you or others. Is Norton Utilities THAT popular that no one else would recommend using any other similar program? <IMG SRC=http://www.the-highway.com/Smileys/giggle.gif>

    THANKS,

    Jeff
    Jeff
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    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Recommendation on apps similar to Norton Utilities

    Again, thanks for taking the time to respond and share your experiences with both NU and SM (not to be confused with sadomasochism). I find it both assuring and ironic that you would say that NU needs more careful scrutiny than System Mechanic because I have always heard the opposite. However, having used NU for years, I can totally agree with what you said in regard to WinDoctor. What you described I have found to be true mainly in regard to missing Shortcuts, where it will recommend a file of a totally unrelated program for the Shortcut to point to. That is one of the reasons I never run the "One Button Checkup". To Norton's credit, anything "fixed" is backed up and can be undone at a later date. I am assuming that SM has the same feature. But again, what I have been told is that SM has some areas/features of the program that can alter actual system files which if one is not careful could render your system inoperative. Those type of comments tend to make me a little gun shy even though I feel generally confident in what I am doing after several years of using a PC. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Jeff
    Jeff
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  5. #5
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendation on apps similar to Norton Utilities

    Hi Jeff,

    Actually, I use both Norton Utilities and System Mechanic and just like the Spyware programs, one will find some things and the others will find something else.
    So far as the safety of SM is concerned, I have become so confident of it's recommendations that I will just give a cursory look at the findings and let it proceed with the fixes.
    For instance, a scan of the registry will turn up x number of entries to fix and I just let it go ahead with them all. "knock wood". I have never been burned yet, so far as I know.
    Also the mix of features on SM is of a greater variety the NU.
    Like I said, I use BOTH programs but I do exersize more care in the NU recommendations. It might recommend a reg repair that had something to do with a deleted program but then point to using a similar named file in a different program folder altogether. "WRONG". So some care is used with NU, more so than SM.
    BOB
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  6. #6
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Recommendation on apps similar to Norton Utilities

    Jeff,
    What were the things in SM that are supposed to change system files?

    I just went over the list of features in it and I can't really see any that would change them. The ONLY thing might be a problem would be the search for duplicate files. I DON'T use that one at all in any utility. It seems that NU had a duplicate file finder also and I never used that one either.
    Nortons "One button checkup", I will use to get a quick look at things and if it picks up something like a reg problem or shortcut error, I will go to the particular feature to get a closer look at it and to make sure that it's "fix" is a good one. I rarely will let One Button do it's own thing.
    BOB
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    Long ago, there was a time when men cursed and beat on the ground with sticks. It was called witchcraft.
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  7. #7
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Recommendation on apps similar to Norton Utilities

    I was a long-term user of Norton SystemWorks) , but I too, found that many of the suggested remedies offered by WinDoctor were not even close to appropriate. To its credit, it is a stable program, easy user-interface and lots of undo capability. SpeedDisk is not the best defrag program. System Information is not as good as many freeware programs. And SystemDoctor is a useless resource hog. Now, the only Norton product I use is AntiVirus and I think it is exceptional and its what every other AV program wishes it could be.

    If I had to choose one or the other, I'd go with System Mechanic over NU. It wasn't always true, but today's version of SM is very stable and feature loaded. I have it and regularly use "Fix Broken Shortcuts", "Get Rid Of System Junk" and "Clean Up Your Tracks". Honestly, there are many features within SM that I haven't even tried because I use several stand alone utilities that I know and trust. These other SM features may be very good. There's registry cleaners, defraggers, memory defrags, pop-up blockers, anti-virus, software relocator, tweaks, duplicate file remover, and on and on.

    Registry Cleaner - I use RegSeeker. I follow every bit of advice it gives and to this day has never wrecked a program. Both Norton and SM reg cleaners have caused my email program to stop working. All three of these have good undo capability. By the way, RegSeeker is freeware.

    StartUp Manager - System Mechanic also comes with a StartUp Manager for monitoring and managing your systems startup apps. Again, I can't comment on it as I have not used that featurette. I like and use StartMan 1.3.96.

    Defragger - Everything I've read says that PerfectDisk is the best there is. I bought it and I agree. It is much faster than NU and has the ability to defrag upon reboot prior to Windows startup. Again, I cannot speak for System Mechanic's Defrag utility. It may be just fine..

    System Information - I use Belarc Advisor / Free Personal PC Audit. This report is very comprehensive and it's another example of FreeWare.

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  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Recommendation on apps similar to Norton Utilities

    Diskeeper, from Exeuctive Software, also has the ability to defrag at boot, although I prefer setting it to defrag nightly in the wee hours when nothing else is happening. And for AV, I've used F-Prot for years. It's always been what Norton AV is trying to be. <img src=/S/innocent.gif border=0 alt=innocent width=20 height=20> I haven't used a suite of tools since windows 3.11 and wouldn't dream of doing anything but selecting one tool at a time to suit my specific uses.
    Charlotte

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