Features: Analyze and Repair Tools
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On first launch, iolo System Mechanic 7 offers to do a "quick system analysis" of the computer and report any issues back to the user. I opted to have the scan done and it took less than a minute overall.
Some of the issues System Mechanic found with my system included:
- Spyware and malware.
- Broken uninstalls.
At first I was unable to find a "rollback" or undo feature, a shortcoming if one didn't exist. However I discovered SafetyNet which supports this undoing any change System Mechanic has made. This feature appeared to work as expected. I performed an undo on a repair I previously made and re-ran the system scan. The item that was repaired then showed up again in the items needing repair.
[systemmechanic_first_launch.JPG]The scan showed my system to be in fair health and in critical security shape (largely because I turned off anti-virus scanners and firewalls for some testing when I review a product). It nicely categorizes the problems into "critical problems" and "warnings." It automatically selects the critical problems for repair and leaves it to you to look over the warnings. The problems can be repaired individually or you can choose to repair all selected items with a single button. System Mechanic 7 also provides a time estimate for each repair so you can estimate how long your computer will be tied up. - Registry problems which included bad entries and the need to be compacted.- Low memory (which it claims it can repair by "defragmenting" the system memory).I chose to run the repairs independently to get a better feel for how they work and to validate the time estimates. I first ran the repair task of removing system "clutter." The task finished in the range specified by the report. However, after the repair was finished, a reboot was required. [systemmechanic_safety_net.JPG]
When the system returned from a reboot, iolo System Mechanic 7 did not restart where it left off so I had to relaunch the product to pick up my repair work. Relaunching System Mechanic 7 took me back to the report page which had all the information it contained when I rebooted. As I worked through the repair options, System Mechanic 7 did its work without providing insight into exactly what it was removing or changing. It did tell me how far through the process it was but it didn't inform me exactly what it was touching. Some users may appreciate this but I tend to want to know what exactly a tool is touching in case I need to roll back or modify something the tool changed.
Some items that System Mechanic wanted to "repair" were so ambiguous that I was unsure whether I should let the tool modify my computer. I found the lack of detailed descriptions for some of these items unfortunate. One example was the warning that my "internet connection was not optimized for maximum speed." The descriptive text claimed that the repair would use "Net Booster" which "optimizes various settings to soot your type of Internet connection. Adapting these settings boosted Web download rates and improves overall Internet speed and stability." While this sounds great, it would be helpful to know what type of settings are being adjusted and whether Net Booster is a process or an application that runs in the background. The help file didn't provide much more information.
One final annoyance has to do with the way the tool manages reboots. In performing seven repairs (both critical and warnings), I was told to reboot four separate times. The dialog box that told me to reboot stated that the system had to be reboot in order for other repairs to be done. While I expect that I could have rebooted once at the end of all the repairs, the dialog was not clear and given that the tool was touching critical aspects of my compute