Clean Machines More Quickly with System Mechanic21 May, 2013 By: Robert Green
Iolo's inexpensive registry utility can save you time and reduce the drudgery of this tedious task.
Every so often, I find myself having to scrub a computer free of years of garbage, abandoned files, registry errors, and unwanted programs. But rather than reformatting the drive and starting over, I've always used manual cleaning and registry optimization programs.
Until recently, the approach I've used for cleaning machines has been as follows:
- Create a Windows restore point (just in case).
- Delete any programs that were no longer required.
- Run system tools to delete temporary and junk files.
- Delete desktop shortcuts.
- Delete browser histories/passwords/etc.
- Optimize/clean registry.
- Defrag the hard drive.
This sequence could take hours, and it frequently required me to provide input for the various utilities I was using. In a change to my usual method, I recently performed a thorough cleanup on an older laptop using iolo technologies' System Mechanic — and I found the experience painless. Because other CAD managers have to perform this task as well, I thought I'd pass along what I found.
First of all, I should point out that System Mechanic is not free: It costs $39 or $59, depending on whether you get the basic or professional version. But that price tag shouldn't keep you from considering it.
System Mechanic does everything you need to clean up a machine in an almost completely automated way. The program first asks you questions about what you want to do, then it gets to work.
When using System Mechanic I still created a restore point and deleted superfluous programs, as I did in the past, but after that I simply told System Mechanic to delete the junk, fix the registry, blow away unused shortcuts, remove history files, defrag the drive, and reboot. All these tasks were completed in an unattended manner (though I did look in on the progress from time to time). I found the registry cleaning to be especially effective because it cleaned up my startup programs, resulting in shorter boot times.
I'm always suspicious of any sort of registry cleaning product — which is why I always create a restore point before using one! System Mechanic, however, performs as well as my old standby registry utility (Registry Booster by Uniblue), while doing so much more. If you clean up user machines frequently, System Mechanic can reduce the drudgery and the time you spend doing so. And for $39 to $59, it'll pay for itself rapidly.
Do you have a tip or question for the CAD Manager's Newsletter? Send it to me at email@example.com. If I use your tip in the newsletter you'll receive a cool Cadalyst prize!