At the bottom of the main navigation bar is a section called Toolbox, which contains 45 assorted system tools. If you haven’t been alerted to any problems on the Problems tab, you can still run the relevant tools from here. Nearly all of them have trivial functions, such as cleaning out your browser history and performing registry tweaks. Most of these tools have ™ and ® marks on their names, which seems to indicate they originated in Iolo’s marketing department rather than its labs. One makes the extraordinarily dubious claim that it will “Increase Internet speed and stability by optimizing connection settings”. There’s no report of exactly how it achieves this. Other modules such as Program Accelerator™ and Drive Accelerator™ claim to do the same thing: realign programs on the hard drive so they launch quicker.
An all-in-one tool called PC TotalCare® claims to “Supercharge Windows up to 300%” by defragmenting your RAM and registry (utterly pointless, though it sounds impressive), optimising your hard drive (a defrag no better than what Windows’ built in tool can provide) and optimising Windows startup (exactly the same “Unnecessary Startup Items” routine). Another module called Total Registry Revitalizer offers to back up, clean up (again) and defrag the registry.
Iolo offers to remove essential software
Finally, there’s a SafetyNet module which lets you undo most of the “optimisations” in case you change your mind or, more likely, find that something has gone wrong.
The promised backup feature of System Mechanic Pro comes in the form of a simple link to SugarSync online and a free 5GB account. SugarSync is actually a well regarded service which comes with its own desktop and smartphone clients, so this was an unexpected plus. There’s also the dismal file recovery tool we encountered earlier, and a disk scrubbing tool which actually seems like the most competent of the bunch. Overall, this leaves us with too many individual programs to run. All these tools could have been built into the main program.
Performance and usability
We really couldn’t find much reason to run any of System Mechanic’s modules and found zero perceivable improvement in our test PC’s speed after running several of them. At least the program’s interface is easy enough to navigate and each function is explained in simple, direct language.
The "Privacy cleaner" performs simple common tasks
Conclusion and Price in India
Our retail box had an MRP of Rs 1,299 printed on it alongside several glowing blurbs from reputed publications. The suite is almost completely useless for power users who know how to maintain their own PCs and is potentially dangerous in the hands of inexperienced users. Free tools are available to perform the most useful tasks, such as cleaning detritus from the registry. If you feel that you can get some marginal improvement out of it, then Rs 1,299 isn’t too much to pay. Our recommendation though is to skip it, invest in a superior Internet security suite and just defrag your hard drive once a year.
Updated 18 Jun, 2013, 8:58 pm IST
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