Donít Fuss, Just Fix It
Keeping your personal computer running smoothly, let alone at optimum capacity, can be a time consuming task. In some cases you could spend so much time carrying out maintenance that you leave little time for more productive and entertaining past-times. Fortunately you can off-load many maintenance tasks to software utilities. One such offering bundles together a range of security and maintenance features under the title of System Suite 7. Developed by VCOM, System Suite 7 comes with a three-user license and a copy of PowerDesk 6 - more on this element a little later.
Installing the product offers the user a number of options. You can accept or decline to have the software monitor and schedule system check points when changes are detected plus turn on/off firewall and anti-virus protection with the latter automatically checking files and emails as they are opened. A check will be made for any networking application currently present and these will be added to the list used by System Suite firewall. If you opt for the System firewall and anti-virus protection then you are strongly advised to disable any other similar protection that might be running to avoid conflict problems.
A system reboot will be required to complete the installation. However you should be aware that it might be best to remove the disk before activating this operation as the disk is of the bootable variety and will automatically launch a Rescue Disk module. This can be a little disconcerting especially if you are not expecting it. Rescue Disk provides you with the capabilities that include fixing boot problems; completely erasing a drive or partition; and manually creating a new partition.
The first time you run System Suite, it will ask for permission to check for any updates, unlike a competitive product which takes the decision out of your hands. In my case the only updates available were concerned with the anti-virus element of the product. These items were quickly downloaded and integrated into the product's protective shield.
System Suite's interface, with a predominant blue tinge, consists of a panel displaying the main areas of functionality and a larger section showing the various tools available in the currently selected category. By default you will be placed at the Home screen which concentrates on displaying status information for protection and health. Options will be available to activate One-Click Wizards which carry out a range of tasks such as anti-virus checks and running the program's defrag module which is rather inappropriately named JETDefrag. Like most of the utilities making up this suite, JETDefrag is not the quickest at performing its designated task. It does the job competently but does make you wait.
When maintenance is your major concern, System Suite offers a number of specific areas it can tackle. As you move through the various choices, so the choice of tools will change and display a brief description of the tools functionality. The maintenance areas have been designated as Diagnose; Fix & Maintain; Optimise; Cleanup; Recovery; Uninstall; and Zip. Depending upon the chosen area, there are tools to pinpoint errors in your hardware setup; detect and fix registry errors; decide which programs will run when Windows starts; remove temporary and history files; retrieve lost or deleted data; backup a program; and work with Zip files.
Requiring its own installation routine is the previously mentioned PowerDesk 6. This application is a replacement for Windows Explorer. Among its features are folder synchronisation; size manager; play list editor; and improved search capabilities. It also provides support for 150 file formats and the use of skins.
As already indicated, the various utilities making up this suite are not the quickest around but generally they are thorough in carrying out their work. For an overall approach to protection and maintenance, System Suite 7 has the capability to cover most eventualities and is well worth considering. Priced at £39.99 (there is also a single user version that can be downloaded and will cost £9.99), System Suite 7 requires Windows 2000/XP/Vista with 64MB of RAM and 45MB of hard disk space.
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