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TuneUp Utilities 2009  

While we are often encouraged, and sometimes make the effort, to be energy efficient with regards to our home and car environment, the home computer is generally an area that is neglected in this respect.

While we are often encouraged, and sometimes make the effort, to be energy efficient with regards to our home and car environment, the home computer is generally an area that is neglected in this respect.   

We complain when a computer takes longer to boot up, load applications and carry out various tasks; but then do little more about it.  Rarely do we consider making an effort to give the computer a spring clean by running software designed to eradicate the problems that have caused us to complain.  One company that hopes to change this attitude with its approach of allowing users a 30-day trial of a product aimed at improving the computer’s performance is TuneUp.  Not unnaturally the product is entitled TuneUp Utilities 2009.

As its title indicates, this product consists of various utilities integrated into a single package for tuning up a computer.  The program’s main interface categories its utilities under various headings listed down the left side and presents a report on the right regarding system maintenance, speed and system status issues.  Recommendations are made as to how these three areas can be improved.  You can either reject the suggestions with an offer to be reminded sometime in the future or accept the advice. 

If you accept then the TuneUp software carries out the task for you as features are turned off, programs uninstalled and settings adjusted.  I did come across one problem with the system status section.  TuneUp Utilities 2009 failed to recognise the presence of my anti-virus software and claimed the system was at risk.

As mentioned earlier, TuneUp Utilities 2009 offers various tools divided into categories dealing with different aspects of the computer system.  At the head of the list are tools for dealing with performance.  Here you can access tools to defrag a hard disk and Registry; optimise speed and memory; plus edit entries loaded as part of the start up routine.  The entries are classified as not required, optional or required and, in most cases, have a brief description as to the purpose of its functionality.

If disk space is causing concern then TuneUp Utilities 2009 can search for and remove unnecessary files either checking all or just individual drives.  On the test system 7.31GB of space was regained by the removal of restore points, browser cache, log files, Windows error reports, and temporary files.  The TuneUp software can analyse designated drives and provide feedback as to the type of files taking up space and can list the top 100 files by size.

Concentrating on Windows, TuneUp Utilities 2009 can clear out unwanted items from the Registry and redundant shortcuts.  An explorer-type module allows you to view your files by categories such as most recent installed files, largest and not used for a long time.  A second Windows section allows you the means of making adjustments to the look and feel of the operating system plus making changes to various settings, display, network and menus.

For solving existing problems, TuneUp Utilities 2009 gives you a choice of Disk Doctor, Repair Wizard and Undelete.  Disk Doctor, as its name implies, checks the health of hard disk(s) and repairs errors that are found.  In some cases this will involve a system reboot as checks are made prior to the launch of Windows.  Repair Wizard offers a fairly comprehensive list of possible problems that fall under the software’s remit.    You can select any that appear to be affecting your system and let the Wizard run its course.  Undelete will attempt to rescue files that have been accidentally deleted.  Finally TuneUp Utilities 2009 contains tools to manage active processes; edit the Registry; shred files and folders; plus check system information.

While Windows does include some tools that can perform some of the features found in this software, TuneUp Utilities 2009 provides an easy-to-use approach and, more often than not, adds functionality to the basic offerings.  With its wide range of features this product is well worth considering especially as you can try the software for 30 days without charge.  Registering this title costs £29.99.  System requirements are for a 300MHz processor with 256MB RAM and 80MB hard disk space running Windows XP SP2 and later.

http://www.tune-up.com/products/tuneup-utilities/

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OverallTuneUp Software,TuneUp Utilities 2009 rated 92 out of 100
Highly commended product

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