Tune Up Solution 

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Health checks, while not compulsory, can solve and prolong active life. Does your computer need such a check up?
Tunup Utilities 2008

Computers, like users (at least this one), tend to slow down with age.  This is as a result of the demands placed on computer resources by various peripherals and software.  As a result it could be to your advantage, and certainly benefit your computer's performance, to carry out various health checks and house-keeping tasks.  TuneUp Utilities 2008 is a product that offers to help in this respect.

Developed by TuneUp Software, this product can be downloaded for a 30-day trial period before any decision is made to purchase the software without any time limitation.  As is fairly standard practice, especially with utility software, the product asks for permission to check online for any updates which can then be installed automatically.  The program places two icons on your desktop covering the main program and a one-shop approach covering three specific areas but more of this a little later.

The main interface of TuneUp Utilities 2008 shows a list of areas that might require attention on the left while the right side shows the tools available for that particular area.  As with all the tools in this suite, each module is self-contained and adopts a wizard-led approach.  By default you start with the tools for increasing performance by defragging your hard disk and Registry; optimising the system by accelerating downloads and memory; plus take a look at and trim the items that are loaded when Windows starts with a Startup Manager

While I was certainly impressed with the Startup Manager module which gave details and advice on most of the items loaded at start-up and helped me reduce the numbers loaded by 15 items, I was concerned by the appearance of German dialogue that appeared when using the accelerating download section.  If mistakes like this can slip through quality testing then what other more serious errors may lay in wait for unsuspecting users.

Moving on to the next section which deals with freeing up disk space, TuneUp can target individual hard disks or all disks as it checks for unwanted files and backups.  The cleanup process is hardly the quickest but you are shown the items that are deemed suitable for removal and have the final choice as to whether they are removed or not.

Tune Up Utilities 2008
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A solving problem section contains a Disk Doctor which carries out checks on drives for any errors that are present and automatically corrects those it finds.  This process can be set to run in normal or thorough mode with the latter being more time consuming.  Generally a system restart will be called for at the conclusion of Disk Doctor's work.  Again this is rather a time intensive operation. 

You also get a Repair Wizard whose task is to deal with problems concerning the taskbar, icons, files, folders, programs and installation issues.  Other tools featured in this suite include a process manager, file shredder, uninstall manager plus the ability to customise various aspects of Windows.

As mentioned earlier, TuneUp Utilities 2008 provides a one-shop operation to complete certain tasks.  This one-click operation covers correcting Registry problems; freeing up disk space; and optimising the hard disk from a single interface. I would take care when deciding on the program's settings as it does have a habit of taking over your system when conducting scheduled maintenance.

TuneUp Utilities 2008 lacks the functionality of some of its competitors but does cover most areas that could cause performance problems.  It is not the quickest when it comes to its own performance but generally provides a thorough performance.  The software requires Windows 2000 or later with a minimum of 60MB of hard disk space and Internet Explorer 6.  There is support for both 32 and 64-bit software.  TuneUp Utilities 2008 has been priced at £29.99.

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