I have been asked to review a piece of software that is supposed to optimize your system. I thought instead of reviewing just this one piece of software I would talk about system optimization software in general and the pitfalls you can fall into if you’re not careful. I will of course talk about this particular piece of software and inform you of others that are available, both paid and free versions.
The Windows registry is a database in which Windows keeps track of relationships between hardware, software and the operating system. It’s not uncommon for the registry to grow very large over time, which tends to slow down the computer’s start-up and can make it unstable. You can end up with lots of unnecessary registry entries that are created when you install or remove software and hardware on your computer. Sometimes an “orphaned” registry entry can confuse Windows during start up and cause a delay. In general, slimming down your registry will make Windows run faster. Registry cleaning is not without risks. This is a very sensitive area of your computer, and if you’re happy with how your computer is running, don’t go digging around. Trying to manually edit your registry can create errors in the registry that make it impossible to load Windows. Some registry-cleaning programs have been known to delete important registry keys or essential DLL files. Some registry cleaners make no distinction as to the severity of the errors, and many that do may erroneously categorize errors as “critical” with little basis to support it. Poorly designed registry cleaners may not know for sure whether a key is still being used by Windows or what detrimental effects removing it may have. This has led to examples of registry cleaners causing loss of functionality and/or system instability
The software I was asked to review is called Digeus System Optimizer 8.2.
This software is a paid version retailing for $45.47 Canadian as posted on their website. The installation of the software was straight forward and will work on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7.
Features of this software are like most of the registry cleaners on the market:
- Automatically identifies and repairs common Windows problems
- Finds and deletes duplicate files – regain valuable hard disk space
- Removes invalid registry entries increasing system performance
- Eliminates system crashes, freezes and slowdowns
- Improves PC boot up and response time
- Cleans over 50 different types of junk files
- Cleans your Internet History and other personal traces
When I started the software I noticed there was an Optimization Wizard so I decided to try that. There are 10 steps to follow in total of which I will not go into great detail but I will mention the areas I think will cause you trouble. The FIRST STEP of the wizard starts the Process Manager. It checked the processes running on my system and marked in RED unknown processes that can or should be deleted. This is where you can really get into trouble. It marked the majority of windows processes that are necessary for windows to run properly.
The SEVENTH STEP (Service Manager) was another area were you had to be very careful if you disable or delete a service that is required there could be dire consequences.
EIGHTH STEP (Junk File Cleaner) Although its a good idea to clean out temporary files once in awhile this step wanted to remove empty folders that I wanted to keep or that are needed for certain software to use. Not always a good idea to remove them.
NINTH STEP (Registry Cleaner) it found 1406 problems which makes me a little suspicious because other programs I use comes back clean.
TENTH STEP and last was the Registry Defrag
Although this software does what it claims to do, I would have to say that it is not for the average user. I prefer to recommend Ccleaner to my clients, which is far easier to use and does the job very nicely. I would say if you decide to use registry cleaning software then do so at your own risk.
There are many of these types of software on the market that will do the same thing often much easier and better. Many of the free ones are just as good as the paid ones such as Ccleaner , Glary’s Utilities, etc. I personally use Ccleaner myself. Some of the paid ones are Registry Mechanic, Norton had a System Works that is now built into their Norton 360 product, and others that I can’t think of right now.
It is my opinion that you should in fact have your system tuned up by a professional at least once every 6 months or so. If you choose to do this yourself then please use caution in doing so and at the very least create a windows restore point before you begin.
For information on the PC Tune Up I offer in my business please visit Scott’s Computer Emporium @ www.computeremporium.ca