TuneUp Utilities 2008 is the second program that I use for maintenance of my computer. Again (similar to Glary utilities) it performs some functions that can be done with windows by default. But, again TunUp does them better. Let's look at some functions that can be done (again they are grouped by basic task):
Customize & Analyze
- -TuneUp SystemControl
- -TuneUp StartUp Manager
- -TuneUp System Information
- -TuneUp Styler 2
Enables you to set the basic look of windows interface. You can change logon screen, some icons, even boot screen. It does it very well. Windows doesn't start any slower and no problem appear. You can even made your own boot screen.
Clean and Repair
- TuneUp DiskCleaner
- TuneUp Disk Doctor
- TuneUp Disk Space Explorer
- TuneUp RegistryCleaner
There is nothing special here to say. It does plain windows stuff, but quicker and better.
Optimize and Improve
- TuneUp MemOptimizer (Monitors and optimizes free memory in the background)
- TuneUp RegistryDefrag (Corrects physical errors in the registry and defragments it)
- TuneUp System Optimizer (Checks your system for settings that might be slowing it down)
Again nothing special but useful stuff to be done from time to time. Again it's quicker and better from windows built in engines that do this stuff.
Manage and Control
- TuneUp Process Manager (instead of CTRL + ALT + DEL)
- TuneUp Registry Editor
- TuneUp Uninstall Manager (good but Glary ut. has better one)
This is the less useful section (at least for me. Process manager is not so user-friendly and Uninstall manager is nothing special (same as in windows). Registry editor is the only thing that is has some usefulness.
Recover and Erase
- TuneUp Shredder (Deletes files securely, ensuring that they cannot be recovered later)
- TuneUp Undelete (Recovers files that have been deleted from the Recycle Bin)
Nothing to add. Names of the functions say it all.
Overall this program has amazing ability to personalize the look and feel of the windows interface (even allows you to manage some context menu's - right click menu's). But it lakes the functionality in other areas. BUT combined with another maintenance program it's becomes a very useful toll. But the worse thing about it is that it isn't free.
I have used tuneup range for a longtime both at work and at home and I can honestly say its one of the best on the market and well worth how much it costs, unlike most it does really deliver results. When your machine is running slow its normaly down to the machine not been optomised, hidden files running on startup that are not needed, even files left behind when you think that they have been deleted. Tuneup will show you all programs that are running on startup and allow you to safely close down unwanted ones which saves using msconfig. Not only this it will defrag your hard drive to get rid of unwanted files that have been left behind, optomise your graphics performance and even your internet connection. Unlike most it does also offer a free trial to enable you to test it, if usure I would but you will end up buying it as its really good.
I have been using this diamond of a program for a while now and have decided I am 'clued up' enough to finally write a review on it, (alright, maybe 'clued up' isn't the right word...).
I would have done it sooner but I like to make sure I know at least a bit about what I waffle about, there's no point in doing a review about a car you've test drove once is there..? It would be like reviewing a show starring David Soul without actually watching it... (take note Matthew Wright)...
I was using TU 2007 for a while and when I was offered a copy of the 2008 copy from a friend... so I thought I'd give it a try, considering the 'product key' came with it so I wouldn't be just using the trial period, which was for a month when downloaded from www.download.com , (although they are only allowing the TU 2009 version now, which I have not tried as yet but does come with a 30 day free trial as well).
Anyway, back to what I'm meant to be talking about...Tuneup Utilities 2008... And what it has to offer...
* MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS...
* Windows 2000... 60MB of free disk-space, IE 6 or above, 800x600 resolution with 256 colours.
* Windows XP/Vista... 100MB disc space, IE 6 or above, 1024x768 resolution with 16.7 million colours and internet access.
And of course a CD-Rom or DVD-ROM drive to actually install the program.
* THE BOX IT COMES IN AND IT'S CONTENTS...
The case is pretty plain, mainly white with a blue spanner looking thing surrounding three yellow hexagons, each hexagon contains a different symbol, representing what the program does...
That's it really...although on the back of the case is a support hotline number and a brief explanation of how to install the CD.
The box contains the installation CD and a very thin booklet, which gives a few details about requirements, installation and a brief explanation of what the program does... plus, which is quite important... the product key, which was on the back of the booklet.
* INSTALLING THE PROGRAM...
This is a simple process of putting the disc into your drive and following the straight forward instructions which appear on your monitor... the entire process should takes a matter of minutes before you're up and running and ready to clean and improve your system in a few easy clicks...
* What happens...
* The first screen tells you to close any other programs before proceeding, then click 'next'
* The next screen asks you to agree to the terms and conditions.
* Then the next screen asks you for a little bit of information, like the 'product key' and your name...also it asks you want the program to be for all users or just you.
* Then you have the choice of whether you want a short cut on your desk top and whether you want the 'one click fixes' as a short cut as well.
* Then, you select the installation location for the program to rest.
* Then click next and wait the few minutes for the program to install...the status bar will keep you informed...
* Then click finish...job done...
It is just a matter of checking for updates and registering the product, (although this is not necessary it is advisable and only takes a moment of your time).
* WHAT IS DOES....
It does a few things from cleaning your hard disc to boosting your internet experience, and also enable you to personalise the look of your system.
The first screen gives you the options of...
** INCREASING PERFORMANCE...
* Tune-up drive defrag... defragment your disc space to speed up your system.
* Organise what programs start up when windows opens
* Accelerating download speeds and system optimiser/ advisor.
* Registry defragment... speeding up your registry...
** FREE UP DISK SPACE...
This scans your system and tells you what it feels is safe to remove... releasing space on your hard drive...** CAUTION...do check the list of what it finds before deleting.
* Also, it gives you a disk space explorer... letting you see exactly space programs take up on your system
** MAINTAINING WINDOWS...
* One click fixes, which gives you a chance to see any problems on your system and fix them with 'one click', including registry cleanup, deleting temporary files, defragging hard disk and setting for automatic maintenance
* Or a manual maintenance which allow you to correct your registry your self.
** SOLVING PROBLEMS...
* Disk doctor... which will clean any error on your HD, although this can only be done by re-booting your system...
* Repair Wizard... Sorts out problems with your display, such as bad shortcut keys.
* Undelete... allows you to rescue some programs that you have 'accidentally' deleted.
** CUSTOMIZING WINDOWS...
* System control... allows you to customise the look of your computer, from the look of your font to the look of each folder.
* Styler... allows you to do such things as change the image on the 'Boot-up' screen and the 'Logon' screen, plus a lot more, like checking for errors in you icons.
** ADDITIONAL TOOLS...
* Process manager...which allows you to see what running and monitor usage.
* Registry Editor...allows you to see your registry and even edit it
* Shredder... allows you to permanently delete any files or folders.
* System information... gives you every detail of what's on your system, including memory, devices, drivers, windows and more...
* Uninstall manager... which allows you to see what programs are installed and gives you the option of uninstalling them...
It also has a rescue centre, just in case your system goes pear shaped after using TU to sort it out... it will undo any changes and has a system restore as well
And an update wizard which, as the name says, helps you update the program.
Well, that's what it does and I know it was a bit of a long read, that's because this little program does do quite a bit...
* IN CONCLUSION...
What a great little bit of kit this is, and what a lot it does to help keep your PC running nice and smoothly.
There is just so much it can do it can take a little while to actually get the hang of it so you know exactly what it can achieve.
Once installed the interface does look pleasant and is easy to understand, allowing you to use the program with some confidence, almost like a professional, (but do still take care when 'cleaning' your system).
I do know that many of the abilities of this little gem can be achieved by going through your windows itself, such as defragging your disk /registry and uninstalling programs, but to be able to do it fix every thing from one place does save an awful lot of hassle and time.
It is a cheap way to quickly maintain your PC with out hassles and over the top priced programs, where some can actually mess up your system rather than sort it... Tune-up Utilities 2008 wont mess with your system at all...
Out of all the things this little gem can do if I had to pick my favourite it would have to be the 'Disk doctor' as it is another little piece of genius. I tended to use this a lot on TU 2007, and have used it quite a few times on this one as well... it checks your drive for any errors with the click of a button... although whilst it is running you can't use your PC, so run this when you're having dinner or something...
But I did find the 'Styler' in customise windows very interesting indeed as it gave a few more options of how to change the sometimes boring look on the boot-up and Login pages... with some nice images on offer and many more to actually download, ( although the images do vary on XP and Vista).
My Pcs really do look like individuals now... and have all performed like a Olympic gold medal winner since I installed TU 2008 on them...
In all, a brilliantly priced product which keeps your system happy and clean, like 'Andrex' on your bottom...
As I said earlier, I was given a copy of this program but I know it is on offer at www.amazon.co.uk for under £14.00, which considering it can be used on more than one PC is good value for money... ( I have it installed on 1 XP desktop, 1 Vista desk top and a Vista laptop... I am wondering whether I can get it on any more myself, but think it can only be used on 3?..but if it is more then please let me know).
PS...the reason for such a high rating is that since i started using this program my PCs have gained speed and have never faltered at all.
It was that time of year again, the internet virus protection and cleaning tool I had been using on my PC for the last year, in this case Norton 360 glided to a halt, they wanted more money. £59.95 or £99.95 in fact for another one or two years service in fact, last time I upgraded a Norton program for a second year it only cost me £39.95, shocked at the increase I gulped and decided to forget the upgrade for another day.
In an unrelated event the following day at work the PC engineer turned up at work, shocked that there was no virus protection on our PC's. "I'm amazed your world has not come to a halt" he said in his artful dodger style accent, "oh yeah I thought" here comes the punchline Norton antivirus on all the PC's, 3 or 4 per licence that takes us to £700 - £800 to kit out the whole building. To my surprise however this conversation was not going in this direction, he recommended free virus protection programme AVG 8 , and a programme called Tune Up Utilities 2008 the latter at the cost of £29.99, but you could use it on as many PC's that reside at your address, so whether you have 1 or 100 pc's your still looking at the same cost; better still Tune Up comes with a 30 day free trial that gives you FULL use of the program, what was to lose?
Here is the key thing, nothing was to lose the work PC's started working better than before, so it was obvious that I was going to be trying this out when I got home.
Forget AVG 8 for now, that's another review entirely. Tune Up 2008 downloads from there own website or you can pick it up from PC world stores, difference being is that by picking it up you don't get the free month. The big plus with Tune Up is that at the end of the year you don't need to upgrade, once purchased its yours for keeps.
Tune Up is compatible with every single windows program since Windows 98, so you don't need to feel you have to have a snazzy operating system for this to work effectively.
There are two parts to the programme Tune Up Utilities 2008, and Tune Up 1-Click Maintenance. The first one looks after itself after first run, whereas the maintenance program should be ran once a week, I do mine on a Monday morning and it takes about 8 minutes maximum, far quicker than Nortons once a week updates.
Now considering that Norton 360, is supposed to keep your PC running smoothly as well as battle internet crime in the form of viruses, after running Tune Up for the first time I really felt that for the last year I had been ripped off. Because on my first run, the program gave me back 60 GB of storage on the two build in drives on my PC, furthermore it informed me that all those windows updates with Vista, don't replace the old ones, simply put them in storage for a later date, the result? 34 files that will never be of use again. All of which your informed about prior to deletion. Next came the tune up, "what I here you cry? That's not it?" The tune up program which you rune once a week, looks at all your files, removes the defunct once, and those that it sees as flawed are in need of update it will do for you, ever switched on your PC and had a message saying such and such does not work? And the reality is that you don't have a clue what that it. Well suddenly that message was gone, it either deleted or repaired it.
Now each week Tune Up returns at least a GB of my PC to me, updates existing programs, and informs you of all the pointless things going on in your PC. Better still considering its not virus protection, it still does part of the job, informing me and quarantining viruses for a virus killer to dispose of. On the subject if viruses etc. though it does kill spyware dead, no sooner is it on its way in and its gone.
Tune Up is more than just a clean up tool however, it allows you through a nifty choice of tools the ability to customise your PC exactly how you want it. Now you could argue that Windows does that, but in reality it does not because it only lets you customise the PC the way it wants you too. Tune Up allows you to change every aspect of your PC's appearance, from the little icons, to the colours of the background. It will even get rid of the windows boot screen replacing it with one of its own images or one of your choice, my PC now loads up to a woman having her eyeball pulled out (what can I say I'm a horror nut) its certainly a talking point.
The biggest gain is that my PC feels so much quicker, and looks so much swifter, people are enthralled by the way my PC looks (on screen) so different, the most common point "How do you do that?" The PC will even (if necessary) defragment itself as part of the Monday morning 8 minute routine
For me, its the best £30 I have ever spent, and it really does beg the question for a hundred quid what does Norton actually do for your PC, because tune up is supposed to be a major factor. Unlike Norton your updates here are free, even after the first year.
Try it for 30 days commitment free, and you really will see the difference, hit your favourite search engine now for this program.
Spencer Hawken 07/08
TuneUp Utilities is a set of excellent, easy to use software that will help you maintain your computer, solve any problems that may occur and monitor the performance of your computer. I downloaded the trial version of TuneUp Utilities 2008 but unlocked the full version by purchasing a key from ebay for a small sum of £2.50.
There are nine main sections that Tuneup Utilities is split into. There are increase performance, free up disk space, maintain windows, solve problems, customise windows, additional tools, rescue centre, update wizard and the help menu.
The increase performance sections lets you defragment hard drive. Fragmentation of a hard disk is when data is not organised inside your hard drive and it is broken into 'fragments' which are spread all over your hard disk. Defragmentation basically reorganises these fragments and puts them together. Hard disk fragmentation is perhaps the biggest slower down of PCs and the hard disk is by far the slowest part of your computer. While Windows has a built in hard disk defragmentator, it is not a good one and is in fact quite horrible and can sometimes cause freezes. Windows Vista has a background defragmentator which basically defragments your hard disk continuously but this uses memory and slows down your computer and so is better left turned off. The TuneUp Utilities 2008 defragmentator is not the best but still quite good and a lot better than the Windows 'built-in' application. You can either have it scan your hard disk and it will automatically defragment it if there is a lot of fragmentation or set it to defragment a chosen hard disk. Mine took around 20 minutes to defragment a six-month old system with a 120GB hard disk which is quite fast.
You can also control which applications launch at start up as these slow the computer down significantly, optimise your web browser to suit your internet connection and do a registry defrag in the increasing performance menu. Registry is a set of important data that contains all your settings and is essential for the execution of Windows operating systems. The registry defrag reduces the space taken up by the registry and this releases memory for other operations which means a faster system. The TuneUp registry defrag is quite effective but does not harm any of your important registry files and paralyse windows.
In free-up disk space menu, you can view a list of unnecessary files and enhancements for Windows which you can get rid of to increase the amount of disk space available. While any changes made here won't stop your system working but they may change system settings or delete system restore information.
In solve problems menu, you can run the 'disk doctor' to see if the hard disk is working well and reduce any chances of data loss. The repair wizard allows you to solve any problems that may occur. There is also TuneUp Undelete which lets you recover deleted data. I have used it on numerous occasions and can certify it works very often and works well. This, of course, depends how long ago the information was deleted and whether special software was used to delete it.
Customise windows menu allows you to change the appearance and actions of your windows operating system and make the windows experience suit your needs. While there are a range of options available from adjusting internet settings to changing the log on screen.
Additional tools allows you to uninstall programs, monitor the things your PC is doing and its performance using process manager, browse and edit the registry (which you should NEVER do), view system information and use the secure TuneUp shredder. The uninstall programs option is very similar to the one in the Windows Control Panel, the process manager works is a more elegant and informative form of Windows Task manager while the Registry editor should never be touched. The TuneUp shredder allows you to get rid of important information securely There are three basic ways in which deletes the information, each more secure than the last. This application is extremely helpful, fast and is worth paying £20 for (or £2.50 from ebay).
The maintain windows menus runs the disk deframentator, registry defrag, disk doctor and other applications upon one click and also lets you use the registry cleaner. The registry cleaner is not too aggressive which makes it very safe to use but does mean that some junk will be not be cleaned. This is ok since once slip in the registry can render your whole computer useless.
The Update Wizard is quite fast and searches for any updates that may be available. The Restore Centre allows you to return to the state your system was in before you used a particular TuneUp Utilities function. This allows you to undo any damage that could have been done by TuneUp Utilities.
Everything is very well laid out and easy to understand while the one-click maintenance feature will really help those with little knowledge of computers. Visually, the program is simple yet stylish but feels very functional.
In conclusion, TuneUp Utilities is the perfect solution for maintaining your PC or laptop and ensuring that it performs well in the future. Even if it cost twice its regular retail price, it would be worth it as it allows those with little knowledge of computing to maintain their computers. However, while TuneUp utilities does do most things and does them well, it isn't as good as the top dedicated applications for those things. For example, Disk Keeper is a much better disk defrag software but it costs more to buy has less functions. Those with a comprehensive computing knowledge should look for dedicated applications but for everyone else, TuneUp Utilities should suffice