TuneUp is not only faster than Fix-It; it's easier to understand and less likely to lead you astray.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983

T e c h n o f i l e
New 'Tune Up' a fool-proof way to get Windows to run better

March 30, 2008

By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2008, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2008, The Post-Standard

   Windows has a problem.
   Like your down-and-out brother-in-law, every now and then Windows needs a helping hand. Registry entries get corrupted, files self-destruct and essential parts of the operating system go AWOL now and then.
   There are two ways to deal with Windows corruption.
   One, often used by professionals who absolutely need a reliable Windows installation, is to clone Windows to a spare hard drive right after the initial installation. Whenever there is a problem or on a regular basis such as once a week, the cloned version is copied back to the main hard drive. People who do this usually keep their documents and e-mail on a separate drive so they won't lose this sort of data.
   The other way, used by many others, is to install software specifically designed to clean up and and sanitize Windows. If this kind of software is run often enough -- every few days would be a good idea -- you can expect Windows to run much more reliably.
   Two programs stand out. Both are designed for Windows XP and Windows Vista. They probably won't work on older versions of Windows.
   My favorite clean-and-shine program for Windows used to be Fix-It Utilities 8 Professional, available as a download from www.avanquestusa.com. It costs $39.95. Here's a helpful review of an earlier version: www.technofileonline.com/texts/tec100205.html.
   Fix-It was my choice because it does so much and because it does everything well. But Fix-It takes a long time doing things, making it hard for me to recommend it as a program anyone would want to run every few days.
   The best alternative I've tried so far is TuneUp Utilities 2008 from www.tune-up.com. You can download a trial version or buy it online. It costs $49.95.
   TuneUp is not only faster than Fix-It; it's easier to understand and less likely to lead you astray. Disk fixing and defragging work well, and TuneUp uses an easy-to-understand method to help you disable those uninvited auto-startup programs that slip into Windows so readily.
   TuneUp also did a fast job of ridding my Windows XP system of corrupted Registry entries. It also sent my system to the shrink -- not the human kind, to be sure -- to make the Registry smarter and smaller. And I liked the way it found (and fixed!) problems with my Internet speed settings, including a couple of adjustments to Firefox, my Windows Web browser.
   Other small problems were fixed nicely, too. What I especially like about Tune Up is its friendliness. You never feel like you have to study Computer Rocketology to use any of its functions.
   You'll sometimes find free utilities that fix various Windows problems, but having dozens of fixes built into one program -- and knowing that it does a good job with all of them -- is surely worth the cost of a tank of gas or a dinner for two at a nice restaurant. I'm giving Tune Up a big thumbs-up.