It feels like every day there’s another task that I can do using my laptop instead of venturing out into the real world and doing it there. This is great, for lots of reasons, but it means my laptop is in serious need of some TLC and sometimes, it gets a little slow. I’m not blaming it for that, we all have those days. The majority of people who own laptops now know how to use them but struggle with maintaining top performance levels. So, wouldn’t it be great if there was one piece of software that we could all access that would keep everything in tip-top shape? That’s the idea behind System Mechanic 17 Professional. It’s an easy to install and navigate piece of software that will tackle all those little nagging issues that makes your computer run slow.
I was able to obtain a licence key for the purposes of review. Usually it would cost £27.50 to purchase the software and I saw an option for a free trial when I was downloading it.
Firstly, I should explain what it is designed to do. It can boost the speed of your PC, optimize internet speed and performance, deal with privacy issues like malware and recover any lost data. One idea that really appealed to me is that it deals with startup applications that might be slowing your computer down. That’s something that really annoys me.
This was simple to download. I set aside a couple of hours in case of any problems. I find it’s always a good idea to do that and if the software installs quicker, you’ve got time to play around with it. I read up on System Mechanic 17 Pro and did a little research before downloading. I didn’t see a restart specified on the official website where I downloaded the software but some reviewers did recommend restarting your machine after you download it. I decided to go against the grain and dive right in. It transpired to be a mistake because although the System Mechanic 17 Pro downloaded and installed very well, on its initial scan, it got a little stuck. It actually scanned and then didn’t give me the results, so a reboot was needed. After that, I had no problems at all.
One of the first things I had to do in order to get the aforementioned scan was switch off all other similar software so that they don’t all cross with each other and interfere. This always makes me nervous and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. Switch off McAfee? Is that really a good idea?
The initial scan was looking for any startup software that was slowing down my machine and decreasing the performance. It found eighteen applications. I wasn’t surprised that it found something, but I was definitely surprised at the number of applications. I’ve only had this laptop since May. That’s just over five months, so there shouldn’t be too much clutter on there. I ran through all the problematic software and some I needed, others I didn’t recognise and only one I was able to confidently deal with. An interesting point to note is that it can advise you on how much of an impact these startup programs are having on your PC. If it’s having very little impact, it doesn’t really matter if it’s on or off but there were one or two that I use regularly that were having a big impact on performance. It certainly makes you think about whether you really need these applications.
On the left-hand side of the window is a list of options that you can select to scan for potential problems or address those problems, namely Dashboard, Toolbox, ActiveCare, LiveBoost, Internet Security and Reports. The Dashboard, being at the top and sounding like it might give me a general overview of what’s going on, was my first selection. It told me that my system status was good, that it had found one recommendation for optimizing performance and I could either select the option to go ahead and blindly fix it (this box is blue so it stands out and looks pretty) or I could select the option to view the issue and make an informed decision (in a white box, looks a bit drab and not quite as appealing). The issue was that I needed a memory de-frag. I apparently have 30% more memory available to me by de-fragging so already I can tell that this software is going to be useful because honestly, I would never have de-fragged such a new machine without the prompt.
You can rescan to check for more problems at any time. There are two types of scan. One will only take a couple of minutes and is a quick once-over but there’s another deeper scan that takes between five and seven minutes.
In the Toolbox option, you’ll find further options saying Clean, Speed Up, Protect, Recover and Manage. The Clean option scans for junk files, securely erases private data, repairs registry problems and repairs broken shortcuts. Speed Up has options to maximise free memory and realign programs on the hard drive, amongst other things. Protect basically fixes security issues, identifies vulnerabilities and alerts you to them. You can also use this section to securely wipe all data from a drive. Recover is where you reclaim things like photos and videos that you’ve somehow wiped. I think I’ll be using this option a lot. I tried it out on a bunch of photos I deleted on purpose, just for the sake of this review. It took a while to carry out the scan, probably about fifteen minutes, but I did manage to locate and recover them. If there’s something you really want to get back, this could be an invaluable tool.
ActiveCare is the part of the software that can run in the background for you and fix things without having to disturb you to ask if it’s ok to fix them. You can select which aspects you want ActiveCare to deal with and which you don’t. For example, I chose to optimize startup configuration, internet configuration and the system drive, but not to de-fragment and compact the registry. One thing I’ve learned about the System Mechanic 17 Pro is that it’s kind of obsessed with de-fragmenting. That is obviously a good thing, but it seemed like every menu had an option to de-frag and it became quite amusing after a while.
ActiveCare can also be set up to repair broken shortcuts or broken internet connections automatically. This turned out to be very useful, especially the broken internet connection option. This has been really useful for me in the short time I’ve been using it and it does work well.
LiveBoost is designed to increase the speed and availability of your CPU, RAM and hard drive resources. It can save battery life and be configured to your own preferences. For example, if you’re a gamer and you want great performance for that you can select that ultra-performance option for gaming. However, if you’re a freelancer and you spend most of your time at the PC using office apps and browsing, you can select that option and deselect gaming and music production.
LiveBoost is an interesting menu because it shows you how your PC is performing in real time and how many lags are being prevented, so you can see exactly what the System Mechanic 17 Pro software is doing for your performance and how it’s helping. It also relays information about responsiveness. I can’t say I saw much of a difference in performance or battery life based on the options I selected, but it was cool to watch the number of lags prevented rise and get feedback from the software on how the PC was performing.
Then there’s the security menu. This tells me that Windows Defender is on and working well and that I have a McAfee firewall. It still wants me to switch McAfee off but that’s not going to be happening.
Then there’s a menu for Reports that summaries all the performance issues and alerts you to how much space you have and how much space is free on your machine. It also tells you your internet speed.
Overall, I think this is a really useful program and it’s one that I’d like to continue using. What I liked best about it was how it prompted me to deal with things that were slowing down my laptop and to de-frag the hard drive. The only negative was the way it completely froze just after the first scan and as I said before, that was probably because I didn’t restart my machine. The reviewers advised me to do it and I decided it wasn’t necessary. That’s a lesson learned. There were options in this software that suit me well and others that I won’t find useful at all. I’m sure it would be the same for everyone.
You can read more about this or download the software via the iolo System Mechanic Professional 17 link.
Buy System Mechanic 17 for $39.95 [a $10 Saving] and Get Search and Recover for free! [Save $49.95 on both products]. ‘HAPPY2018” coupon gives 70% off System Mechanic and System Mechanic Pro; and is good through to 01/31/18.