Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
Your Machine a Boost
by Alan German
is a new product from Auslogics, the makers of Disk
Defrag, that offers a software suite with more than
eighteen power tools promising to clean up, speed up and
repair your system to make it run as fast and stable as
new. The various components are designed to clean your
system, free up disk space, fix and defragment the
Windows' registry, optimize your file system, maximize
hard drive performance, and tweak numerous settings on
your Internet connection.
The program's main screen shows three tabs: System Scan,
System Advisor and Advanced Tools. Running the program,
brings up the first of these tabs and offers a
1-Click Scan to erase the browser and
Windows' history, clean up temporary files, and optimize
memory. A drop-down menu provides combinations of further
options to scan and/or repair, and set the machine to
sleep or shutdown on completion of the specified task.
The one-click scan checks for errors in the registry,
looks for files considered to be junk, checks the disks
for errors and for file fragmentation. The first scan on
my system identified 605 registry errors of moderate
severity, 268 junk files (moderate-high), one disk error,
and no disk fragmentation. The resulting message, A
total of 874 problems were detected on your computer and
need to be fixed now, seemed to strongly suggest
hitting the Repair Now button. But first, a quick look at
the Show Details option just to check what is going to be
Everything looked fine. The registry errors were the
usual mix of file does not exist, invalid application
path, and empty/unused registry key, that one normally
sees with a registry cleaner (but never have a clue what
they actually are!) Similarly, the junk files were indeed
junk, these being temporary files from Windows, media
player and Sun Java, MS Office installation files, and
the recent file history. The one unusual problem noted
was Errors found on system disk drive.
Unfortunately, there was no further information on the
latter so it was a toss-up whether or not to leave the
check mark for repair in place.
Well, we're testing the program, so let 'er rip! The
results indicated that 874 problems were indeed repaired.
The detailed report included the note: Local Disk
(C:) Repaired, but once again provided no clue as
to the specific nature of the problem. But, lots of items
were repaired, including the disk error so that's
good isn't it?
Interestingly, I ran the one-click scan a second time, a
day later. And, guess what? A total of 12 errors
including one error found on system disk drive! This was
repaired a second time, but the re-appearance
of the issue doesn't inspire me with a huge amount of
confidence in this disk. An item for further research...
Going to the Smart Advisor tab results in a somewhat
different scan of the computer being performed. The
results are displayed as a series of headings for
recommended actions, a brief description of each, and an
empty check box waiting for user input. Some of the
recommendations sounded very reasonable, such as
Disable Certificate Propagation service.
Also, since there are no smart card devices attached to
my computer, the program indicated that I could free up
memory by disabling this service. In fact, there were
three separate items relating to smart card services that
could readily be disabled. I wonder why Windows isn't
smart enough to figure this out?
One or two of the recommendation were surprising, such as
I should disable Autorun (I thought I had!), and my
machine's memory needed upgrading from 893 MB to at
least 1.00 GB. This machine does actually have 1 GB
of RAM (which seems to be plenty for its main task of
running Ubuntu Linux). However, it appears that something
is siphoning off a few MB that causes BoostSpeed to
believe that the available RAM has dropped below the
So, for some of the recommendations, a little research
will be necessary before I agree to implement the advice.
However, there is one recommendation that I really like
Disable ReadyBoost Service because
Your computer is fast enough, so ReadyBoost
wouldn't improve system performance. Yes Sir! Now
that I know I (perhaps) have a super-fast machine, I can
turn off ReadyBoost quite happily.
program's final tab leads to a menu of advanced tools as
shown in the following screenshot:
Maintenance Defragment option calls up Version
188.8.131.52 of Auslogics' Disk Defrag utility. An earlier
version of this software was my first introduction to
Auslogics (see: http://opcug.ca/public/reviews/auslogics.htm). I really like this program over
Vista's defragmenter, since it allows multiple disks to
be selected for concurrent processing, and shows a
graphic illustration of the defragmentation process,
among many other options.
As you can see from the menu, BoostSpeed has many other
tools available in the single package to help optimize
your system. To free-up disk space, you can search for
and remove duplicate files of various types (e.g. image,
audio or video files), or you can run a check on your
disks and directories to identify where most of your disk
space is being used and then either delete or move
individual folders as desired. You can easily disable
programs from running at boot time by simply unchecking
their entry in the list of start-up programs in the
Software Control menu and, similarly, change a whole
bunch of Windows' features with the System Tweaks
Some of the other program features are a recovery utility
to retrieve accidentally deleted files from disks, USB
memory sticks, and digital camera memory cards; a track
eraser to remove your browsing history (with options for
both Internet Explorer and Firefox on my system), delete
cookies, and remove various lists of recent documents and
operations; plus the ability to securely shred files and
folders (including the recycle bin) and to entirely wipe
disk contents. A system information utility provides an
in-depth report on both the hardware and software present
on the computer, while other components identify items
like running tasks and services. Internet connectivity
can be analyzed and the associated settings adjusted,
while registry maintenance options provide the abilities
to analyze, repair, and defragment the Windows' registry.
And, when all else fails, a Rescue Center lets you undo
changes made to the system by any of the Auslogics'
Even BoostSpeed itself has multiple settings that can be
tweaked to have the program work the way you prefer,
including specifying which modules should backup their
changes for possible rollback, the option to run the
program at boot-up, or to schedule a system scan and
A clearly written and well illustrated help manual is
available on-line as a PDF file. The manual may be viewed
in a browser or downloaded for off-line review or
printing. The manual consists of only 21 pages. It covers
the basics, but doesn't go into much detail on any of the
individual programs. For example, I learned that Disk
Doctor found my disk error, but I got no more information
on the types of errors that this program identifies.
There was just a warning that If you start seeing a
lot of bad sectors, backup and replace the faulty disk to
prevent data loss. I guess so.
However, even though the manual is a little brief, the
program's operations are so intuitive, it's doubtful that
you will need to read the instructions. All of the
program's features are just a click or two of the mouse
away, and appear to run flawlessly.
BoostSpeed 5 is available for purchase on-line at a cost
of $49.44 (automatically converted in the shopping cart
from US $49.95). Each software license covers three
computers for an individual user. And, the Auslogics' web
site lists 20 features that are bundled into the software
suite. So, that's 60 items for fifty bucks less
than a dollar an option. Or, is that the new maths?
Click here to view the
full OPCUG website with frames.
Copyright and Usage
Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa, ON K2G 1S6
opinions expressed in these reviews do not necessarily
represent the views of the OPCUG or its members.
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