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By Andrew Gould 1 April 2009

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A good thing to do if your PC is slow and cumbersome is to install a system optimisation tool, and there are few as good as System Mechanic 8.5.

Like other system tools, System Mechanic will remove temporary files, clean your registry and defragment your hard drive. But, there’s a lot more in this new version.

Included is ActiveCare 2.0, which fixes faults and ups your running speed. The software will determine whether you’re actually at the PC by detecting CPU usage, working only when the PC is idle.

DriveSense will check your hard drive to detect any ­problems that may occur, so that you can copy over your files to a new hard drive before it crashes. Some previous versions of the software received some very bad reviews and we were skeptical about 8.5 to start, but our fears were quickly allayed by a very good set of tools. P.S. It says version 7 on the box but it’s a free ­upgrade to 8.5 upon registration of the product online, with a ±16MB download.

Iolo System Mechanic 7’s recommended price is R299 and it’s available at good retailers.

PROS
ActiveCare 2.0 is great addition and DriveSense is much improved in 8.5.
CONS
You buy SM7 and need to download 8.5 to get the full benefits.
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