As system utilities go, almost every tool needed to keep things ticking over smoothly is already available to Windows users. Those of us familiar with the regular housekeeping duties of decluttering and defragging will no doubt feel the necessity of an out-and-out package is surplus to requirements. Let's be honest, there's very little that utility packages offer that can't be accomplished with a wee bit of effort.
Yet System Mechanic 6 Professional's appeal is in its simplicity and attention to detail. Like Norton SystemWorks 2006, the ability to cleanse your entire system from one application will be welcomed by novices and offers experienced users a time-saving alternative to trawling through a host of programs. What's more, the options available here are both powerful and well thought out.
System Mechanic's grouping of Optimize, Clean, Repair, Protect and Maintain functions are all accessible from five buttons gracing the spruced-up interface. Within each you'll find a variety of system smoothing applications. Optimize offers improved Internet connection tweaking, Windows Start up Manager, hard drive and memory optimisation, system customiser, and a pop-up blocker.
All do exactly what they say on the tin and with optional wizards to guide you through and a well-stocked help library, they do so logically and effortlessly. Elsewhere, System Mechanic's cleaning options offer a profound degree of analysis that helps in tidying away unnecessary debris and keeps Internet privacy in check. The Repair button, however, offers the most complete set of options.
The Registry Repair and Clean gives a detailed breakdown of any bits of rubble found and fixed. The spyware option is fast yet thorough, and the introduction of Drive Medic tests and repairs your hard drive with minimal effort.
The Overall System Rating is a simple way of performing a quick tune up when used in conjunction with the PC Total Care setting. The scheduling options seem infinitely customisable, too. Yet for all of its ease and dexterity, System Mechanic 6 remains a mainstream asset. It is an effective tool, but if you're not averse to a little toiling every few weeks or so, it represents a superfluous purchase.