I've routinely installed Norton Utilities (whatever the latest version happens to be) on all of my systems for years. I disable all of the stuff that runs in the background (I keep a clean system, usually running only explorer and systray in the background) and run the programs, such as the defrag, disc optimization, registry clean-up, etc. as needed.
I haven't even looked at an alternate package, but I'm about to purchase and was wondering if anyone had something significantly better than the Norton System Suite to recommend. (PS - debates on whether Norton runs better on an AMD or Pentium 4 is banned from this thread. )
By Bernie Dy on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 - 11:57 pm:
PC World did an article on utility suites not long ago, and their editor's pick was Ontrack SystemSuite 3. You might be able to find the article online, but the gist is that Norton's is still one of the most full-featured and the only one with a drive imaging program. Ontrack got good ratings for being fairly strong in features at a price lower than Norton.
I just invested in Norton Systemworks 2001 myself, and have been disappointed. I'd have probably stuck with Norton 2000 except that I upgraded to WinMe, and figured the newer version of Norton would be better for it. The 2000 edition installed with no hassles and generally worked well, though CleanSweep did wipe out some stuff once that it shouldn't have. 2001, however, didn't install without some hiccoughs, and I had to manually install the CleanSweep package. The package also has some 20-30 MB of patches available via the LiveUpdate.
One of the criticisms in the article, and I have to agree, is that although full featured, Norton's is more expensive and the quality of the whole suite is uneven. But I haven't tried the others yet, like Ontrack or McAfee.
By Kevin Grey on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 10:58 am:
I'm a big fan of Systemsuite. I hate Norton because to use all of its features you end up installing a bunch of different programs that usually need to be launched individually (at least thats the way it was a few years ago). Plus, Norton takes absolute control of your system tray with too many useless programs running in the background.
Systemsuite, on the other hand, lets you launch all of the utilities from one screen and doesn't bog down your system like Norton.
By Jason McCullough on Wednesday, August 29, 2001 - 08:42 pm:
Utility suites are useless. What's the point? You already have scandisk and defrag included with your OS.
Unless you *really* feel the need to move the physical sectors for your swap file to the center of the hard drive, or you want to see if the registry cleaners break your system.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 12:02 am:
I don't use them, either, and my computer is about as healthy as any, despite the hell I put it through.
My best friend uses one, and his computer is very unhealthy. I'm not saying that those are related, but it didn't do him much good, and I'm doing okay without one...
By Jeff Lackey on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 07:55 am:
I'm an old hacker (in the 70's-80's sense of the word) and I've used Norton since the DOS days. I think the Norton suite is useful if you know what you're doing. I regularly install and uninstall a LOT of games and utilities due to my writing gigs, and Norton does a lot better job of helping me remove the trash that gets left behind than I can do without it.
What I don't do, and what I don't recommend to anyone else, is allow Norton to load anything on boot-up. I don't even load the anti-virus on boot-up. I try to keep things as clean as possible. The only thing I run in the background is a firewall, and when reviewing games I generally shut that down during the initial phase of the review (and then later put it back up to see if there's a conflict and to see what the game is trying to do wrt stealth internet connections.)
By Anonymous on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 11:53 pm:
I bought a second hard drive and cloned my optimal setup. Windows gets crappy I format and copy the backup image onto the hard drive
By Bernie Dy on Wednesday, September 26, 2001 - 06:13 pm:
Jeff, I saw that Circuit City has Ontrack SystemSuite on sale this week for $9.99. Just FYI.