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Advanced System Optimizer ($40, free feature-limited demo) is an all-in-one tool that promises to keep your PC running in top shape, keep it secure, and clean your hard disk. It does a very deep and comprehensive job of finding a wide range of issues. Bear in mind, though, that this downloadable demo will not fix the problems that it finds. For example, it won't clean junk files, fix Registry errors, protect your privacy by cleaning out Internet traces, and so on.
Unlike many programs of this type Advanced System Optimizer is well laid out, and simple to use. Along the left side of the screen are the major categories of tasks you will want to do, such as Registry Optimizers, Windows Optimizers, and so on. Click any of them, and you'll see subcategories. So it's simple to get straight to the task you want to do.
One nice touch is that before Advanced System Optimizer goes about its work, it first backs up system files and creates a restore point so that you can restore your PC to the condition it was in before you started using it. It's got just about every tool you can imagine for doing that, from cleaning your hard disk to optimizing your Registry, to looking for missing and outdated drivers, and performing maintenance tasks. It's similar to the popular TuneUp Utilities ($50), and has more features.
Given that there are some very good free programs that perform similar tasks, such as CCleaner, is this program worth paying for? If you only need the basics, then CCleaner will do a great job. For more complex tasks, Advanced System Optimizer is worth considering. Unfortunately, though, because the download only scans your PC, and doesn't fix problems, you won't get a chance to test out whether it works well enough on your PC to warrant paying for it. Basically, you'll have to decide if you like the interface and the promised functions well enough to make the leap.
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