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Old 11-03-2005, 10:37 PM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default iolo System Mechanic Pro 6

Do you feel that your computer could run faster? Is it being held back by the endless junk piles lying around your hard drive? iolo is back once again, with their latest System Mechanic incarnation, which improves on the tried and trusted tools in the previous versions. Let's see how it stands up today.

After checking out the full review here, feel free to discuss it in this thread!
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Old 11-11-2005, 08:53 AM   #2
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I'm a great fan of SM and I've been using it since version 4
I have a comment on feature called TERMINATE which is a part of Search and Recover. This feature does not physically remove terminated item.

There is a simple free program called RESTORATION that can be run from a floppy (meaning no installation required) that can restore a file that has just been terminated!
The only way to be sure is to use System Shield after every termination.
If you don't belieive me try the mentioned program.

When I installed one of the previous version of professional 6 it did something with its numerous wizards so my system couldn't boot. I had to repair it with a Drive Medic recovery diskette. It was a good test for Drive Medic indeed :laugh:

But Drive Medic was not capable of fixing my Partition Table which had been destroyed by Nero BackItUp 2. It said everything was fine though it was not.
I lost 50GB of data thinking System Mechanic Pro 6 is capable of repairing all the things they said it was!!!

I dislike features like PC total care and similar because they take control out of user's hands and do all the job by themselves. It is not a good idea especially if something like Startup optimizer tends to disable some of the startup programs that you need. It disabled InCD from Nero and UI Watcher (uninstallation tool). I need them both and it is exclusively my right to disable them.

It seems that the whole program is biased towards light users who don't know what the present features really are about but would just like to make their system run faster.
And what about the rest of us? I hold version 5 for a more serious but lacking of some things that were added in v.6 and improved.

The problem with defragmentation still persists. I think many people who used v5 could see those error messages as if HD surface was demaged. And in v6 the whole thing seems to be repeating itself. My HD is just fine, I ran Maxtor's utility for checking and Windows chkdsk. And also another tool that had been examining my HD for 15 hours!
In System Mechanic 4 there wasn't such problem.
That is why I kept using it along with v5.

I haven't tried popup blocker, it was bad in v5. It used to close windows in the explorer (not the Internet Explorer)

System Mechanic 6 does something no one would like to see. It scatters its backup files in the roots of the partitions! Anyone with the same problem?

The analyser in the HOME section is useless and spoils the impression. Let's be honnest, it's there to play a stylish role.

Still System Mechanic is unique and I love it. I use it everyday and it does the job.
I use junk cleaner and defragmentation most. I also use registry cleaner though it is not so important in my opinion. It does not improve the performance that much.

Advanced StartUp Manager is really cool in combination with the ability to manage running programs.
Kaspersky AV and Antihacker are well known to everyone so I don't wanna comment on them right now.

I hold the impression that this version was rushed due to competition which explains why there were so many upgrades since the release.
So the program is good (could be a bit cheaper) but needs improvement in some things.
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Old 11-11-2005, 12:06 PM   #3
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Thanks for your thoughts! I do agree, I love SysMech as well, and have also used it since version 4. I really wish that their registry cleaner was more in-depth though.

As for Terminate, that's interesting. One would assume, that a file should not be able to be recovered after terminating it. They should also give more options that way as well.
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Old 11-11-2005, 12:20 PM   #4
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I'm sorry to hear you had those issues, I've never used the partion table recovery since I use patition magic for anything like that so I've never tried sys mech's version.

I agree about the current version of the analyzer but if they can work my advice into it then it will be worthwhile since it will actively monitor your security and performance and for someone like me that has their system up 24/7 folding, knowing of my system is out of physical ram is really helpful.

I kind of feel that it was rushed or just not really well thought out since they included cached internet files in the clutter reporting tool because, really, there will always be internet files cached on your drive and as I pointed out if you keep ripping out your caches files you're going to be fighting with way slower browsing which for dialup users is a bad thing.

Anyways, I'm hopeful that iolo will get things squared away, I loved 5 with a passion, I never used 4 but I did use 3 and it was pretty good although I was running 98SE so I have no ideas as to how well it worked with XP.
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Old 11-12-2005, 11:43 AM   #5
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Question Scheduled Tasks Don't Work

Whenever I schedule something, on the date it was supposed to run it says "Cancelled" in last results. I don't really know If I am using this feature correctly. What I do is schedule something like PC Toolcare to run every 5 days at 11:00PM and than I close System Mechanic. Are you not supposed to close it? Do you have to keep the program on or something? Even if that was true, even if I keep the program on the tasks still do not run.
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Old 11-12-2005, 12:14 PM   #6
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I'm not that familiar with that function, especially since I don't have it installed right now. That would require a system service though.. have you gone in and disabled a bunch of services recently?
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Old 11-12-2005, 03:49 PM   #7
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If you have Scheduled Tasks disabled in windows your sys mech won't run any tasks that you set.

You might check it.
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Old 11-13-2005, 04:52 AM   #8
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Default espresso

I have a constant problem with startup guard since it asks for the aproval of things that are already in the white list
Take a look at this screenshot:
http://img499.imageshack.us/img499/2844/sm1jb.png

You can see that DUmeter is already in the white list and yet startup guard asks for the aproval. The same thing is with Ashampoo Uninstaller.
Has anyone tried this Sturtup Guard? I had no problems with version 5, it was great.
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Old 11-17-2005, 07:47 AM   #9
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Default Startup Guard

Does anyone use the startup guard in V5? I have it installed on multiple PCs, which each have multiple user accounts. If you login to one user account (startup guard will load), then logout, I don't think startup guard unloads. Then if I login to another account, when startup guard tries to load again, it causes the PC to reboot. Has anyone seen problems with this? Does it work in V6?
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Old 11-17-2005, 01:14 PM   #10
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I don't use Startup Guard on my PC, personally I don't like having a bunch of things running in the background and, actually, I shut down the tray alerter upon PC boot. If it was possible to disable it altogether I would.

I prefer to use Sys Mech as an optimizer for such things as registry defragmentation and compacting, network optimizing and spyware checking. I don't like having a lot of fluff running in the background and actually if it wasn't for asshats that get their jolies by writing viruses and hacking into peoples PC's I wouldn't run A/V or firewall software but unfortunately they are neccessary evils in this day and age.

If you want to control your startup programs do it manually by monitoring the startup folder and going to start/run and typing in "msconfig" and choosing the startup tab to see what's set to start in there....remember that if you uncheck anything you'll be greeted by a warning stating that you've chosen to do a customized startup, simply checking the "don't show me this again" box and clicking on ok will stop that warning in the future.

You can also go into admin. services and kill startup services but I would seriously do some research before doing that since stopping the wrong service can hose your box.
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Old 11-17-2005, 03:46 PM   #11
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Cool

@Unregistered
The StartUp Guard in v.5 had some bugs indeed. I have experienced the problem with restarting too but under different circumstances.
I haven't noticed that problem occuring in v6 but v6 sure has some other bugs

It really is a bad thing that the system alerter can't be disabled from the program.
But what happens if you disable it from msconfig?
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Old 11-17-2005, 05:52 PM   #12
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I'm afraid it'd fubar something else, that's why I haven't tried it. It could also work fine until you start Sys Mech and then Sys Mech would neatly put it back in the startup list, I ve seen other programs do that (try that with jusched.exe sometime) and it ends up being a huge frustration.
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Old 11-19-2005, 02:13 PM   #13
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Cool Smp 6.0

SMP 6.0 Hosed my file shares. I tried for a day and a half to fix them not realizing that SMP 6.0 was the reason. When I finally narrowed it down to SMP 6.0 I called Iolo and they said I needed to go to an earlier restore point then re-install SMP 6.0 and make sure I update the spython definitions before doing ANYTHING with SMP 6.0. Needless to say the disk utilities made my drives appear as corrupted to windows system restore (which is a POS anyway). I had to wipe my WHOLE system and start over . I am not a happy camper. I actually like SMP 5.0 better.

Take Care

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Old 11-29-2005, 05:17 PM   #14
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Default Loss of share access

Someone at iolo sent me this. After reading it and researching on the Internet, it made perfect sense.

What you are describing has to do with the Null sessions exploit of Windows. The Fix Security Vulnerabilities tool of SM6 fixes a security vulnerability in Windows by disabling NULL Sessions to disallow the enumeration of SAM accounts and shares. A NULL session connection is an unauthenticated connection to Windows NT/2000/XP machines and is the number one method for hackers to enumerate information about the machine. From a NULL session hackers can use internal Windows functions, such as Remote Procedure calls, to enumerate information such the true administrator account and password, provide information on passwords, groups, services, users and even active processors. NULL session access can also be used for escalating privileges and perform DoS (Denial of Service) attacks.

The best way to prevent this is to disallow NULL sessions to the fullest extent possible by restricting anonymous users from enumerating SAM accounts and shares on Windows XP, or restricting all anonymous access unless explicitly granted on Windows 2000.

It is primarily recommended that your network administrator, or you under the administrator account login, configure the system to prevent anonymous log on access to all resources, with the exception of resources the anonymous user may have explicitly been given access to. For alternative resolutions, which may also require administrator access, please see the information below.

Reconfigure the Fix Vulnerability Tool

To disable testing for null sessions within the Fix Security Vulnerabilities tool:

1. Start System Mechanic 6.
2. On the left side of the System Mechanic 6 window click on the Protect button.
3. Click on Fix Security Vulnerabilities.
4. Under the Advanced area click on Custom inspection and report.
5. Click on the Next button.
6. Scroll down and locate Network Settings and uncheck the Null Sessions checkbox.


Re-enable the Security Exploit

Please note: re-enabling of this exploit can be hazardous to your system and allow malicious software or viruses to propagate to other computer shares on the network.

Windows 2000

The Windows security vulnerability can be re-enabled by using the Local Security Policy MSC or by manually navigating to the Administrative Tools Control Panel Applet.

1. Click on the Windows Start button, select Settings and click on Control Panel.
2. Double-click on Administrative Tools.
3. Double-click on Local Security Policy.
4. On the left, under Security Settings, double-click on Local Policies, and then select Security Options.
5. On the right, locate and double-click on Additional restrictions for anonymous connections and click on the Local policy setting drop down box. There are 3 possible values to set:

- None. Rely on default permissions
- Do not allow enumeration of SAM accounts and shares
- No access without explicit anonymous permission

The last value, No access without explicit anonymous permissions, is the most secure.

6. Restart the member computer or domain controller for the change to take effect.


Windows XP Home Edition

Windows XP Home Edition is architecturally limited and does not offer the ability of changing Windows policy settings by offering a security applet such as the Local Security Policy applet. Because of this limitation, the vulnerability will need to be manually re-enabled by modifying the Windows system registry.

1. Click on the Windows Start button.
2. In the Open field type regedit.
3. Click the OK button.
4. On the left, click on the plus sign next to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
5. Click on the plus sign next to SYSTEM.
6. Click on the plus sign next to CurrentControlSet.
7. Click on the plus sign next to Control.
8. Locate and highlight the key (folder looking icon) named Lsa.
9. On the right, double-click on the value named restrictanonymous.
10. Change the value to 0.
11. Scroll back up and click the minus sign next to Control.
12. Scroll back up and click the minus sign next to CurrentControlSet.

If the key ControlSet001 exists:

1. Click the plus sign next to ControlSet001.
2. Click on the plus sign next to Control.
3. Locate and highlight the key (folder looking icon) named Lsa.
4. On the right, double-click on the value named restrictanonymous.
5. Change the value to 0.
6. Scroll back up and click the minus sign next to Control.
7. Click the minus sign next to ControlSet001.

If the key ControlSet002 exists:

1. Click the plus sign next to ControlSet002.
2. Click on the plus sign next to Control.
3. Locate and highlight the key (folder looking icon) named Lsa.
4. On the right, double-click on the value named restrictanonymous.
5. Change the value to 0.
6. Scroll back up and click the minus sign next to Control.
7. Click the minus sign next to ControlSet002.

If more than the above described ControlSet00x registry locations exist then please perform the same steps on each location. When finished, close all open windows and restart the computer.


Windows XP Professional

The Windows security vulnerability can be re-enabled by using the Local Security Policy MSC or by manually navigating to the Administrative Tools Control Panel Applet.

1. Click on the Windows Start button, select Settings and click on Control Panel.
2. Double-click on Administrative Tools.
3. Double-click on Local Security Policy.
4. On the left, under Security Settings, double-click on Local Policies, and then select Security Options.
5. On the right, locate and double-click on each of the following policy settings to ensure they are set to disabled.

Network access: Do not allow anonymous enumeration of SAM accounts
Network access: Do not allow anonymous enumeration of SAM accounts and shares
Network access: Do not allow storage of credentials or .NET Passports for network authentication
Network access: Let everyone permissions apply to anonymous users

6. Select No access without explicit anonymous permissions under.
7. Restart the member computer or domain controller for the change to take effect.
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Old 11-29-2005, 05:35 PM   #15
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If this is HipDad, I believe I sent you an email telling you that the SM 6.0 security settings were responsible for changing your share permissions.

Looks like I was right...
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