Clicking Manage Your Services opens a list of third-party services that are loaded when Windows starts – I was surprised at the sheer number of programs that were active behind the scenes such as Fax and Smart Card services. Norton Utilities gives you a description of each entry, which is a technological godsend for those that don't recognise the more obscure and technical names. Right clicking on a name let me block applications from running at startup, or indeed allow them to run.
With its latest release, Iolo System Mechanic 7 Professional has lost its focus as one of the premier system utility suites on the market. Included within this latest release are other standalone Iolo products -including Search and Recover 4, Iolo Antivirus, Iolo Spython (AntiSpyware), Iolo Firewall, and Iolo DriveScrubber 3 -which should, on the face of it, make this a great bargain at only $70. But Iolo has decided to play up the security suite features in System Mechanic 7 Professional, stating on the box "Full service for your PC plus Internet Security" even though it lacks the antispam and antiphishing protection typically found in traditional Internet Security suites and new all-in-one security suites, such as Norton 360. Also, Iolo has changed its core system utility tools, and not for the better. Part of System Mechanic Professional's allure was its position as the anti-Norton SystemWorks utility suite, providing useful system tools without all the extra baggage of a Symantec product. System Mechanic 7 Professional has instead moved closer to Symantec Norton SystemWorks, loading itself up with extras you might not use while urging you to accept its findings without providing context or sometimes even a choice. We prefer the older versions of System Mechanic, which focused on system utilities and clearly spelled out what it was doing and why; System Mechanic 7 Professional too often feels like a hot-shot garage mechanic that recommends an oil change even though your car has barely driven 3,000 miles. For those interested in upgrading, we suggest you keep System Mechanic 6 Professional a while longer. At this writing we're still awaiting the latest release of Norton SystemWorks (which, we're told, will be redesigned and fully compatible with Windows Vista); stay tuned.