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Ashampoo WinOptimiser

May 20, 2009

WinOptimiser(short for Windows Optimiser) is a complete windows optimization tool developed by Ashampoo Corporation(visit www.ashampoo.com for more details). It features many tools that are otherwise there in your windows system too such as registry cleaner (in windows it’s registry editor but don’t mess around with it ok), an internet cleaner (which is there as an option in the browser; at least in FF it’s there; don’t use IE much), drive cleaner (just the contents of the folders: C:\WINDOWS\TEMP and C:\WINDOWS\RECENT and the C:\WINDOWS\MINIDUMP folder; that’s all I think), file encrypter (not sure if this is there), file wiper(obviously the delete option in Windows!!), start up tuner, process manager, defragmentation, internet tuner and more. I have tried to review as much tools as possible.

DRIVE CLEANER

The drive cleaner mainly deletes all the files that are no longer necessary for the functioning of the computer. Usually programs and installations that create temporary files ensure they will delete them but what is downloaded when loading internet sites is not deleted.

REGISTRY CLEANER

The Windows registry is the most important component of the OS. The entire OS and almost all major applications function with major settings in the registry.

Most applications use several entries in the registry for their functioning. However, they do not delete all the registry entries pertaining to the particular application when they get uninstalled. Thus, you end up having a million of useless registry entries, which can even compromise the stability of your computer.

This module mainly is used for cleaning up the registry of unnecessary and invalid entries.

INTERNET CLEANER

This mainly clears the history, cookies, cache and other files that are created by the internet browsers. These are what mainly give away your computer’s identity online since these can be considered your computer’s online trail.

Note that doing this will mostly clear all the saved passwords. So check the exceptions and try adding an exception there. I don’t save any password so do not know much about it.

DEFRAG TOOL

Defrag is short for defragment. It’s a tool for defragmenting your harddrive.

Here’s an insight into why this tool is important.

When an application is uninstalled, it does not get deleted from the harddisk. Instead, the memory blocks that were used by the application will just be added to the list of free memory blocks (Remember this when we deal with File Wiper too).

Thus it’s highly possible that a particular memory block might be new small for the incoming new file. The OS then splits the file into pieces such that they fit in the particular block.

Thus what happens is that the file is not stored in continuous memory locations. This means that the whenever the file is opened, the OS has to read all the memory blocks where the file’s pieces are stored and then join it together and then open it. What a waste of time and processor!!

So this module scans for fragmented files in your harddrive and then “defragments” it i.e. puts the files together so that much of the work is cut out for the OS. It’s a very important tool (although a windows equivalent exists, it totally sucks believe me: my harddrive slowed down after I used the windows defrag tool!!)

STARTUP TUNER

This module performs the following functions:

  • Edit your startup entries (don’t mess around with this; you might end up making your computer not boot properly)
  • Start and stop windows services
  • Add and edit installed program entries
  • Edit IE plugins
  1. Startup Entries: This list shows the programs that will be executed when the OS starts up (simple isn’t it!!). So you can edit those unwanted programs that boot up along with the OS that are unnecessary.

NOTE: Do not mess with this module. You may cause your computer not to boot properly!!

  1. Start and stop Windows services: This let’s you control those unnecessary windows services that are active and pose a threat to your computer’s security. (Do go to this section and read about those services. You can disable them: most serve useful only when you install unheard of Microsoft applications and updates).

The other two do not serve much uses. Just check ‘em out that’s it. I don’t find those really useful.

PROCESS MANAGER

This is exactly the windows task manager itself. It, however, has a better look than the task manager. Plus most information is available here itself: you don’t need to go enable things like you have to in task manager to view the truck load of info available in task manager. Also this lets you terminate those non-responding applications, just like the task manger does.

INTERNET TUNER

Yeah well this does tune your internet settings. But I think it’s useful only for those who use the dial-up/POTS way of connecting to the internet. I don’t think much difference is there for the cable modem users. Don’t mess around here: you might slow down your internet rather than speeding it up.

ANTI-SPY

This basically is a control on the various communications that your computer can do such as browser, remote desktop, error reporting etc. This let’s you control potential privacy threats to your computer. I never really use this module- mostly the defaults are quite secure enough.

FILE WIPER

This module lets you delete files securely.

When an application is uninstalled or a file deleted, it does not get deleted from the harddisk. Instead, the memory blocks that were used by the application will just be added to the list of free memory blocks. This means that the files still exist in the harddrive and can be recovered using recovery software.

This module basically overwrites the contents of those memory blocks before adding those memory blocks to the list of free memory blocks. Thus you are actually removing the contents of the memory block this way.

FILE ENCRYPTOR AND DECRYPTOR

As the name suggests, you can encrypt and decrypt encrypted files. The software uses the Blowfish Algorithm for encryption, which is very strong if we use a good password.

Personally I have never used this module; I usually don’t encrypt files. Do test it out if you want and tell me about it.

TUNE SYSTEM SETTINGS

This has 4 modules in it. I am not highlighting these, since they deal with system settings such as users, icons and context menus (the menu that appears when you right click on something). You can check it out but don’t cause problems ok.

DISK SPACE EXPLORER

This module let’s you know the usage per drive of your harddisk. It also uses graphs further to illustrate the extent of usage, lets you analyze the space usage within folders and let’s you analyze the space occupied by a particular type of files (eg; audio, video etc.).

SYSTEM INFORMATION

This generates information about the computer, the drives in use and the OS. This can alternatively be accessed by right clicking My computer and selecting properties from the context menu.

SYSTEM BENCHMARK

This module let’s you find out the performance of your computer and associates a number along with it that is determined by the speed of your computer and several other factors. The module also has a standard benchmark, which is a measurement of PC’s of a certain configuration. That is compared with the benchmark index of your computer, so you can compare how your system rates against the standard rating.

Note that variations can occur in the benchmark index from time to time.

UNDELETER

Have you ever experienced a situation when you accidentally deleted an important file?? Well you can actually recover that deleted file (unless you used file wiper module of winoptimiser; in which case your file is history!!) using this module.

Here’s how it works. Normally when you delete a file, the memory blocks of the file are simply labeled as free blocks. Thus, they still retain the old data, which gets erased only when new data arrives.

So, this module let’s you recover the data from those “free blocks”.

Personally I haven’t used this. So do try it out and tell me about it ok.

NOTE: There’s no 100% guarantee that the full file will be recovered. It depends on how much of the original blocks haven’t yet been overwritten.

FILE SPLITTER

This let’s you split files into smaller files. Very useful if you have those big, big archives or videos that cannot be transported easily: you just have to split those files into smaller parts. This also let’s you join the pieces together as well.

I haven’t used this, so please do check it out and tell me about it.

WINDOWS TOOLS

You probably have heard of these tools: scandisk, defrag tool and system restore. This just executes those windows functions so that you don’t have to bother searching for them.

So, that’s about what’s there in WinOptimiser. Do check it out and tell me if you liked it or not.

  • License: Free to try; $49.99 to buy
  • Operating Systems: Windows Vista, Windows XP
  • Additional Requirements: No additional requirements
  • Limitations: 40-day trial

Download Trial Version Now

This is a review of WinOptimiser 6, the currently available version for download.

if this download link is obsolete, go here for the latest version.

http://www.ashampoo.com

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