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Norton SystemWorks 2005 PC Review - -

Installation 7.0
Ease of use 8.5
Usefulness 9.5
Value 9.0
Distributor: Symantec
Andrew B


Norton SystemWorks 2005

Norton SystemWorks once again returns in the 2005 edition that not only solves a variety of PC problems but also protects your system against dangerous viruses. Although the packaging is the same as previous versions, the most noticeable difference in this current incarnation is the inclusion of a new recovery disk that is designed to recover information from your computer even when Windows cannot boot up.

The installation of Norton SystemWorks 2005 was a rather lengthy process on our test machine (a little more than an hour after a full system scan) but once the installation was completed, we were ready to test this extraordinary software application. It should also be noted that we did have a few problems installing this on our second test machine because it was already running existing Symantec Software (Norton Internet Security 2004) but once we removed the old software, the installation automatically installed SystemWorks 2005.

The interface of SystemWorks 2005 is rather similar to the previous versions and to quote an old proverb "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", Symantec follows this rule to letter with only implementing a few new additional changes to the menu system. Once again the interface is neatly divided into two window panes with the utilities located on the left of the interface and when you click on the function (e.g. Norton Utilities or Norton AntiVirus), it loads the appropriate program in the right of the window pane.

Norton SystemWorks 2005 features a variety of different and useful applications that include;

  • Norton AntiVirus

  • Norton Utilities

  • Norton CleanUp &

  • Norton GoBack

Norton AntiVirus is similar to the standalone package by Symantec and protects your computer against a variety of different viruses, Trojan horses and malicious spyware programs that plague the internet. By clicking on Norton AntiVirus, we were given a variety of different options from recommended settings to advanced settings. For the uninitiated, I recommend that they follow the automatic settings by Symantec to ensure that they have the best possible protection on their computer and if you turn all the settings on, it does unfortunately slow your system down a tad because it has been set to the highest protection possible. Norton AntiVirus not only stops viruses, Trojan horses, spyware and adware but also worms that can literally disconnect you from the internet and even corrupt data beyond recovery.

Norton Utilities is probably the most advanced software program on the market at the moment that is designed to fix a plethora of software problems, optimise your computers performance and also detect various problems that may exist on your hard drive. After running Norton Utilities on our test machine, the software application found a variety of non-lethal errors such as lost clusters on the hard drive and also irrelevant registry information that basically slows your computer down. Norton Utilities advised us that all these problems could be fixed and after a minute or so, all these errors were now fixed and our system was running quite a bit faster. It should also be noted that we haven't run a system diagnostic program in a long time which really started slowing our test machine down but once Norton Utilities detected and solved these problems, the machine was running perfectly.

Previous programs such as SpeedDisk (data reorganiser), Norton DiskDoctor (hard drive defragmenter) and WinDoctor all make a welcomed return in this current incarnation of SystemWorks. In order to benefit from these utilities, it is recommend that you run System Doctor that basically monitors your computer's software in the background and ensures system integrity by identifying the problems when they are discovered. Another feature of Norton Utilities is the Wipe Info feature that is basically designed to remove any confidential information that you no longer need by purging the information from your hard drive which is a great feature for businesses or people who use their personal computers for internet banking.

Even if you have the safest computer around, problems still occur and Symantec has come to the rescue with Norton GoBack. If you elect to have GoBack installed, it basically monitors your system against unwanted errors that may have been caused by installing certain software applications on your computer. For instance, you may have installed a new game on your computer but since the installation, your computer has been running slower and slower. With the GoBack option, you just simply roll back your PC to when this software program wasn't installed on your computer and it basically ensures that no information of the previous program is found on your system. There is also a new SafeTry Mode of Norton GoBack which creates a temporary system state of your windows to basically test new programs on your system (a godsend to reviewers) which allows you to accept or reject system changes.

If you have never owned a systems maintenance program before than I would highly recommend Norton SystemWorks 2005 because it's virtually the only software application on the market at the moment that basically monitors your PC's health and also protects your computer from a variety of different viruses and the like. SystemWorks also comes with a 12-month subscription that allows you to download the latest updates for free and also gives you access to Symantec's support which is a blessing to those who have lost their entire systems to a nefarious virus. Check it out!


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