1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Does anyone have experience with iolo System Mechanic? Words of advice?

By UnluckyComp · 41 replies
Aug 17, 2012
Post New Reply
  1. Hello, I'm a newbie and a poorly educated one at that. Though I am young my experience with personal computers in general can be limited to the past five years of my life and it hasn't been the most joyful one at times. But I am hoping to learn from this community and make my future ventures in technology wiser. I'm starting with this topic since I haven't been able to find much information on my own.
    I purchased iolo System Mechanic Professional through Dell at a vulnerable time when my XPS 1330 was dying and was told it would keep my laptop safer than anything else. Foolishly I bought the three year, three computer subscription, and at first I was pleased with it. The program seemed independent, easy and smooth functioning, perfect for a novice. Of course after the month long refund period I begin experiencing issues.
    System Mechanic 9, 10, and now version 11 have at times randomly stopped working at times, giving my error messages about not being able to start Systemservice when I manually try to open them. This has occurred every few months, and iolo's solution has always been to remove and reinstall the program. This is bad within itself, but the fact that I receive NO Warning when the program quits results in the disaster of me running around without antivirus until I realize it's dead and I'm infected. Thus I have to go through virus removal as well, praying my computers won't fry. I am a book writer and a digital artist so this is a real nightmare every time.
    This time I have removed it from my main laptop and installed AVG temporarily. After nearly a year of using it I am not sure of whether it is worth the risk to reinstall, despite losing $200 on it. I'm not sure if the problem is me or the program, and am considering buying another kind of antivirus. If someone else knows anything about System Mechanic and whether I should continue using it I would greatly appreciate your advice on what I should do next.
  2. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,321   +36

    It doesn't sound like you realize that System Mechanic is NOT a security program!
    You need an antivirus program, a firewall and 2 or more antimalware programs to protect your system. A serious rootkit infection can 'trash' your system- System Mechanic won't fix it!

    It is not in your best interest to ever commit to any software program for multiple years and multiple computers before you have used the program and evaluated it for your needs.

    I don't like to have anyone lose money, but in this case, it may actually be the most valuable loss you have. In my opinion, having a program like this, should not be in the hands of a newbie> because:
    You do not tell us which operating system you have, but most if not all of the 'mechanics' can be handled from within the OS itself>

    Can you tell me please:
    Why did you get this program?
    What features were you counting on that you were willing to spend so much without trying the program first?

    All of the software 'mechanic' programs have a registry cleaner. And if you read the literature, the company will assure you that running this will resolve most problems. Not so. Most of us don't recommend registry cleaners to anyone- the risk far outweighs and small benefit you may get.

    My words of advice? Get the security programs on the system first. System Mechanic? Define what it will do for the system that you can't do yourself. If you decide to keep it, spend time learning how to make those features work for you.
    misor and cliffordcooley like this.
  3. UnluckyComp

    UnluckyComp TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    Thanks for your advice. System Mechanic was advertised to me as a security program and sold over the phone by Dell in August 2011. At the time, my only computer, a Dell XPS M1330 had just had a hard drive crash and Dell indicated to me that this was due to not using a program like System Mechanic to maintain it. I admit that I didn't know anything about the program before I bought it and trusted Dell's information. I was having a mental breakdown at that point because it was a problem computer to begin with. I spent the money because I have so much work that I had put onto the computer as a book writer and artist, so thought I needed a better than basic program to ensure I wouldn't lose it. I have external hard drives but I am always very paranoid about losing my hundreds of pages long documents and artwork.

    Currently my main laptop is an HP Pavilion g6 with Windows 7. This is the one I have removed System Mechanic from.
  4. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,321   +36

    It bothers me when a tech tells a user something like what Dell told you> that the hard drive crashed because you weren't using System Mechanic (or something like it!)

    A hard drive can crash for many reasons, or possibly no reason. Buying an expensive program cannot guarantee in any way that the hard drive won't crash! This is why we urge users to backup any and all files they don't want to lose or cannot replace.
    But I would doubt that installing the program would bring the hard drive back to life.

    Understand that backing up files you have created and don't want to lose doesn't mean backing up the whole system- just the files, folders, images- not all the processes to run the OS.
    I was mistaken-to a point- about System Mechanic not being a security program. I note the the Pro version bundles System Shield which has an AV and firewall. But the description of the AV doesn't indicate the presence of an actual database of virus signatures, updating regularly (daily or more than once a day)

    But rather the AV uses heuristic method for malware detection. Easiest way to explain this is that in place of virus signatures, it uses a "sounds like" method of identification. I couldn't find anything more specific on the AV Iolo uses.
    The following are all free programs. Getting the security up to speed is where you should start: The bold blue text are links. Let me know if any don't work:

    Have layered Security:
    1. Antivirus Software(only one):
      [o]Microsoft Security Essentials
      [o]Comodo AV
      [o]Avast! Free Antivirus
    2. Firewall (only one)
      [o] Zone Alarm Free
      [o]Comodo Firewall Free
    3. Antispyware/Security: I recommend all of the following:
      [o]Spywareblaster:Protects against bad ActiveX.
      [o]IE/Spyad Restricts bad domains.
      [o]MVPS Hosts files Directs HOSTS file to which is your local computer.
      [o]Google Toolbar Popup Stopper
    4. Stay current on updates:
      [o] Windows Updates. You should get All updates marked Critical and the current SP updates.
      [o] Adobe Reade. Uninstall old.
      [o]Java Uninstall old.
    5. Do regular Maintenance
      [o]To include Disc Cleanup, Defrag, Error Check/
    6. Remove Temporary Internet Files regularly:
    7. System Restore Guide Understand Restore Points> why you need to clean and set restore points and what information is in them.
    You can keep AVG if you would rather have that.
    The decision to keep or abandon System Mechanic will have to be yours. My recommendation though is to make use of the free help above and use section #5, 6 & 7 to do what you were thinking SM would handle. All these features are already in the OS.
    misor and cliffordcooley like this.
  5. UnluckyComp

    UnluckyComp TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    Thank you so much for your reply and I will be trying the programs you suggested. Dell has refused to reimburse me for System Mechanic and wanted me to give more money just for them to remove it. I am sorry that I did not have another opinion when it was sold to me but I will definitely learn from the mistake.
  6. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,321   +36

    You're welcome. Dell wanted you to pay for an uninstall? That hits me as something down and dirty! All my systems have been Dell- the machines are usually well made, although in your case, it sounds like you got the lemon in the bunch!
    On whichever systems you want to remove System Mechanic Pro:
    Some history:
    When Iolo released v7 of System Mechanic in late 2006, they included a Service iolo DMV Service which caused numerous problems, behaving a lot like a virus. It stopped programs from starting along with a list of other bad efffects. It was said to inject foreign code into programs. The problems were so bad and there were so many complaints, that Iolo 'foioxed' it in v7.1.5, early 2007. It then reintroduced it in soon after in v7.1.6
    Source: answersthatwork

    Uninstalling System Mechanic Pro from Windows 7:
    • Click on Start> Control Panel
    • Open Programs and Features.
    • Locate and select the entry titled iolo technologies' System Mechanic Professional
    • Click Uninstall.
    • Follow the on-screen instructions to uninstall
    • Reboot when prompted.

    Disabling the Iolo DMV Service :
    • Click on Start> Run> type in services.msc> Enter
    • Locate the service called iolo DMV Service.
    • Right-click on this Service> Properties.
    • In Startup Type> change the setting to DISABLED as shown below :
    • Click on STOP
    • Click OK> Exit Services.
    • Reboot your PC.

    Open Windows Explorer: Right click on Start> Explore
    • Go to Programs and open
    • Right click on System Mechanic> Delete
    • Close Windows Explorer
    • Empty the Recycle Bin
      If you would like to see if any entries remain, run the following. I can then write script to remove them. You will need to temporarily uninstall AVG as there is no way to completely disable it. Be sure to install one of the free antivirus programs

      Download AppRemover and save to the desktop
      1. Double click the setup on the desktop> click Next
      2. Select “Remove Security Application”
      3. Let scan finish to determine security apps
      4. A screen like below will appear:
        (image courtesy billmullins.wordpress.)
      5. Check the AVG program you want to uninstall
      6. Click on Next after choice has been made
      7. After uninstall shows complete, follow online prompts to Exit the program.

      Temporary AV: Use one:
      Microsoft Security Essentials
      Comodo AV
      Avast! Free Antivirus
      Please note: If you have previously run Combofix and it's still on the system, please uninstall it. Then download the current version and do the scan: Uninstall directions, if needed
      • Click START> then RUN
      • Now type Combofix /Uninstall in the runbox and click OK. Note the space between the X and the U, it needs to be there.
      Download Combofix from HERE or HERE and save to the desktop
      • Double click combofix.exe & follow the prompts.
      • If prompted for Recovery Console, please allow.
      • Once installed, you should see a blue screen prompt that says:
      • Note: If Combofix was downloaded to a flash drive, the Recovery Console will not install- just bypass and go on.[/b]
      • Note: No query will be made if the Recovery Console is already on the system.
    • Close any open browsers.
    • Before you run the Combofix scan, please disable any security software you have running.
      (If you need help with this, please see HERE)
    • Click on Yes, to continue scanning for malware
    • If Combofix asks you to update the program, allow
    • When the scan completes , a report will be generated-it will open a text window. Please paste the C:\ComboFix.txt in next reply..

    Re-enable your Antivirus software.
    Note 1:Do not mouse-click Combofix's window while it is running. That may cause it to stall.
    Note 2:If you receive an error "Illegal operation attempted on a registry key that has been marked for deletion", restart the computer.
    Note 3:CF disconnects your machine from the internet. The connection is automatically restored before CF completes its run. If CF runs into difficulty and terminates prematurely, the connection can be manually restored by restarting your machine.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  7. Horse

    Horse TS Rookie

    System mechanic professional is a rip off don't trust what they say. I had them for 2 years and since I got system mechanic professional on my pc my laptop been slowing down, crashing and freezing not to mention data lost. Then when I call them they refused to fix it then tells me that I need to pay one hundred dollers more after clearly my pc says that I had 250 more days before my account with them expireds. I regret ever joining them. I wasted a lot of time and money. Please don't make the same mistake as I did.
  8. blackjackjack

    blackjackjack TS Rookie

    Wow, I can't believe I'm writing this, but I have been having soooo much trouble w/ iolo and dell. dell also sold this iolo to me. one time I even tried to update and pay more. it is a useless program for me. I am leaving dell (after 15 years) b/c of this sale. I keep getting virus'es. I even bought their 3 year software package, and used 2 of my 3 visits in 6months. dell blames facebook (I hardly use) for the problems, but I believe dell found me as a sucker. their sales are hurting b/c people are getting tired of their scams. I don't know who at dell is responsible for these scams, but, I'm not gonna buy another and I do not recommend dell to anyone. in fact, I might discourage the purchase.
  9. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 678   +69

    Nothing you can do to your computer can guarantee that you will not lose your personal files, you can only reduce the probability by following the excellent advice given to you.
    But if you want to protect yourself against a loss, the only way are regular backups, e.g. to external drives, which you say you have.
  10. philoso4

    philoso4 TS Rookie

    I bought a new Dell Inspiron, Windows 8 OS. Installed a solid state drive and put the OS on it, with help from Dell advisers.
    Everything was working beautifully.
    After reading reviews of System Mechanic Pro 11 in CNET and elsewhere I bought it and installed it. Its initial scan decided that changes needed to be made in several areas. Registry, etc. I gave it permission, it said it cleaned everything up, and that it needed to reboot the computer. (The phrase was highlighted so that a click on it would reboot.)
    The system went into reboot mode but wouldn't boot because, the screen said, there was no drive to boot from.
    If you guess that I was disappointed, then you are waaay underestimating my concern.
    But iolo has a help line which I called, being certain that they could clear it up.
    The tech adviser said that System Mechanic could not have been at fault, that it was clearly a hardware failure. After some fruitless discussion with the tech, I asked to speak with a supervisor. One finally came on board. He essentially told me that I knew nothing about computers and with his knowledge he was certain that hardware had failed, but that for 'only' $139 iolo would send someone out to fix the problem. I will not bother to quote my response.
    I called Dell support and they were successful in guiding me through reinstalling the OS on the perfectly good hardware.
    I then called iolo, spoke with the same supervisor, and asked to speak with HIS supervisor. They simply put me on hold until I gave up.
    That's MY experience.
  11. Joe_B

    Joe_B TS Rookie

    ******I HAVE INSTALLED AND USED IOLO SYS MECH*** as opposed to the general feedback you are getting from non-users in this forum... although their words of wisdom are valuable info, you were seeking someone who actually used this IOLO, SM software. I can tell you based on my experience
    1) it removes Antivirus software or disables it frequently [deemed by software as redundant or infrequently used/waste of space]
    2) it interferes with consistent firewall protection
    3) it removes critical device files for lack of frequent use by computer or because they are background files the software deems unnecessary
    4) buts heads with necessary Java files and has conflicts with necessary program/system files and slows computer down.
    5) relies on defragging machine to 'speed it up' and ultimately the files become slower or don't open without system restore.
    6) it makes computer 'buggy' over months of "optimizing computer' with this software

    I would heed the advice of using NAV, Kaspersky, Avast, etc. and rely on those proven system protection software.
  12. Horse

    Horse TS Rookie

    I decided after leaving Iolo System mechanics to download Norton to my PC. And let me tell you what.. So far so good! I haven't had any difficulties with them and they fixed my PC. Norton found so many problems on my PC that shouldn't had even been there because of that no good pice of crap Iolo system mechanics. On my opion Norton is the best.
  13. Frank Truth

    Frank Truth TS Rookie

    IOLO and System Mechanic breaks computers, and destroys hard drives. Use if you don't value you data or your files. Use it if you wish to turn your computer into a paperweight. IOLO claims they are not responsible for any incidental or consquential damage caused by their software.
  14. Jimmyj

    Jimmyj TS Rookie

    Don't Buy this product. The company is a rip-off. I paid $100 for a code then went to reactivate after deletion & tony foster wanted $70 to give me the code!!! The reason for deleting it -It was slowing down my computer.
  15. easy44

    easy44 TS Rookie

    I don't have a Dell computer, but I have been using System Mechanic for several years, maybe 3-4, can't remember exactly. This program has always worked just as promised for me. I really can't understand all the charges people are talking about. The program costs $39.95 from Iolo and you can usually renew for $15.95 if you want to continue the updates. If you are paying more, you are not ordering from Iolo and getting ripped off. The program has many options that you can turn on and off depending on your needs. If you are having a problem with their defrag option, then turn it off. Sometimes there will be conflicts with programs you already have running that may duplicate a function SM is trying to run. I use AVG Antivirus (paid version), including a firewall that performs perfectly alongside SM. It sounds to me that some of these problems are self inflicted because the user doesn't understand SM.
  16. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 8,866   +616

    I'd say dump it. Here is a related thread https://www.techspot.com/community/topics/system-mechanic-yes-or-no.193710/
  17. TamaJoann

    TamaJoann TS Rookie Posts: 18

    I too have used iolo System Shield and it was ok but for some reason it just missed the bus, I mean scan engine and can't connect again. I am out money and no protection anymore. It worked with the windows firewall and it's all screwed up now but so is my pc. After reading familiar instances above, I don't know that I will miss the program at all! Glad I got some feed back. Tammie
  18. bubba743

    bubba743 TS Rookie

    I have used this program for years and as of late have lost faith in them. I have system mechanic pro and it is destroying my cpu.
  19. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 8,866   +616

    Dump it.
  20. Warrenhottie

    Warrenhottie TS Rookie

    I have used System Mechanic Professional for 6 years now and it is currently on Version 12.5 so I don't know if this will do you any good but I agree with almost all of Bobbye's comments but I wanted to tell you the programs I use and see if that helps you. I have a Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop Windows 7 64 bit. Never go to somebody else for a company's product as you are always being charged for their cut. Horse is so wrong Norton will not protect you so forget Norton but as Bobbye said you aren't going to System Mechanic Pro for an antivirus-never going to happen. For most of my programs I go to a great site that deals mainly with freeware at http://filehippo.com. I use IObit Advanced System Care Pro to take care of the registry problems along with alot of other initial stuff (great tools and you can get a better price at holidays and other times of the year). I use Avast Free best antivirus according to several publications and I agree. Then I use CCleaner which is good but ALWAYS READ WHAT ANY PROGRAM IS DELETING. I also use Windows Firewall and System Mechanic gives you the option to not use the AV and Firewall so DO NOT USE THEIRS. For anti-spyware, I rely on Malwarebytes.Free and Spybot Search & Destroy and those will cover both angles. System Mechanic-use their deep scan then go into individual tools. First I go to the Junk File Cleaner along with the other one above it. Then I use their Registry Cleaner as I have never had problems with it as LONG AS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE CLEANING up after Iobits ASCPro and CCleaner. Then I go below to the next box and use the Private File cleaner and the Drive Scrubber as that is an excellent tool. Then I go back up to the top box mind you this is what I do on a daily basis after you are done with the things you do initially like Startup programs, Redundant Programs... Then I make sure the Registry is defragged, then I use The compactor(make sure you check the deep scan) above the Drive Optimizer m. When you run the Drive Optimizer make sure you go below the default stuff and check the box that says gets rid of free space as that is the tool that I commend System Mechanic on as it will speed up your system at least ten times and after that or during I run the other Piriform tool Defraggler. Sorry to say that I have replaced my hard drive this past year and no tool will save a hard drive if it is used on a daily basis so I second most of what Bobbye has outlined. The other ones I do not agree that the tool is not worth it as with anything with proper use, you will see that it is worth it but not through someone else like Dell. And I am like you only about 6-7 years now and my brother is an IT Professional so of course you know when I got a computer I went to him for advice. And what he said was JUST READ. So you're a writer and I have been doing exactly what he told me-to read.
  21. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 8,866   +616

    I think you need to look at the original date of post. Almost 18 months old.
  22. Oskari Lavinto

    Oskari Lavinto TS Rookie

    Correction: System Mechanic Pro includes the System Shield module and it is a complete security suite. It is not the best on the market for this but it should mostly do fine for basic users.

    Edit: yes, it's an old thread but still this is a fact. And no I did not read the whole thread.
  23. mjferg

    mjferg TS Rookie

    I realize this is an older post. I have used system mechanic for 2 years - it was actually pick up the referal from Dell. I use it to maintain my system. I use Malwarebytes for my anti-virus.
    chriscbd_19 likes this.
  24. chriscbd_19

    chriscbd_19 TS Rookie

    Norton utilities,360 amigo are a couple good ones to use. system mechanic is just an iffy program but it does have useful tools
  25. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 8,866   +616

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...