Had a PC that was getting very ordinary recently. Was slow to start up, slow to shut down and tended to wander off and think about stuff when I didn't want it to.

Did the usual... Defrags and deleting old stuff, but... Didn't really help.

So... Decided to try one of the various tuning utilities and see how well they actually worked... But just to make sure I Ghosted the machine first (so I could restore it if it went horribly wrong) and then tried a couple of utilities to see how they behaved.

First couple where disappointing... Made a couple of recommendations, or where very focused on what they targeted, or didn't like the machine setup, but one made enough of a difference without requiring too much manual intervention to be worth a mention.... Tune-Up managed a very comprehensive set of recommendations and tuning, and more importantly didn't break anything. Not too fussed with all the options to customise the interface... I turn themes off most of the time and stick with the old-school Win2K look (gives me more screen real estate on the C1MT). Oh, and it works on VirtualPC 6 on the Mac as well (but that still crawls).

One disappointing thing with all the tuning tools I found was the lack of active monitoring / tuning. AutoPilot claims to provide that, but I've not seen it produce any demonstrable or consistent results on a machine (and I can't even make it work on my Vaio at the moment).

On with the search ;)