Are the Norton Utilities better than the Windows system tools?

I’ve recently found an offer for Norton Systemworks 2001 for $15 (plus $4.50 or so shipping), and am tempted to pick it up. However, since I already have Norton Anti-Virus, all I’ll be using it for is defragging and scanning my HD for potential problems. I might also use Ghost if that’s included as I think it is.

However, I believe that Windows’ disk defrag and scandisk are both made by Symantec anyway, so is there any real difference? If so, what are they? Thanks for any info.

my avdice is to go to and search for norton systemworks or simular searches.

IIRC N.S. includes firewall protection which you should have if you use dsl or cable to connect to the net.

Also another IIRC symantic use to creade the scandisk and defrag back in the DOS 6.0 days but I think MS has taken it in house since.

What you will get is a faster, slightly better scan and defrag - along w/ tools that will help yu maintain your system. The trouble is that if you use the tools and leave them running in the background they will slow your computer.

Ghost is only good for copying info from one HD to another.

From my experience, some of the Norton utilities are quite good (like windoctor), but do not install any of the stuff on your hard drive, just run from the CD. At best they will start running in the background and slow things down as K2dave mentioned, at worst (which happened to me and others every time) they will cause windows to crash regularly (especially their ‘crashguard’ ironically).

Symantec makes them both, so? Dodge makes the tiny Neon & an ultra fast Race car…its kinda like that.

Sure buy it just for its registry cleaning properties, if it has any, it can do it all when other programs are running, unlike scandisk which has a fit if something changes when its working.

I use System Suite 2000 it doesn’t slow anything down.

Ironic, but very true. My computer crashed more than five times as often when I had Norton Crashguard installed than when I didn’t.

I use N.U., and I don’t have any complaints. It doesn’t seem to slow my system down at all, and a couple friends of mine, who know a lot about pc’s, have strongly recommended it. They say it’s much better than what’s on windows. Heed the crashguard warning, though, because it’ll pop up regularly for no good reason unless you shut it down. I honestly don’t know what systemworks is, but if it’s got utilities on it, for $15 it’s a steal. I wish mine had cost that little!

I beleive System Works is the bundled package of Norton Utilities, Antivirus, and a couple others.

I heartily recommend SystemWorks if you are interested in having such advanced troubleshooting/maintenance tools at your disposal.

Many people complain that SW or NU slow their systems down too much. I agree but all it takes to fix this is to remove the system monitor tool (the icon looks like a traffic signal) from the startup folder in your start menu. The benefit of this monitor (without serious tweaking) is rather dubious when weighed against the performance penalty.

As for the drefag tool, you get a whole slew of options unlike the MS OEM tool.

The registry cleanup tool works very well, too.

Norton Antivirus is definitely the best all-around weapon against infection McAfee users, please consider the ease of updates before you start flaming me. My experience is that my clients who use NAV update MUCH more often than my clients who use McAV. That is a pretty solid telling of ease of updates, the number two factor in staying virus-free.

Ghost is a pretty decent HD backup tool. I run Ghost from the command line and break my image files into 695MB chunks so they fit on a CD-R. That way all I need to to do a full system restoration is a boot floppy with Ghost and CD-ROM drivers and a set of backup CDs. My roommate regularly restores 6-7GB of data this way when he breaks his Windows installation. He has a good stable configuration with all his favorite software already installed on the backup CDs.

Thanks guys, sounds like pretty good advice all around. And I guess I’ll find this out once it comes in, but is it possible to install just “undelete” (I guess it’d be considered the Norton protected recycle bin thingy?) and run everything else off the CD as Balduran suggested?

I do recall that you can customize your installation of NU. You get a list of things you can choose or not. I never tried just the “undelete” though. I’m ignorant of it, how is this better than the recycle bin?

It keeps files around longer, even after deleting them out of the recycle bin. This is the “protected” recycle bin aspect. I believe this also integrates the ‘undelete’ feature in that maybe it saves around the recently deleted files. After accidentally wiping out my ICQ settings a few nights ago, I’ve decided that this could be a godsend. :slight_smile:

Also, Norton Utilities defrags your swap file, which the Windows defrag tool doesn’t.

“Norton Utilities defrags your swap file”

Not very useful since you can just delete it & windows makes a new one.

One advantage of Norton Speed Disk (their defrag tool) is that if you have a fixed-size swap file, the file can be relocated to the beginning of the physical drive at part of the defrag process. It’s been written that this can improve swap file performance, particularly in systems without a lot of available physical memory. Other than that, the system monitoring functions are nothing but trouble. Also, I’m not a big fan of Ghost versions higher than 5. The newer versions install a ODBC client that completely hosed my existing ODBC settings when I tried to uninstall Ghost (Win NT w/SP5)…



My personal experience with Norton/Symantec products has not been good. I have had two occasions in which my system crashed so badly that I had to reinstall the operating system, and each time there was a Norton product at the top of the list of suspects. (That’s a Peter Norton product, not one of mine.) Those experiences have pretty much scared me away from those products.

Besides that, before I installed Norton Utilities (or whatever it was) I never really felt I needed the functionality it provided, once it was installed I rarely used it, and once I got rid of it I never missed it.

I don’t know what has happened. In the eighties and early nineties I used to think Norton was the Windows/DOS god. His products descended from heaven. Some of his stuff is still pretty good (pcanywhere for one), but it now looks more like it has been created by a mortal mind.

Thank you, The_Raven. I should have mentioned that.

Balduran, I used to work with a programmer who knew a guy who knew Peter Norton and my colleague told me “Peter Norton is an idiot with good business sense who knew to hire sharp people.” I took it with a grain of salt, but I’m wondering if anyone else has heard this scuttlebutt. As opposed to, say, Bill Gates, who knew how to program in his young days (or so I hear).

Where is the book that exposes the dark underbelly of the computer giants whose smiling faces we see on the product boxes at Fry’s?

I must profess ignorance here. First of all, how would I know/find out whether my swap file (yay, at least I know what that is!) is of a fixed size or not? If it’s not can/should I change it, for the sake of performance?

Secondly, I’ll hope it never comes up, but what’re ODBC settings and what happens when they get fubared?

On a side note, my SystemWorks should be here by Friday (or Monday if UPS really sucks). :slight_smile:

KK, its part of your virtual memory settings…where you can set the size of your swap. start:H input ‘swap’:
To reserve disk space for extra memory

to open the System Properties dialog box at the Performance tab.
Click Virtual Memory.
Make sure Let Windows manage my virtual memory settings is selected.
You can also open the System Properties dialog box by clicking Start, pointing to Settings, clicking Control Panel, and then double-clicking System.
Whenever possible, let Windows manage your virtual memory. Windows chooses the default setting based on the amount of free hard-disk space. The swap file then shrinks and grows dynamically based on actual memory usage.
If you need to specify a different disk or set limits on the minimum or maximum reserved space, click Let me specify my own virtual memory settings, and then enter the new disk in Hard disk or enter values (in kilobytes) in Minimum or Maximum.