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[Debate] PC Booster/Optimizer programs - For or against?


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#1 Aura

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 11:48 AM

Alright so,

I want to start a debate on PC Booster/Optimizer programs so everyone here can throw their arguments as whether they are for or against these type of programs just so people who don't know anything about it can read this thread and it's arguments, and then come to a conclusion to if they should use these programs or not.

Personally, I'm totally against them and there's many reasons why they shouldn't be used. I have a whole canned ready for it that pretty much groups all my arguments and reasons.

warning.gifPC Booster/Tune-Up Program Warning!
"PC Booster/Tune Up" programs are part of the worst programs you can install on a system. When it comes to messing up your system (Windows), these are as worst as malware. They are completely worthless and useless to use. The worst is that they'll often take action on your system without you knowing, nor authorizing it, which could lead to your system being altered in a way you don't want it to be or even worst, a "broke" system. Every feature they provide, you can either do it natively under Windows, do it via another standalone executable (which is way easier and safer to use) or they aren't providing something you need. Here's a few examples:
  • Cleaning temporary files: TFC (standalone executable), CCleaner (installed), Cleanmgr.exe (in-built);
  • Managing start-up entries: Autoruns (standalone executable), CCleaner (installed), Task Manager and Registry (in-built);
  • Driver Updater: Not needed, all you need is to go on your manufacturer website so you'll be sure to get the right, official, working drivers for your computer or hardware;
  • Registry Cleaner/Defragger: Completely useless and also dangerous;
  • Disk Defragging: Disk Defrag (in-built), O&O Disk Defrag (installed), Defraggler (installed);
  • Powerful uninstaller: Not needed, only needed when you have to make sure a program is completely uninstalled. Revo Uninstaller have a portable version you can use;
  • "Enhanced" Task Manager: Procexp (standalone executable), Process Hacker (portable or installed);
  • "Active security": Any Antivirus and Antimalware can beat that, easily. These programs aren't made to replace Antivirus or Antimalware products and shouldn't be seen as such;
  • Repair Hard Drive issues: Simple chkdsk /r command under Windows (in-built);
Having such program installing on your system will just bloat it down and you have more chances to have issues by using them than without. These products are advertised as a program that can solve all your issues, remove every malware, speed up your computer performance over 100%, etc. The truth is that there's not a single program that can do that. First of all, these programs aren't made to remove virus and malware, leave this in the hands of Antivirus and Antimalware, period. Secondly, there's so many kind of issues under Windows that there's not a single program that can address them all. If you think that BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) issues can be solved by opening a program and clicking on a "Fix" button, then I'm sorry to tell you but, you're wrong. Also, you cannot boost the performance of a hardware over it's hardware capabilities. Of course you can overclock some components, like your CPU, RAM and GPU, but these aren't done via these programs, but via your BIOS interface. I could recommend you a program for every feature these programs advertise, and also tell you exactly in detail why most of them are completely useless, such as Registry cleaner (dangerous to use), and driver updater (dangerous to use, and also completely useless, it'll not improve your system performance). In the end, buying such programs is the exact same as being scammed (because this is what it is, a pure scam) and using one of these programs will result you in having a system less performant than prior to using it.

And in that canned, I didn't even include the many examples where using a such program completely broke a Windows system, forcing a few people to reinstall Windows in order to solve their issues.

So what's your view on it? For or against these programs? Why and why not?

Note: Before someone posts it, I'm sure that BleepingComputer doesn't endorse the use of such programs since they contain dangerous features such as Registry cleaners, hence there's no need to post that "warning" here as I'm fully aware of it :) Except if it's part of your canned answer.

Edited by Aura., 16 February 2015 - 11:49 AM.

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#2 zingo156

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 12:03 PM

My opinion is most pc optimization tools or driver identifiers cause more harm than good. The other tools likely are not needed at all. I do like the following tools and will explain:

 

Disk Defragging: Disk Defrag (in-built):

The (Windows OS defrag) tool is actually quite useful if you have a large scratch disk like I do that does video editing writes etc. With defrag disabled, I notice the disk slow down significantly after a few months of writing/deleting without defragging it. I can actually hear the head jumping around when writing when it gets bad. I now leave windows defrag enabled for all of my physical platter hard drives and have never had any issue with drive speed or early failures.

 

Repair Hard Drive issues: Simple chkdsk /r command under Windows (in-built):

Chkdsk is a great tool and has decent logging. However I do prefer to run MHDD when I have a drive with known issues so I can get more details.

 

I will occasionally run a temp file cleaner if the computer has issues related to those temp files or the computer is runnning out of space. I never run registry cleaners.


Edited by zingo156, 16 February 2015 - 03:19 PM.

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#3 Sintharius

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 12:08 PM

:thumbsup: to Aura, my partner in crime :P

Personally I do not endorse the use of these programs as well, as there are no real documented evidence of the benefits they claim to provide (and no, anecdotes like "I used it and had no problems" from average users don't count, as they don't know exactly what the app did to their machines).

With a basic knowledge of how Windows works, an user can see that these "optimizers" are useless and extremely dangerous. When used on an infected machine it can even complicate the disinfection.

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#4 Aura

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 12:57 PM

However I do prefer to run MHDD when I have a drive with known issues so I can get more details.


I would rather run a specialized tool like MHDD for a specific task, rather than deal with a "suite" that offers not so advanced features, so this is good :)


Personally I do not endorse the use of these programs as well, as there are no real documented evidence of the benefits they claim to provide (and no, anecdotes like "I used it and had no problems" from average users don't count, as they don't know exactly what the app did to their machines).

With a basic knowledge of how Windows works, an user can see that these "optimizers" are useless and extremely dangerous.


That's right. To be honest, if someone endorse that product, it's most likely because they don't know how Windows works exactly, hence why they "see" it (or think) that it's useful. But when you understand what it does, how it works and how Windows works, you see how completely useless it is. Same for the people who thinks that your drivers should always be updated.

Edited by Aura., 16 February 2015 - 12:57 PM.

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#5 Phantom010

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 03:05 PM

Having seen so many computers trashed by that type of software, I don't need anymore proof that you should definitely avoid it. It's a scam.



#6 Aura

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 11:54 AM

I think I'll start linking threads and screenshots in here where such software totally breaks a Windows installation. I have many from past forums but I'm sure there's some members here on BC, or even GTG, that uses such programs and have issues right now without even knowing it.

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#7 rhino1366

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 07:31 AM

Hey-Hey, it's Mr. Rhino here.....

 

Aura, so you should have a basic check for startup entries? ...like CCleaner, right?



#8 Aura

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 11:44 AM

A basic check for start-up entries yes. Nothing msconfig or Autoruns can't do.

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#9 robby501

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 10:49 AM

This is REALLY good stuff for me to be reading! Thanks everybody.....especially regarding the effort you all appear to have made in keeping wordings and terms as simple as possible in order for folk like me to understand. lol

I am now suspecting that the PUP's I have had installed might well be the reason I been receiving Samsung blue-screen warnings pop up from time to time as well as having had difficulty in downloading/installing recommended Samsung updates after seeing the pop-ups bottom-right of screen, as well as the hotter than normal running temps of my lappy in general?

So I have taken a couple of other members' advice and run both JRT and AdwCleaner and things pc-wise seem much more stable and happy - as well as cooler, too.

Thinking maybe about running a RE-FRESH within the pc's built-in settings as an extra measure, but maybe that's a bit extreme? As the old saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! I dunno! 


Im a rookie and purely recreational pc user. Im utterly obsessed with security (even though I consider myself a safe and law-abiding internet user!) and run a combo of the following freeware security suites.....

Windows Defender/firewall

Regular scans with Malwarebytes, AdwCleaner, JRT, HitmanPro

 

 

 


#10 Aura

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 10:53 AM

PC Boosters programs are known to be bundled as PUPs in many programs, AVG PC TuneUp being one of the most frequently encountered one. None of these programs will help you with anything except giving you more problems than you already have. Also, they'll try to make you install programs as well to "complement" them, a bit ironic since they are supposed to be a "full proof solution".

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#11 robby501

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 11:06 AM

Yes, I got duped into trying the AVG one several months ago. It claimed to be free to install, but once used, it wanted a payment to clean what they said was many HUNDREDS of issues!

The 'Boost' program I more recently had installed even came with a rather snazzy-looking analogue kind of speedo showing a needle rising out of the red and into the green as the program was supposedly performing it's task. It's amazing the lengths some of these guys go to to make their so-called products LOOK more appealing to the unwitting users/purchasers of such crap! lol


Im a rookie and purely recreational pc user. Im utterly obsessed with security (even though I consider myself a safe and law-abiding internet user!) and run a combo of the following freeware security suites.....

Windows Defender/firewall

Regular scans with Malwarebytes, AdwCleaner, JRT, HitmanPro

 

 

 


#12 Aura

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 11:13 AM

The worst is that, AVG tries to make you install it when you use their Antivirus or when you try to uninstall it, and it pushes AVG Web TuneUp sometimes on a system. This is really sad. And some people are ready to do "anything" for money.

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#13 robby501

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 11:54 AM

Having seen so many computers trashed by that type of software, I don't need anymore proof that you should definitely avoid it. It's a scam.

Please forgive my naivety, but what exactly do you mean by 'trashed'??

I am assuming you mean you mean that the c-drive/hardware is corrupted or physically disabled to the point where components within the PC itself have to be physically replaced or the machine thrown away altogether??

Something that not even an 'F4' factory reset would overcome, despite the fact that it would serve to completely wipe clean the whole machine??

The point I am trying to make is that I fail to see how the downloading and installing of binary code (which is nothing more that a whole bunch of electronically derives 1's and 0's !) can actually cause PHYSICAL harm to the insides of any kind of computer-type device. So are you suggesting that this rogue software could potentially damage a computer and render it as useless as if it was hit with a sledge-hammer??


Edited by robby501, 06 March 2015 - 12:01 PM.

Im a rookie and purely recreational pc user. Im utterly obsessed with security (even though I consider myself a safe and law-abiding internet user!) and run a combo of the following freeware security suites.....

Windows Defender/firewall

Regular scans with Malwarebytes, AdwCleaner, JRT, HitmanPro

 

 

 


#14 Aura

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 12:00 PM

No I mean that these programs destroyed, corrupted, damaged, etc. a Windows installation to the point where a reinstallation was needed. Its rare to see a program actually breaking a piece of hardware. It can happen with hard drives, RAM and GPUs but once again, its rare. Oh and motherboards too when you fail to flash your BIOS.

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#15 robby501

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 12:10 PM

OK, thanks for filling me in.

Yes, I guess it is obvious that some unscrupulous programmes/malware could cause overheating to the point where internal components are physically damaged or stressed to the point where their expected life-span is considerably shortened, although having said that I assume that there are certain parameters built into machines these days which would cause the device to shut down when temperatures reach certain levels.

Sorry if I am not making much sense here or appear to be talking garbage, but this whole PUP debate has really fascinated me to the point where I cannot believe how ignorant and naive I have been in assuming that they were all out there to help and improve performance! 

Talk about 'seeing the light' !!!! lol


Im a rookie and purely recreational pc user. Im utterly obsessed with security (even though I consider myself a safe and law-abiding internet user!) and run a combo of the following freeware security suites.....

Windows Defender/firewall

Regular scans with Malwarebytes, AdwCleaner, JRT, HitmanPro

 

 

 





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