by Bill Gorrell

This program was installed on a 450mHz Pentium II computer with 128 MB memory, 8 GB hard drive and internal Zip drive with Windows 98. Using the standard install, the program requires 70MB of hard drive space. Installation was completed with no problems. During the last part of the installation you can create a Zip rescue disk. This requires one 3 ½ " floppy and one Zip disk. In case of system problems, where you can not boot due to software problems or hard drive failure, these rescue disks will allow you to boot to a full windows operating system. The rescue wizard will step you through the process of identifying and fixing common computer problems.

A reboot of your computer is necessary after installation. Norton System Doctor will start every time you boot your system. The System Doctor can monitor and display 38 different items. The System Doctor can be customized to show the desired information, display style and sample rate. The default window shows six pieces of information. This window can be minimized to the Systray as a Red or Green colored icon depending on the condition of the items being monitored. In my case, the icon was Red since I had not yet done a live update of the program. Once I had connected to the Internet and done a live update, the icon switched to green. No updates were required.

Before continuing, a back-up of the Registry files was done. Next, the System check was run. There were 54 Registry problems in 5 different categories. Almost all problems were due to uninstall programs not doing a complete job of deleting all references to the removed program from the Registry. Norton does have an automatic repair, but I used the manual method of repair. Norton gives several options for making a correction. In most cases the first option given was the best one. Next Disk Doctor was run. This checks the disk surface for possible bad sectors. The check on my 8 GB drive took approximately 23 minutes and no problems were found.

A new addition to this version of the program is the Connection Doctor. This helps troubleshoot modem and communication problems. In order to do a complete test, a long distance phone call must be placed to Symantec. However, you are given the option of skipping this part of the test. The total connect time was less than one minute so the cost would be minimal. The results indicated line noise was causing a reduction in connect speed. (This is a known problem with my phone line.)

Another new area is WipeInfo. This program will remove all traces of the deleted file by overwriting the disk area used by that file. It will write all "O"s or the character of your choice or a 7-pass overwrite where government security is involved.

Still included are updated programs from previous versions:
UnErase Wizard – recover deleted files;
Speed Disk – defragment your hard drive;
Registry Tracker – keeps track of changes to the Registry by doing a snapshot and indicating the changes;
System Info – provides details about your computer hardware;
Registry Editor – allows manual editing of the registry. Also contains an undo capability that other registry editors do not.
All of the above features are available in the Windows environment. There are other programs available only in the DOS environment. These are:
Disk Editor – provides direct access to all areas of the disk drive. You can search and edit data at the lowest level;
Norton Diagnostics – provides hardware diagnostics available only at the DOS level;
Unformat – unformat an accidentally formatted hard drive.

Norton Web Services is an extra cost feature that will check your software programs and hardware drivers for updates. If updates are available they can be downloaded and installed automatically. Norton Web Services regular cost is $29.95 per year, but a coupon is included to reduce the cost to $6.95 for the first six months.

The regular price of the package is $49.95 plus $10.00 shipping and handling. Members of MVPCUG may purchase Norton Utilities Ver. 4.0 at a reduced cost of $29.95, including shipping.

To purchase Norton Utilities 4.0 at a special User Group price of $29.95 including all shipping, handling, and tax's, call 1-800-441-7234 between June 1st and August 15th. You "must" tell the operator you are referring to "promo code U1238".

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This page was last updated on:
February 2003