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Cheap tune-up for PC

Right out of the box -- and with no technical expertise -- System Mechanic can boost your PC's boot-up time, make it run faster, clear junk files you no longer use and don't need, repair your registry files, figure out why your system is crashing and fix it, provide 911-type service for your PC if it won't boot up, check for viruses and kill them, protect you from Internet snoops, and wash your car.

Well, maybe it won't wash your car but it does everything else I listed very well. And the best news yet -- you can install it on up to three PCs, and you get a year of free anti-virus and program updates.

It has many more features than Norton SystemWorks, which I also run on my hard drive, and is a good deal cheaper. Once you set it up -- which is fast and simple -- it hovers in the background preventing system crashes and monitoring your hard drive and memory. There are dials that reside on the desktop to show how secure and healthy your hard drive is, which is reassuring.

Just as your car needs the occasional tune-up, System Mechanic tunes up your hard drive, for considerably less than your local car repair shop charges. And it does it over and over, every minute of every hour your PC is on.

"System Mechanic 8" for up to three PCs will run on Windows7, Vista and XP. To order, send $29, plus $6 for shipping, to WashingtonCD, P.O. Box 351531, Los Angeles, CA 90035, or online at www.washingtoncd.net.

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