Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
Norton SystemWorks 2009 from Symantec is a good set of PC system utilities, but the program is missing a few features, has a complicated installation process, and poor navigation. The suite does include a lot of features and several tools, but also is the highest priced of the software we reviewed. Symantec and Norton are some of the most popular names in computer security, but we suggest going with a more complete and easy to use pc utilities suite, such as Advanced System Optimizer, System Mechanic, or TuneUp Utilities.
This software comes bundled with several other programs, including Norton Disk Doctor, System Doctor, WinDoctor, Optimize Disk, Wipe Info, and Explorer Shell Extensions. And although Norton SystemWorks 2009 is easy to navigate, adjusting to the different additional navigation layouts as you switch from program to program is difficult. There's a lot of features packed into Norton SystemWorks, and though it's effectively organized, it is sometimes difficult to manage.
The first time we tried installing Norton SystemWorks, we received an error that shut our computer down. Although our second attempt was successful, Norton SystemWorks was not simple to install; requiring us to go through several update checks and to restart our computer at least four times in the process. The installation process, like the navigation, might be overwhelming.
Norton SystemWorks offers many maintenance and diagnostic tools including a Quick Status screen, a process blocker and the ability to clear Internet activities.
This software also has a One-Button Checkup that does a Windows Registry Scan, Program Integrity Scan, Virus Definition and Last Virus Scan Check, Auto-Protect Check, Shortcut Scan and a Norton Cleanup Scan. Once completed, this tool tells you the number of errors found a the location of each problem.
This software also comes with a Startup Manager, a tool that we feel every good PC System Utilities software should include.
New to this version is the ability for Norton SystemWorks to complete a performance test that evaluates your computer and hardware and compares it with other systems.
Norton SystemWorks comes with a Secure Delete tool that wipes out any file or folder so completely that the strongest recovery programs cannot restore the data, including the Department of Defense Wipe.
The software also comes with an Unerase Wizard that keeps a record of all deleted files and allows you to restore them at will (not the files you securely delete obviously). Although our test document was restored, we had a difficult time finding it. The system also comes with an individual undo as well as a complete undo tool, which restores changes made while using the software.
The program's registry repair tool, WinDoctor, allows you to choose which areas you want to scan for errors. When finished, it breaks the errors into categories but can't take you to the actual error in the registry.
Norton SystemWorks 2009 from Symantec is a fair PC System Utilities software with the added bonus of antivirus protection. But for the same price you could purchase both the PC System Utilities software, Advanced System Optimizer, and the antivirus software, BitDefender, giving you two powerful products—both top in their fields—in place of one. Norton SystemWorks works well, but leaves a bit to be desired in PC utilities.
If you're unsure what antivirus software is the best for you, check out our best antivirus guide.