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Norton Systemworks 2002 Professional Edition - Symantec Corporation Print
You a little under the weather?
Been laid up lately? Been crashing? Burning up? Freezing? Feeling like a goner?

Website: http://www.symantec.com/sabu/sysworks/pro/

System Specs:

  • Windows 98 and 98SE/Me/NT Workstation with SP 6 or higher/2000 Professional/XP Home Edition or Professional
  • Pentium 100MHz-233MHz system or higher, depending on operating system
  • 165-190 MB hard disk space for typical installation
  • 32-128MB RAM
  • CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
  • VGA display or better
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or above
  • Email scanning support for any standard POP3 compatible email client including: MS Outlook Express 4.0/5.x; MS Outlook 97/98/2000/XP; Netscape Messenger 4.x; Netscape Mail 6.0; Eudora Light 3.0, Eudora Pro 4.0, Eudora 5.0
  • Additional system requirements for GoBack Personal Edition by Roxio include: Pentium 166MHz system or higher; 200 MB hard disk space; 32 MB RAM

Alternatively try

  • Ontrack SystemSuite 4.0
  • Network Solutions McAfee Internet Security

{mosadsense4joomla ad_layout="A"ad_align=""}'Tis the season once again. How the time flies. Matter of fact, it seems like it was only yesterday when we all battled the latest outbreak of . . .

Viruses. . . Worms.

If your latest affliction has left you running to the doctor or pharmacist more times than you can shake a stick, stand by for a cure.

We'd be willing to bet that a fair number of you have been whacked around by the recent attempts of those who need a life (and we thank you from the bottom of our ????). The Goner and Badtrans worms made their unsavoury presences known and wreaked more than a little havoc on systems around the world.

So what's a respectable computer and its people to do?

Run out and pick up the latest anti-virus software?
That's always a good thing.
After our Badtrans scares (that were transmitted by trusted client sources), we went a step further and got our PC on a continual dose of Norton SystemsWorks 2002 Professional.

What do you get in SystemWorks 2002 Professional?
SystemWorks 2002 is the latest offering by the well-known utilities and Internet security technology provider Symantec.
Many of you are probably already using its Norton Anti-Virus (NAV) software to protect your system from the virus, worm, and macro scourges of the times.

SystemWorks 2002 has been touted as the COMPLETE problem-solving suite for advanced users and small businesses. It comes with a wide range of utilities that include:

  • Norton Anti-Virus
  • Norton Utilities
  • Norton CleanSweep
  • Norton Ghost
  • WinFax Basic
  • Web Partners
  • Web Services
  • GoBack by Roxio
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SystemWorks features the latest versions (2002) of NAV, Norton Utilities, and CleanSweep as well as WinFax 10.0 Basic Edition.
In addition to a completely redesigned user interface and seamless integration with Windows Explorer, it supports the new Microsoft XP Home Edition and XP Professional. It also adds GoBack 3 Personal Edition by Roxio, Inc., an advanced system recovery tool that allows you to easily restore healthy system configurations as well as lost or damaged data.

Norton Anti-Virus comes equipped with improved protection and automatic safeguards against virus threats. It works in the background and automatically repairs infected files and updates virus definitions by default. New scripting technology has been added so known and unknown script-based threats are dealt with without the need for virus definitions. NAV will also scan incoming and outgoing email.

Norton Utilities (Figure 2) comes with a huge selection of system tools that help optimise, organise, and stabilise your computer's hard drive. Loaded with fully integrated utilities like Speed Disk, Norton WinDoctor, Norton SystemDoctor, Norton Protection, Norton DiskDoctor, UnErase, and WipeInfo, Utilities 2002 diagnoses and resolves a number of Windows-related problems. Like NAV, it can run in the background and can automatically take preventative measures.

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If your hard drive is starting to suffer as a result of Internet file buildup and other clutter, Norton CleanSweep 2002 allows you to easily remove these unwanted files. The added bonus is that it does this without accidentally deleting the important stuff. CleanSweep's Internet Sweep feature clears out the accumulations of files that inevitably add up while you're on the Internet. The Fast and Fast Cleanup removes unneeded files, while the Uninstall Wizard takes you on a step-by-step process of removing old programs and their associated files.

Norton Ghost 2002 is another unique component of SystemWorks 2002 Professional. Simply put, Ghost allows you to clone and image your hard disk. If you find you are replacing an old computer with a new one, you can easily migrate files, applications, and system settings with this utility. If you're upgrading your hardware, you can clone the entire hard disk. Ghost also allows you to restore disk images during disaster recovery as well as create compressed hard disk backups.

If you have the need to fax documents straight from your computer, the inclusion of WinFax 10.0 Basic Edition is another welcome addition to the SystemWorks lineup.

Roxio's GoBack 3 Personal Edition is another new feature in this version of SystemWorks. In the event of a system crash, virus attack, user error, or failed software installation, GoBack allows you to recover data and restore system configurations.

The included Web Services and Web Partners come under the Extra Features portion of the suite. Norton Web Services (Figure 3) is an Internet-based service provided by CNET CatchUp. Through this service, you can pick up the latest updates for hardware drivers and patches for your PC through a download of CatchUp software. You can also perform Symantec Security Check to check for Internet safety via this service.

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Web Partners is offered by Symantec partners Expertcity and Xdrive Technologies. Expertcity's fee-based ExpertLive provides real-time answers to technical problems (Figure 4). Xdrive Technologies Xdrive Plus offers online storage capabilities, also for a fee.

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SystemWorks 2002 is also available in a Standard Edition for those of you who feel you don't need Norton Ghost and WinFax Basic Edition.

So is SystemWorks worth my time and money?

After the latest threats from Badtrans in which we were left relatively unscathed (unlike some business friends), we decided that it was time to take a serious product on board. We already had NAV and Norton Internet Security installed and were quite pleased with those products' performance. Those past experiences led to the decision to give SystemWorks Professional a test drive around the block.

Installation on our Pentium 900MHz system running 224MB RAM on Windows 98 was quick and straightforward. WinFax Basic and GoBack were separate installations from the main SystemWorks install. We were also pleased to see that our already present Norton Internet Security was easily integrated into the SystemWorks interface (Figure 1).

We found that SystemWorks did perform pretty much up to our expectations. We found the WinDoctor feature of Norton Utilities to be invaluable for checking out and repairing Windows-related problems. NAV was also up there for its virus protection, and its automatic System Status window was quite handy in giving an overview of security scanning and virus definition statuses (Figure 5).

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Despite our overall positive impressions of the powerful protection features, we did find a few glitches in the performance of SystemWorks. Once the suite was up and running, we did notice that inbound and outbound emails were being affected. Plain and simple, the mail was neither going out nor coming in. Our email client was timing out. Symantec does address this problem by allowing you the option of disabling incoming and/or outgoing emails. Despite leaving the "Enable timeout protection" box checked in the NAV, the problem could only be resolved by disabling the email scanning capabilities end stop. Having said that, our PC is still protected by NAV's AutoProtect and Script Blocking. Small mercies.

Also problematic was an inability to perform some online administrative functions to a client's web site. Extensive investigation, including tracert analyses, resulted in the possibility that SystemWorks' running in the background affected the transmission of information between the administrative site and the client's server. It was recommended that SystemWorks be disabled for this particular task.

More of a major nuisance is SystemWorks' appetite for using system resources. While Symantec advises 32-128MB of RAM depending on the operating system involved, our 224MB of memory was stretched far beyond its capacity, as was the 900MHz processor speed on a Win 98 OS. There is a noticeable slowing down of normal computing processes and the occasional freeze-up and desktop crash, along with Windows pop-up messages to shut down several programs due to inadequate memory.

These problems did affect our overall rating of SystemWorks. Nevertheless, the collection of tools available does help make up for the problems experienced. Norton SystemWorks Professional is definitely easy to use and well organised. Identification and repair of problems was also fast and pretty painless.

What was easy to swallow was the price tag of US$99.95. This is a powerful, robust suite of tools that won't break the bank or send you running out for some antacids. In addition, if you already own another version of SystemWorks, the upgrade will set you back $69.95.

If the recent Goner and Badtrans outbreaks have left you feeling like a goner, SystemWorks 2002 Professional Edition might just bring you - and your PC - back to an enviable state of health.

Norton Systemworks 2002 Professional Edition
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2001 © Lee and James Appleyard

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