Best Utilities - 09 Sep 2002

NORTHERN's OptiMover was selected by our readers as the best automation/ scheduling tool. OptiMover, a software solution for automating data flows, automates data movement and performs defined actions when triggered by a customizable event, such as a database change, a file modification, or time- and date-related parameters.

OptiMover can execute programs and replicate, move, and import database records and files; works across sites and platforms; and provides full logging with versatile displays. OptiMover makes it easy to move business-critical data automatically between computers, servers, and platforms, creating an efficient data management system.

By automating the process of managing and monitoring data flows between computers, directories, servers, platforms, and sites, OptiMover can nearly eliminate that labor intensive, time-consuming task. In addition, by simplifying the process and delegating repetitious tasks to a self-maintaining system, OptiMover can increase productivity and give IT staff more time to manage a broader array of more strategic responsibilities.

NORTHERN Parklife, Inc.
Tampa, FL
(800) 881-4950
Price: Starts at $1,595

By a large margin, our readers proclaimed Executive Software's Diskeeper 7.0 the winner in the category Best Defragmentation Utilities. Fragmentation has always affected computer performance. Executive Software raised awareness of the problem—and came up with a solution.

With the extremely popular automatic disk defragmenter Diskeeper, Executive Software continues to define the defragmenter market by providing cutting-edge solutions to performance issues, no matter how advanced a computer system may be. Increasing your computer system's performance is the keynote of Diskeeper, and Executive Software promises that the product will continue to evolve in concert with user demand.

Executive Software International
Burbank, CA
(818) 771-1600, (800) 829-6468
Price: Starts at $49.95 for Workstation and $249 for Server. Volume discounts are available.

By far, our readers' favorite emergency recovery console utility is Winternals Software's ERD Commander 2002. ERD Commander 2002 provides full access to unbootable Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows NT4 systems from a familiar Windows-like environment, and supplies the tools needed to quickly diagnose and repair problems.

ERD Commander 2002 makes any XP/2000/NT4 file system—including FAT, NTFS, and CDFS—accessible through a graphical interface. By booting directly from the CD-ROM drive into a GUI, and bypassing the operating system of the damaged machine, you can repair your systems from an intuitive windowing environment that includes a taskbar.

Numerous built-in tools are accessible through the ERD Commander 2002 start button, including a graphical Registry editor; a File Search utility; a command prompt window; an Application, Security, and System events log viewer; a text editor; and a Locksmith to reset local Administrator passwords. And built-in network access lets you move data off of, or on to, the dead system.

Winternals Software
Austin, TX
(800) 408-8415

Price: $399, licensed by Administrative User

File-compression tools are used by nearly everyone today and our readers tagged ACD Systems' ACD Zip as the leader of the pack.

ACDZip brings the power of ACDSee to image compression. With ACDZip you can preview images quickly during and after creating archives. ACDZip lets you compress image, audio, video, and document files to save hard disk space and prepare files for distribution.

With ACDZip you can create eight types of archives (including ZIP and CAB) and preview the images inside them, modify archives without extracting files, protect your archives with passwords and 256-bit encryption, and share compressed files by email directly form ACDZip.

ACD Systems Ltd.
Saanichton, BC
(250) 544-6700
Price: $19.95 (30-day fully featured trial version available for free)

Our readers gave top honors for scripting tools to ScriptLogic Corporation's ScriptLogic v4, software that combines "codeless" logon scripting, group policies, user profile management, and software deployment.

ScriptLogic's "hands-off" approach to administration lets users logon from any PC—over any LAN, dial-up, or VPN connection—and instantly have access to their unique desktop configuration. ScriptLogic is compatible with all Win32 operating systems. Features include "Run As Administrator" software deployment, multi-script profiles, logoff and shut down scripting, and full support for Active Directory Organizational Units.

ScriptLogic reduces client-side administration of Windows PCs by 50 percent through an automatic policy-based creation of Outlook/Exchange mail profiles, as well as the centralized administration of drive and printer mappings, proxy server access, Microsoft Office paths, service pack deployment, antivirus updates, and security policies. All of this is done through an intuitive GUI-based manager and without writing a single line of code.

ScriptLogic Corporation
Pompano Beach, FL
(866) 727-4785
Price: Starts at $350 for a 10-seat license; significantly discounted when purchased in larger quantities.

The voting left Winternals Software's NTFSDOS Professional v4.03 with little competition in our Readers' Choice Awards. The file system tool captured 87 percent of the vote in the category Best File System Tools.

Using NTFS for Windows XP/2000/NT system partitions provides many advantages, but the drawback is that using it prevents you from accessing the NTFS volume to repair problems from a boot diskette. That's where NTFSDOS Professional comes in. NTFDOS Pro takes the NTFS files and drivers from an existing Windows XP/2000/NT4 installation and simulates the environment they normally run in, allowing them to function inside of MS-DOS.

This approach lets NTFSDOS Pro access your NTFS volumes using the same Microsoft drivers that Windows XP/2000/NT4 use, ensuring compatibility with your NTFS drives—regardless of the version and Service Pack of NT you happen to use. You gain full read/write access to your NTFS volumes from within MS-DOS, and you can run third-party applications to effect a wide range of repairs.

Winternals Software
Austin, TX
(800) 408-8415

Price: $299, licensed by Administrative User

Executive Software won its second of two Readers' Choice Awards with Undelete 2.0, which provides a cost-effective, instant recovery solution that completes a company's overall data protection strategy and eliminates the high cost of going to backup.

Before products such as Undelete, file recovery was labor intensive and fell upon the already overburdened system administrator, who then had to search through hours of backup tapes to find the deleted file. With Undelete, you can restore deleted files quickly and remotely, allowing a user to have an occasional "human" moment of accidentally deleting a file, and then realizing it's needed after all.

Undelete safely replaces the Windows Recycle Bin with a Recovery Bin that captures all deleted files, even files that typically bypass the Recycle Bin. You can even recover files you purged from the Recovery Bin or files deleted before installing Undelete. Emergency Undelete recovers files directly from the disk, if they have not already been written over.

Executive Software International
Burbank, CA
(818) 771-1600, (800) 829-6468
Price: Starts at $49.95 for Workstation and $249 for Server. Volume discounts are available.
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