Review: The Ultimate Troubleshooter for Windows

by Ross McKillop on June 8, 2007

Windows

Note: the following is not a paid review. I was approached by the folks at Answers That Work to review The Ultimate Troubleshooter. I did accept a licensed copy of the software in order to complete the following review.

What: ATW claims “The Ultimate Troubleshooter is PC healthcare, PC repair, PC tuning, and PC maintenance in Plain English” – and I won’t dispute that one bit.

The Ultimate Troubleshooter (TUT) works on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003, and the 32bit version of Windows Vista. It will set you back $29 (US Dollars) for a single license, and includes 1-year of database updates and product upgrades. After that the (optional) yearly renewal fee is $17.50. So – what do you get for your hard earned money? A solid, very easy to use (though not exactly visually stunning), very easy to understand program that will identify and resolve dozens, if not hundreds, of problems.


Main TUT Interface

When you first run TUT, it will prompt you to update its database. TUT then scans your PC and compares everything it finds against what it knows about your programs. The results are categorized by Status – “Not OK” means you can, and probably should, disable the program or service, “Users Choice” means that in some cases it’s probably a good idea to disable the program/service, “Multiple Possibilities” means you should take a closer look, and “OK” means ‘leave it alone’. If TUT finds something it’s unsure of, it assigns it an “Unknown” status.


Task list

For every task, program or service that it identifies, it provides detailed information on said task/program/service. One of the things that impressed me most about TUT is the extremely clear and easy to understand language that’s used throughout the application, but especially in the descriptions.


Detailed info and suggested resolutions

At no point in time will TUT do anything that you don’t want it to do. In fact, every action you perform will be proceeded by a ‘are you sure you want to do this’ warning. Unlike many similar programs, TUT doesn’t try to automatically fix everything for you, rather, it suggests fixes, and explains how to do so. This is a good thing – what one person may not want running, another may. TUT does a great job of understanding that.


A simple right-click offers multiple solutions

Another helpful feature of TUT is the System Info panel. Not only does it identify the software on your PC, but it provides version numbers, links to the publishers site – and even links to the publishers Help pages.


Detailed program info

TUT can even help you reclaim disk space via its Housekeeping utility. Similar to every other aspect of TUT, you’re presented with a list of options – you choose what you want to clear and what you don’t want to clear. And by default, everything that it deletes is moved to the Recycle Bin, rather than completely erasing it. That way you can reboot, use your system for a while to make sure everything is OK, and then empty the Recycle Bin. Very, very smart.


Reclaim disk space

So to sum up – TUT is very much worth the price tag. And I’d like to remind you once again, I wasn’t paid to say that. This is the kind of software that every ISP should be giving to its customers – not only would it save the customer time and effort, it would save the ISP countless calls to support.

TUT Pros:

  • Very, very easy to use
  • Clearly explains everything – from what it finds, to how to ‘fix’ any problems. And the explanations are understandable by even a novice user.
  • Doesn’t automatically try to fix everything – it leaves the decisions up to you
  • Not very expensive
  • TUT Cons:

  • The interface is less than visually stunning. It reminds me of old Visual Basic programs. Reading black text with a red background can strain the eyes a bit.
  • Doesn’t recognize some programs. It didn’t know what Mozy was – and Mozy has been out for around a year
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    • Amber

      ok count me in! :)

    • Ruth Kaczmarek

      I’ve been trying to figure out what slowed down our XP Home Ed. laptop for months. Sounds like this should help! I already know the task, but it’s a Windows process that has several instances running simultaneously, so I’m still in the dark about what it’s doing and why. Aaarrrggghhh!

    • http://www.itsnotthenetwork.com Jed Daniels

      Is there a trial version of this software available? I’d like to try it out for myself, but can’t find any reference to a trial on the TUT website (and I generally don’t buy things unless I know how they will work for me first).

      Thanks,

      –jed
      http://www.itsnotthenetwork.com

    • http://N/A Nancy Biggs

      OK, I had to look up Mozy – something I guess I should buy since I am always backing up my photos. (2 copies – one for offsite)
      I am interested in the product for all of its features including the trouble shooting wireless problems since this year I am renting a cabin without phone service. However, the nearby cabin owners have wireless in their home and indicated I could access their system. I have used my wireless laptop while traveling in the past but I will be very disappointed if I have problems accessing their router.!!

      As a home user, your “cons” don’t give me a problem. Old Visual Basic, huh? You’re dating yourself! (:-)
      I’m anxious to try it – I’ll wait to see if I win!!!

    • M. Reinders

      I have a problem related to the LSASS.EXE windows system service and need to find out if this is really needed. Your program looks like it might really help.

      A question I have is if TUT can work from a USB Flash Drive as a U3 application so it does not have to be installed on the target system hard drive? That would be a nice feature to use in “locked down” IT/IS environments with “managed” PCs.

      I would like to give your program a try!

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    • EL KEL

      Of the way the trial does nothing to show what it’s capable of and the fact the there seems to be scores of reviews published by those given the app. and asked to review it by the vendor, but a tiny handful by actual users who’ve bought it, I think I enjoyed my (relatively) fruitless search for credible reviews the most.

    • Gustavo U. Alvarez

      Tengo Windows XP Media Center Ed. y al Desfragmentar, la columna en verde ahora me queda repartida, nunca me sucedio. Me temo que tengo algo que no estoy haciendo bien.O quizas un virus.El programa es original. Que tengo que hacer.
      gracias.
      Gustavo

    • Nanila

      Looks like a great program to have!

    • Sekari Vaidy

      I have tried a trial version and liked it. The revieweer does not say how much space the program occupies and if there are chores that should be done which TUT makes it easy. I will give this program a shot.

    • http://ricndayton Rick Jobst

      my computer has something called wyeke.exe and wyeke137.exe running in the background (on the processes list in the task mangager) and I am wondering if there is a process to follow to get rid of it?
      Rick in Dayton

    • Jules Dechez

      I apologize, writing English is hard for me.
      I encountered a difficulty using The Utlitimate Troubleshooter and sent 4 requests (the lest on 2011/2/1)in a month and RECEIVED NO Answer. Are they MUTE ?
      Merci

    • EJ

      While the product performs as advertised, numerous attempts to contact support, or anyone at the company have met with silence – no response. To me, support can make or break a product, and in this case it breaks the product. Indeed, my program stopped working at all and numerous attempts to get a hold of anyone via email to help me solve the problem have never been returned.

    • Murdoch Mactaggart

      Can see the benefits of TUT but I have a major complaint which is that the support staff (and others in the company) completely ignore emails. I’ve had two copies of TUT, the second of which I bought a year ago, and have never been able to update it. Asking AnswersThatWork why is like tossing a bottled message into the sea – so far over a two year period I’ve sent over half a dozen emails not a single one of which has had an answer. BEWARE!