TuneUp is a program that, like it's name implies, is intended to help you improve the performance of your computer. I purchased and installed TuneUp 2007 because it was recommended to me by a colleague. However, I am not sure that I should continue to recommend it myself because TuneUp Tech Support seems to have trouble replying to e-mails for tech support!

After using TuneUp 2007 successfully I decided to upgrade to TuneUp 2008. Unlike my experience with Norton/Symantec products, the upgrade went very well. The new interface was a bit different, so I had to figure out how to locate, for instance, the feature which finds and corrects problems in the computer's Registry - a feature which I use weekly.

I had never noticed TuneUp's disk defragmentation utility if it was in version 2007. But it is fairly obvious in version 2008, so I decided to try it. Rather than just defraging the disk, it first checks and reports on the amount of fragmentation. The utility told me that my disk was about 7% fragmented and did not need to be defragmented

I decided that if I did a defrag now I could avoid the time taken up after fragmentation became serious. I was used to needing around an hour to do my weekly disk defrag (using AusLogics Disk Defrag). So at about 10 minutes before 2 PM I started the TuneUp 2008 defrag utility. The program told me that I had about 5 hours (!) to go. After defragmenting for an hour, it still said 5 hours to go. After defragmenting 2 hours, it still said 5 hours to go. After defraging for 5 hours, it still said 5 hours to go. After defraging 8 hours it still said 5 hours to go. This didn't seem quite right.  But I let it continue and went to bed.

I have less then 60 GB of files on a 300 GB hard drive, so there is a tremendous amount of free space. If I was defraging a drive I would simply move every fragmented file into this vast amount of free space. Once each file was moved, the disk would be 100% defragmented. If desired, empty spaces could then closed up. This entire project, even closing up the empty spaces, should not take more than an hour or so at most.

Yet TuneUp 2008 was still defraging when I got up the next morning - more than 15 hours after it had begun and it was still only 97.6% completed! When I got up the time to go had finally been reduced to 3 hours. But as I watched, the time was reset to 4 hours to go! After another hour I noticed that there was only 1 hour to go. Then the % completed scale incremented to the next 0.1% and the time to go was reset to 4 hours again. I finally took my computer's life in my hands and risked "cancel". Fortunately, the computer still seemed to work.

Can you imagine how long TuneUp 2008 would have taken had my hard drive been seriously fragmented? A week? A month?

That morning, 31 May 2008, I e-mailed TuneUp Tech Support and asked if this was a bug in their program and if they could fix it. After more than a week without hearing from them, I e-mailed them again (10 June 2008.) This time I received an automated response that my message had been received. A little later the same day I received an actual response appologizing for the delay and saying that they were working on a solution. They hoped to have an update by the end of the month to solve the problem.

We'll see what happens next.