A set of repair utilities for Windows-based machines, made by Symantec. Started out as a repair tool for MS-DOS based machines, slowly graduated (demoted?) to Windows. Known for its reliability, effeciency, and ability to keep a given installation of Windoze running longer before a reinstall.

Norton Utilities currently(2004 distro) consists of:

System check-Combines the functionality of the Windoctor and the disk doctor into one scan.

Norton Windoctor-Checks for common windows problems, such as registry errors, lost shortcuts, shared .dll's, partially uninstalled programs, and other lose threads that windows tends to generate.

Disk Doctor-Checks disk drives (both removable and permanent) for errors in the partition table, the boot record, the file structure, and the directory structure. Also includes a surface test to find bad/corrupted clusters.

Un-erase Wizard-A program that can retrieve data after it has been erased (placed in the "trash"). This works because when data is placed in the trash and the trash is emptied, the place in the File Allocation Table (the place where the disk keeps track of the physical locations of all the files) that pointed to the data is simply cleared. The data itself still exists on the drive, but windows has no way of knowing where it is. When enabled, unease stores the locations of all deleted files, and can then go back and restore them.

Speed DiskA disk optimization program similar to the one included with windows (disk defragmenter), that places data that is most often used in one place, and places all of a program in one physical location on the disk. This usually increases performance by increasing read/write speed.

Optimization Wizard-Does some mysterious ritual to "fine tune your PC".

System Doctor-An interesting application that allows you to monitor various aspects of your system, such as CPU usage, bandwidth, memory usage, disk space and others.

WipeInfo-Cleans information permanently from the disk. As explained above, deleting a file doesn't actually remove the data from the drive, but this utility will. It writes over the spot where the data is, leaving a clean field of 1's or 0's.

Image-Saves the drive’s boot information, file allocation tables, and root information to a file. Norton Utilities then uses this information in the un-erase wizard and other places to more easily restore lost data.

Registry Tracker-Allows you to track changes that occur to the registry. You can then restore the registry to a pre-defined state or remove specific changes. It can also be assigned to watch files and folders for changes, which may also be rolled back in the same way.

Diagnostics-Provides tools with which you can test your system’s various hardware devices for malfunctions.

System Information-Displays information about your computer’s hardware and software. Much like the windows program of the same name, but better organized and more complete.

Registry Editor-Much like the windows program regedit, allowing the user to edit and delete information in the registry. Slightly more user friendly, and allows remote registry connections to be made, so you can modify the registry of another computer.

File Compare-Allows you to compare 2 different versions of a text file and selectively undo them.

There is some dispute as to weather Norton Utilities actually helps anything, as windows tends to generate errors anyhow. It has thus earned the nickname by some of Norton Futilities. It still offers some useful utilities that are useful for troubleshooting computers.

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