[Review] Premium Booster 3.0

{rw_text}Giveaway of the day for September 3, 2009 is:

Premium Booster 3.0

Version reviewed:

v3.0.0.9000

System Requirements:

Windows Vista, XP, 2000, ME, NT, 98, 95

Software description as per GOTD:

Premium Booster’s task is to diagnose your system for errors and fix them. Using Premium Booster you will quickly regain high speed and qualitative performance to your Windows. It will also help you to avoid system crashes which may appear as a result of errors in your system configuration. Premium Booster will heal your Windows removing any obstacles which may be hindering a speedy performance of your OS.Premium Booster has an intuitive and easy to use interface what makes usage of the program extremely comfortable and efficient. In just few easy steps you will be able to face a new rejuvinated version of your system which will be a real pleasure to work with. Regular usage of the program will provide high speed and stability to your system remaining any doubts that your computer operates as it should. Don’t wait till next time system error pops up on your screen. You can take safety precautions right now by installing Premium Booster on your machine.

Ashraf’s note:

  1. This is a rerun of Premium Booster. Last time PB was given out as v2.5. Today’s is v3.0.0.9000.
  2. Premium Booster is by Elcor Software, the same developer of Advanced Registry Doctor Pro (a recent giveaway). While the core of both programs seems to be the same (i.e. similar scanning algorithms and such), the implementation of Premium Booster is a lot better because it does not have all the bugs I found in Advanced Registry Doctor Pro.
  3. While the official system requirements (listed on GOTD and the developer’s website) do not state support for Windows 7, when you run the program it lists Windows 7…

2009-09-03_000305

…so I am not sure if it supports Windows 7 or not. For what it is worth I successfully installed Premium Booster on my Windows 7 and did a registry scan just fine. However I did not repair any problems found because I am not sure if PB works on Windows 7 or not.

***Update***

In the GOTD comments freebird31 posted:

upon installation the program tries to install another program. watch carefully and make sure you untick the box if you don’t want it. Also tries to put bookmarks in yr system.

After reading his comment I went back to double check to see if what he said is true. Well I found out what he says is technically true but it is misleading. Please take note freebird31 does not know the “another program” and “bookmarks” is Software Informer and GOTD’s wrapper/bookmark. As far as I can tell, Premium Booster does not install anything but Premium Booster and it does not try to add a bookmark to your browser.

————————-{/rw_text} –>

{rw_good}

  • Has registry management (scan, repair, defrag, backup).
  • You can undo the ‘repair’ or ‘fixes’ you make.
  • Ability to apply tweaks to Windows.
  • Has preemptive protection against malicious ActiveX malware.
  • There is a startup program manager.
  • Has 1-click registry optimization.

{/rw_good} –>

{rw_bad}

  • Registry backup files are not self-executing (you must have the program to restore your registry).
  • Annoying bubble popup every time I minimize program window.
  • You can’t turn off Quick Start.
  • I would prefer a formal automatic registry backup before making registry repairs rather than the existing selective repair undo feature.

{/rw_bad} –>

{rw_score}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”9″}Fairly easy to use – point and click. Little knowledge and registries is nice to have but that comes with the territory of registry management and is not unique to this program. The only problem is that the backups are not stored in .reg format, so you need to have Premium Booster inorder to restore the registry backups.
{/for}
{for=”Performance” value=”8″}Can be a little slow in scanning when looking for shortcut related programs, but otherwise works well.
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”7″}I can see a good number of people finding this program useful.
{/for}
{for=”Price” value=”7″}$26.95 is a fair price in my opinion. However, the developer may want to consider dropping the price to $20 to attract more customers.
{/for}
{for=”Final Score” value=”7″}
{/for}
{/rw_score} –>

{rw_badb}Although this type of behavior was not found with Premium Booster directly, thanks to my prior dealings with Elcor Software I know that Elcor Software runs semi-scareware ads to try to get people to purchase Premium Booster:

Although some may call the ad a full blown scareware advertisement, I say it is “semi-scareware” instead of full blown scareware because it does give the notation that the results of the scan shown in the advertisement are of “typical” system scans and not necessarily your own. Regardless, though, if you want to call it scareware, semi-scareware, scumbagness, etc. – the developer should not have such an advertisement.

{/rw_badb} –>

{rw_verdict}[tup]
{/rw_verdict} –>

Premium Booster is often given out on GOTD. The last time it was given out in December of 2008 as v2.5. Since I wrote a very comprehensive full review on Premium Booster back in December, I am not going to repeat another full review. If you want full detail on Premium Booster, please read the review I wrote in December. However in this post I will provide you with an official change log, the changes I noticed, free alternatives, and my final verdict. Here are the official changes made to the program since v2.5:

changes in 3.0 (build 9000)

  • + added compatibility with Windows 7, Windows 2008, Windows 2008 R2
  • + added Arabic language
  • + added support of different third-party software
    (30 new popular software packages)
  • + updated Nederlands languages

changes in 2.98 (build 5000)

  • + added support of different third-party software
    (12 new popular software packages)
  • + rewritten code for repair/scan problems algorithms
  • + updated Hungarian, Dutch languages
  • - fixed problem with false virus detection
  • - fixed bug “Exception address: 0042D185″
  • - fixed bug “External application error c00000id”

The changes I noticed are as follows:

  • The most major con I had with Premium Booster back in December is it crashed on me multiple times (5 times as per my review). So I did a quick test with Premium Booster today and I am very happy to say it performed perfectly with no crashes.
  • Back in December I pointed out the “undo” function for registry repairs you make would only last for the session you ran Premium Booster (i.e. you would no longer be able to “undo” registry repairs after you closed Premium Booster unless you made a backup manually). In v3.0 it seems like the “undo” function for registry repairs never disappear. In other words, all registry repairs you ever make with Premium Booster are undo able all the time. This makes this “undo” function the equivalent of an automatic registry backup. However I would still prefer the developer to make PB do formal automatic registry backups rather then use this “undo” feature as an automatic backup tool because I find it easier to restore whole backups then select registry values. But hey that is just my personal opinion and nothing major against the program.

Another thing I would like to point out is, for some reason, I now like the interface of Premium Booster (animations, color scheme, and the rest) as opposed to my dislike of it back in December. The funny thing is, though, the interface has not changed one bit. Oh how quickly aesthetic tastes and preferences change for a person =). Of course, my dislike or like of the interface does not effect the value or performance of Premium Booster in the least so again this is just a personal projection.

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

{rw_freea}

Spyware Blaster will provide similar preemptive protection that Premium Booster’s preemptive protection against ActiveX malware feature does.

{/rw_freea} –>

{rw_verdict2}Premium Booster is one of the better system utilities you will find. I like it (my favorite feature of Premium Booster is the preemptive protection against ActiveX malware) and it performs well – thumbs up. If you want to download Premium Booster and use it, by all means do so. However, before you decide to get Premium Booster consider the fact if you want to support a developer that runs (semi) scareware advertisements to try to get users to purchase Premium Booster. Personally, I do not want to support such a developer, but the choice is yours. Rather, all the free alternatives mentioned do a good job at helping you manage your registry so consider one of them instead. (My two favorites are WinUtilities Professional Edition and CCleaner, if that helps you make your decision.)
{/rw_verdict2} –>

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19 comments

  1. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Janet: Meh, as I stated, usually these “tweaks” to Windows are less than useful. I have not personally tried them so I can’t help you there.

    To address your startup manager problem: I don’t think the startup manager runs at boot does it? I thought it only ran when Premium Booster was running so why does it matter even if it is redundant?

    Also, you seem pretty well covered in terms of system utilties… you probably can just chuck it.

  2. Janet

    @Ashraf:

    As I said in my first post:
    “I already have too many startup managers and this one gives no information….”

    I have AnVir, Autoruns, Glary, Revo, Win Utilities, and Startup Inspector for Windows–all of which do a better job on this feature. No reason to have an inferior, redundant function running on the system, no….? Maybe I should just chuck Prem Booster altogether…? I thought maybe the optimizers (see unanswered question above) would be useful….

  3. Janet

    @madalpal:

    The only place on my computer where StartupList.pdb appears is H:/ Installed on H/Premium Booster/PDB. I assumed that it is Prem Booster’s startup program and perhaps getting rid of it would delete this redundant function from my system. I think this is a question for the advanced techies amongst us…And what is a .pdb file anyway…?

  4. madalpal

    @Janet:
    Hi Janet, if you’re still visiting this page. I’m no expert, but DO NOT delete or “deactivate the Startup Manager by deleting the file StartupList.pdb (=Startup Wizard Base Information)” if it is from Windows, as many programs have dependencies on others, so its best not to tamper with that. If you have too many non-Windows startup managers maybe you should not use or deactivate them or uninstall the bothersome programs.
    “Do you recommend turning on:” if its Windows should be OK, but if not, look in help files of other programs to learn about them 1st.
    Al

  5. Janet

    To Ashraf and any other experts:

    Do you recommend turning on:

    1. “Automatic Boot Disk Optmization”?

    2. “Optimize the Windows Prefetcher Service”?

    Can you deactivate the Startup Manager by deleting the file StartupList.pdb (=Startup Wizard Base Information)? I already have too many startup managers and this one gives no information….

  6. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Larry Hardy: ?_?. If you don’t like my reviews or articles no one is forcing you to read them. Also, if you are subscribed to my mailing list, that means you opted in for… I never forced you. That being said you can just as easily opt out and unsubscribe yourself.

    @Jamie Lazette: I am not sure I understand what you mean by “and I’ve noticed that you keep personal attacks to yourself while you are trying out the programs I’m sure”. I am thinking it is a compliment saying you appreciate me trying to “keep it clean” but I may be misunderstanding what you are saying. However, I am glad to see my work helps you out!

  7. Jamie Lazette

    I just found GOTD recently, and check everyday now. Like someone mentioned above, I always look for your review. You are the most objective I’ve seen (and I’ve noticed that you keep personal attacks to yourself while you are trying out the programs I’m sure ;)), but it is appreciated none the less.

    Amazing reviews, amazing work, etc… I can’t say thank you enough.

  8. Eli

    Ok,Ashraf, this review along w/ comments + the “best of 9″ installed in the order given sort of made a good demo of their good workings together + the solidity of your recommendations.
    I added Sysinternals to do a front-end reg defrag +a commandline files defrag via Config when you said you didn’t trust that other reg defragger because it didn’t do pre Win startup defrag + I figure who else but this guy w/ his sysinternals should know (& MS wouldn’t buy him out if he wasn’t on the money…good product).
    **Ashraf has a mantle of consistency&Good upon him w/ an intuitive sense,feeel for caution & good choice.This stood out from the very start of my encounter w/ him& prevails in spite of an occasional jealous skeptic of expectancy of no importance.I sing no man’s praises yet have learned toacknowledge
    credit where it is due.Even when he has to backtrack to help a critic to understand their own skepticism, Ashraf does it systematically, pleasantly,eloquently and tactfully correctly even if not necessarily obligingly to his critics having lost THEIR objectivity.
    I have observed his work seems to have taken a rise for the better since his recent move to a new (is it,SERVER?).
    Forgive the longhand but IMHO as this man says often, a thing when needed to be said should needs be said.

  9. Bob

    Ashraf,

    I just wanted to say thank you for your reviews. When I go to GAOTD to view the day’s giveaway, the first thing I do is search for your name. Like you and others have said, I would rather use free alternatives which you also so clearly describe. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

    Bob

  10. MikeR

    Hi David:

    Perhaps I do stuff the wrong way around. . . but if I want an instant check on what’s installed, I use my. . .

    Uninstaller.

    Sounds daft, I know, but Revo just gets faster and faster with every update, and the way it instantly flashes everything on screen in sortable columns (date or size or developer name etc) is a boon.

    A further eccentricity of mine is to use Screenhunter (freeware) for captures every so often (takes two screen shots to achieve the full picture for my PC) and then insert into Word, print with PDF creator and back-up to one of my USB sticks — hardly takes a minute and provides an archived visual record of all the installed software.

    * Meant to say, I always find it interesting to learn what other software folks on here favour in their set-ups, so thanks for the info!

  11. david roper

    Thank you Ashraf, Madalpal and MikeR for your comments. I agree with you both so far as GOTD programs don’t allow for upgrade while Freeware does allow. Love those open source utilities which “cannot” die because everyone owns them.

    FWIW, I use AVG Free for Virus and Spybot, Glary, and CC almost every other day. I move around some folders with live programs in them the other day and hosed up my system badly. Finally, after 500 reboots (okay not that many, it just felt like it)I was able to get to the screen for my shortcut. It fixed a handful of errors and restored my Laptop. Shame on me for being stupid (actually senile) and thanks to Glary I have my XP laptop back.

    Now if there were just a fixer that would let me scroll all my installed programs – because they all do not fit on the screen and I cannot right click the ALL programs area – cursor hangs for hours.

  12. MikeR

    Hi Ashraf.

    Quite how you manage on one hour’s sleep a night escapes me (because that can be the only explanation for such astonishing productivity.)

    Another great review — in the sense that it’s factual, comprehensive, and straight to the point — of another GOTD offering that may in itself be OK but makes little sense as a time-limited commercial download with no upgrade path and no chance of future re-installation in a sector positively heaving with continually improved and refined freeware apps.

  13. madalpal

    Good day Ashraf & all. I have always appreciated your time & efforts to freely share your expertise, wisdom, & (mostly successful) attempts at humor—keeps the reviews from being so stale, serious, & business-like as do many who post on GAOTD (& other) forums. When adding a little humbleness (as opposed to some who insist that they are the only ones who know the facts), that makes it so much easier to follow your points & to accept your sincerity. Today’s offering is another in a seemingly endless bunch of similar optimizing apps, & I agree that while it is an OK product—as you say to others: ‘knock yourself out & download it by all means’—my limited experience is that CCleaner, Advanced System Care, Spybot, & SpywareBlaster are all compatible on my Vista Home Premium SP2, 32, & do well in complimenting each other. I have other apps too, but for here I just wanted to say that it makes no sense for someone to install shareware or apps that can’t be upgraded when freebies abound. CCleaner is quick & easily adjustable. But I don’t clean out cookies, auto-fill forms, & a few others. SpywareBlaster just sits quietly (“passive protection”), but I check on it daily to make sure my protection is at 100%, (while it updates every week or 2). Because one day for whatever reason, both Spybot & it were left with many unprotected items at the same time—far as I can tell I caught it quick enough so no discernable damage was detected. Spybot is mostly quiet too, but the ActiveX & BHOs can be shown for any recent changes, & the internal systems check occasionally finds something. ASC has a ram/memory releaser, a few good scanners & a good defragger. All but Spywareblaster have startup checkers–& once in a while one will find a questionable startup that the others don’t, as well as checking on current cookies. Anyway, thanks for your free help & advice, & thanks to all the free apps that truly help & protect our computers. Al