Norton Utilities adds defragmenter tool, other features

Symantec announces an updated version of its Norton Utilities software

Symantec's Norton unit today announced an updated version of its Norton Utilities software, adding a way to defragment and organize files and data that's become scattered across a hard drive, enabling quicker startup, file access and more free disk space.

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Norton Utilities v. 15 adds this "Speed Disk" optimization tool for Windows defragmenting, as well as several other capabilities, in order to "get your PC running a little more quickly and help you troubleshoot problems," says Robert Reynolds, senior product manager.

A "Disk Doctor" feature can scan hard drives and alert users to physical problems that can cause hard drives to crash, and can also scan and repair directory, file and other disk software problems, according to Norton. An "Unerase Wizard" can restore accidentally deleted files. Other new features in Norton Utilities v. 15 include a way to turn off unnecessary Windows and third-party services which may not be important to the user, which can allow aid in faster running time. Another new Norton Utilities feature lets the user erase Web-activity records, browser histories and hidden Internet files to boost online privacy. A digital file shredder enables erasure of personal files.

Norton Utilities v. 15, available Dec. 15, is priced at $49.99 for a perpetual license for up to three PCs. Norton Utilities Premier v. 15 contains the same tools as well as 25GB of online storage, with a one-year subscription price of $79.99.

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