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Need Some Simple Advice For A Complicated Problem.


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8 replies to this topic

#1 Illuminaughty

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 03:55 PM

Hey guys,

So after attempting and repair-install (xp pro sp2) I ended up having to RE-install and was able to recover ALL of my data (this was largely thanks to the helpful people here, and their friendly advice) but that's also kind of the problem too.

I now have a dozen versions of Owner, Guest, etc. My programs and downloads are all over the place and are missing pieces necessary for functioning. Thousands of empty files (that I'm reticent to delete because of their possible value/necessity.

What I want to know is:

Is there a way to consolidate/trim down the registry (this is the area that I'm least familiar with), to eliminate some of these loose/dead-ends & file paths?

Also, I am the ONLY user on this machine. What (if anything) can be done to trim away some/any of the fat? For you see, I have gigs of it.

I know there are some services I can stop too (fast user switching for example) any tips there would be great.

Thank you in advance!
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#2 hamluis

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 04:23 PM

I guess that I wonder where all these "extra bits" came from...if you did indeed do a clean install.

As for eliminating items on a system that I cannot see and don't see any detail regarding what is on that system...I myself cannot peer into the unknown.

There are any number of persons who have perceptions about how to modify XP installs so that they result in "more efficient" systems, but I have to laugh at most of them. I'm more in favor of something that can make users "more efficient" in maintaining and protecting their systems in the manner that they need to be.

In any case, take a look at some links you may find interesting:

Black Viper ~ Frequently Asked Questions Index - http://www.blackviper.com/AskBV/askBV.htm#WinXP

Black Viper's Web Site - http://www.blackviper.com/

BlackviperXPSP2 Services - http://www.hss.caltech.edu/~mcafee/Bin/BlackviperXPSP2.pdf

Basic System Maintenance - http://uk.geocities.com/personel44/maintenance.html

Disabling XP Services - http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,1829414,00.asp

Services Guide for Windows XP, Elder Geek - http://www.theeldergeek.com/services_guide.htm

System Services (Descriptions by MS) - http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/...e/secmod54.mspx

As for compacting the registry...via a registry cleaner/tool...attempting to do such is not for everyone. That said...

Vilma Software Products, Registry Explorer - http://www.vsft.com/products.htm

ERUNT Registry Backup Tool - http://www.snapfiles.com/get/erunt.html

How to back up, edit, and restore the registry in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756

http://www.informationweek.com/story/showA...cleID=171203805

Others will provide their own opinions...

In general, I find that a clean install of the O/S, followed by dedicated installation of programs, drivers, etc...supplemented by consistent safe computing practices and system maintenance...tend to give users the best possible systems. If I have a system that I think is a mess (for any reason), I try not to waste time trying to clean up the debris but prefer to just start anew and keep a careful watch on what I am doing and why.

Louis

#3 Illuminaughty

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 04:54 PM

Love it, thanx Lou.

Been all over theeldergeek.com the last few days...guess I'm looking for an easy out...nsl.

I'm just going to have to school-up on the registry work, there's no way around it. It's something I need to get acquainted with regardless.

Damn thorough reply Lou...good lookin' out.
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#4 hamluis

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 06:28 PM

Regarding registry cleaners...

Try one that is fairly easy, not overly aggessive...before you move on multiple function reg cleaners.

I use jv16 PowerTools, but I have always been of the RTFM school...so I've not had any problems with it ever. If someone tries to use it without carefully reading TFM and taking note of all the different functions...I think it's an invitation to disaster.

Some of the other members here have excellent recommendations on which ones to use, if you have decided you are ready to use one. Wait for their inputs.

Louis

#5 Illuminaughty

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 08:10 PM

I'm putting you on my Xmas card list Lou.

One more thing:

When I go to "My Documents" I get:

Administrator
Admin.windows
User
User.windows
Default
(name)
(name).windows
And so on and on...

...and so forth...there's about 10...THIS is what's really bothering me. I guess I was just wondering if this was a common phenomena and if so, what do most folks do about it?
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#6 hamluis

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 09:06 PM

I think you meant to say that you see these things when you look at the detail for Documents & Settings, not My Docs. Just a guess...

Can you post a photo (a pic IS worth a thousand words) of whatever it is that you are looking at, please? Thanks.

Louis

#7 Illuminaughty

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 01:21 AM

1ce again, you are correct sir.

I've cleaned up a bit, but here's an idea of what I'm dealin' with:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v336/Ham...=NewPicture.jpg

These each have different configurations, I have to check each path sometimes just to find a file, etc. It's like a freakin' maze.

Edited by Illuminaughty, 10 November 2007 - 01:23 AM.

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#8 hamluis

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 10:24 AM

Those .Windows folders seem to be a sign that a second install of XP was made (at some time) on the same partition as the current install you are using. I've done this one before :thumbsup:.

If that install is gone...and there is nothing in those folders that you want...I suggest simply deleting those.

If there are files that you do want, you may have to take ownership of the folders in order to access/move the files.

How to take ownership of a file or folder in Windows XP - http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=308421

Before deleting anything, make sure that you are not in the XP install that relates to the .Windows folders. This is easily done by just looking at your Windows folder and making sure that it just says Windows, minus any dot + number.

How to remove a second installation of a Windows operating system from a partition - http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=888023

Louis

#9 Illuminaughty

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 03:24 PM

Yeah, when I tried to just run a repair install I found that I had a corrupted boot sector in the initial partition (and it would NOT let me even near it), so the only thing I really COULD do was another install, really.
It wasn't really THAT big of a deal; with my dozens of .exe's., hundreds of .avi's, and thousands of mp3's - I still have 175 gb of room left.

But some of my progs. only work from one angle, most doc.'s have to be tracked down (I have access to everything, there are just so many avenues).

I'm gradually sorting this all out, my biggest issue at this point, is being unable to even uninstall progs without the setup folders etc. - they aren't on the add/remove list and I'm always prompted for "the installation disk" which, for the shareware, doesn't exist.

Thanks for your continued help, Lou
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