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What is this registry directory?


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#1 VistaMan

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 02:00 AM

What is this directory used for? Please help explain to me about this registry key and the items in it as I'm a beginner

Registry editor screenshot attached. Attached File  Untitled.jpg   185.43KB   22 downloads

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#2 powerjuce

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 08:16 AM

Applications listed in that key are what will run on computer boot up.

For a good tutorial on the registry take a look here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/demystifying-the-windows-registry/

#3 VistaMan

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 04:06 PM

Thank you. So the two items in the \Run folder, Default and SystemExplorer are the only two things that run when I boot up? I see that SystemExplorer could be from the program with the same name I have on my PC but what is the "Default" key?

#4 keyboardNinja

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 01:27 AM

So the two items in the \Run folder, Default and SystemExplorer are the only two things that run when I boot up?

Not necessarily....if you want to know all programs and services that run at startup, type the following into the Start Menu and press Enter:

msconfig

Under the Startup tab, you will see the programs that are set to startup. Under Services, you will see the services, as well. Tampering with these settings is not recommended unless diagnostics are needed (disable startup programs to diagnose slow boots and/or crashing, etc.)

what is the "Default" key?

You cannot create a registry entry without having a Default key. It does nothing but say that the registry directory is there. It serves no actual purpose...but do not delete it. It is there for a reason. Every registry directory (yes, every single one) has a Default key in it. It's just the "starting point", so to speak, for that specific registry directory. It's the Default.

Please do not tamper with or otherwise modify the registry unless you have good reason to. Sometimes, a careful registry tweak is needed to solve a specific problem, but other than that, the registry should not be handled.

I notice your desktop is filled with icons belonging to various "tune-up" and "optimizing" programs. These programs can actually slow your PC, instead of making it faster (this happens almost exclusively). I imagine most of them have registry cleaners, as well. I can only assume this led you to your question about what is contained in the registry directory you posted a screenshot of.

On registry cleaners:

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:

• Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.

• Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.

• Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.

• Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.

• The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.


Be careful with the programs you install. Many of the ones like this (free "optimizers") can actually contain malware.
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#5 DeathStalker

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 06:56 PM

Applications listed in that key are what will run on computer boot up.

For a good tutorial on the registry take a look here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/demystifying-the-windows-registry/


I started to link that powerjuice, but I noted it had not been updated for Vista (or Win7). Has nothing changed for Vista (Win7)?

#6 VistaMan

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 07:07 PM

So the two items in the \Run folder, Default and SystemExplorer are the only two things that run when I boot up?

Not necessarily....if you want to know all programs and services that run at startup, type the following into the Start Menu and press Enter:

msconfig

Under the Startup tab, you will see the programs that are set to startup. Under Services, you will see the services, as well. Tampering with these settings is not recommended unless diagnostics are needed (disable startup programs to diagnose slow boots and/or crashing, etc.)

what is the "Default" key?

You cannot create a registry entry without having a Default key. It does nothing but say that the registry directory is there. It serves no actual purpose...but do not delete it. It is there for a reason. Every registry directory (yes, every single one) has a Default key in it. It's just the "starting point", so to speak, for that specific registry directory. It's the Default.

Please do not tamper with or otherwise modify the registry unless you have good reason to. Sometimes, a careful registry tweak is needed to solve a specific problem, but other than that, the registry should not be handled.

I notice your desktop is filled with icons belonging to various "tune-up" and "optimizing" programs. These programs can actually slow your PC, instead of making it faster (this happens almost exclusively). I imagine most of them have registry cleaners, as well. I can only assume this led you to your question about what is contained in the registry directory you posted a screenshot of.

On registry cleaners:

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:

• Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.

• Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.

• Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.

• Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.

• The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.


Be careful with the programs you install. Many of the ones like this (free "optimizers") can actually contain malware.



Thanks! It makes sense. Do you recommend that I keep at least one of those "tuneup" programs?. If so which one should I keep or do you have other safe programs to help keep my computer optimized?

#7 keyboardNinja

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 08:08 PM

Thanks! It makes sense. Do you recommend that I keep at least one of those "tuneup" programs?. If so which one should I keep or do you have other safe programs to help keep my computer optimized?

No, you should uninstall all of them using Revo Uninstaller.

I, myself, use Ccleaner about once a month to clean out just temp files and browser cache (don't touch the registry cleaner!!). Using it too often can actually slow your computer, instead of making it faster. It can be too much of a good thing....think of it this way: you were raised to brush your teeth after every meal and before you go to bed, right? Well, what if you wanted to be absolutely sure your teeth never got dirty, and decided to brush your teeth after every bite you took at every meal? Bite, chew, swallow, brush, repeat...over and over. Doesn't that seem like too much of a good thing?

Don't be worried about keeping your computer "optimized". The only thing eating your performance right now is all these crapware optimizing tools....I know it seems like an oxymoron...an optimizing program making your computer slower, but it happens. They are overrated and never deliver the speed improvement they promise.

You want to know the truth about registry errors? Okay, let's say you have 124 registry errors as reported by Ccleaner or any of those programs you have installed. How does 124 compare to the thousands of registry keys in the entire registry...or possibly even tens of thousands. I don't know the approximate number of keys in the average registry, but just taking a look at it reveals more than one person could ever count. A few hundred errors (most computers have around 100 or so) is not going to slow down Windows or otherwise make your computer unstable like the companies that peddle these programs try to lead you to believe. When Windows uses the registry, it hardly ever sees these errors. And when it does, it just skips over them like nothing is wrong. The thing that can slow down your computer and make it unstable is trying to speed it up using registry cleaners. Like I put in my first post: the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.
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