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Registry Cleaners?


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#1 haarm

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 06:01 PM

Anyone have experience with Registry cleaners? I've tried a few in the past (Registry Mechanic, eg) but at the time I wasn't too impressed with the results. That was about 4-5 years ago, and there weren't a lot to choose from. Now it seems there's a ton of registry cleaners and it's difficult to wade through a google search on the subject. Just wondering if anyone has a favorite and why. And if it's free, that's even better. :)
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#2 Animal

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 07:38 PM

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.

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#3 haarm

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 07:54 PM

Hmm, is there anything like a registry reorg or a defrag-like tool? I have an old XP system that's had alot of software install/uninstall and I know there is a lot of obsolete trash laying around in there that didn't get removed by the uninstall. I think older versions of Norton AV were particularly bad about littering the registry. How about other optimizers? Defrag can help a hard drive, but WinXP doesn't think I need to do that. Thanks for the reply!
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#4 Allan

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 08:47 AM

1) Perhaps the first response to your question didn't register. At best, registry cleaners do absolutely no good. At worst, they can leave your system unusable. There is absolutely, positively no such thing as a "good" registry cleaner. Just avoid all of them.

2) If you feel a need to compact your registry use NTREGOPT. It ships with ERUNT (the best free registry backup utility available - in fact, the best period!). Use ERUNT first to backup, then compress with NTREGOOPT. Not sure you'll notice any performance boost (in fact, I'm fairly certain you won't), but knock yourself out: http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/

#5 Animal

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 01:03 PM

I know there is a lot of obsolete trash laying around in there that didn't get removed by the uninstall. I think older versions of Norton AV were particularly bad about littering the registry.

• 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".


The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.
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A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that." Douglas Adams (1952-2001)


"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world." Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


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#6 haarm

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 10:15 PM

OK, OK, I get it, you don't have to beat me to a pulp. So, now I'm thinking the best way to improve performance (and also clean the registry) is to format and re-install WinXP. Posted Image
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#7 Animal

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 11:06 PM

Are you just wanting to improve overall performance? If so take a look here for some tips: Slow Computer/browser? Check Here First; It May Not Be Malware

The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.
Andrew Brown (1938-1994)


A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that." Douglas Adams (1952-2001)


"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world." Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


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#8 Allan

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 08:08 AM

OK, OK, I get it, you don't have to beat me to a pulp. So, now I'm thinking the best way to improve performance (and also clean the registry) is to format and re-install WinXP. Posted Image

Why don't you describe the problem(s) you are experiencing so we can suggest the appropriate way to move forward?




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