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Are Registry Cleaners All Fake?


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#1 gtlady

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 05:39 PM

My niece has been seeing commercials on tv about a company called "Clean My Registry" or something similar to that name (that may not be the exact name). She thinks it will speed up her computer. It seems very fishy to me and probably fake, but it was on a reputable network (CNN) and so perhaps I am too cautious? I know there are a number of these programs and I just wonder are any of them real or necessary and not just scams? I hope this isn't too newbie of a question to answer, thank you for your time.

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#2 Budapest

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 05:42 PM

Registry cleaners are not fake as such, but many people do not believe they are effective. Here is the Bleeping Computer take on such 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.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#3 Union_Thug

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 02:19 PM

Read the links in my signature line. Then decide. My opinion? Snake Oil.

#4 garybear

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 11:19 AM

My niece has been seeing commercials on tv about a company called "Clean My Registry" or something similar to that name (that may not be the exact name). She thinks it will speed up her computer. It seems very fishy to me and probably fake, but it was on a reputable network (CNN) and so perhaps I am too cautious? I know there are a number of these programs and I just wonder are any of them real or necessary and not just scams? I hope this isn't too newbie of a question to answer, thank you for your time.

Hello!!
There are many different opinions about Registry Cleaners. I for one use them to keep my PC free from clutter and I think they help keep my PC fast and tuned up. I recently found this program from Microsoft. I don't wish to cause any problems on this forum, and I'm not posting to argue the good or bad of cleaners. You have to use Internet Explorer and allow active X to run this software. It will make a restore point before tuning up your PC that you can use if you think it messed things up. If you trust Uncle Bill Gates, give it a shot.
http://onecare.live.com/site/en-us/default.htm. The program really cleaned my PC and found one Virus and removed it.
Good luck, post back your results.
PS The first time you use this program, it can take a long time, so be patient.

#5 Union_Thug

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 11:35 AM

Bears repeating:

http://www.edbott.com/weblog/archives/000643.html

The article on this site is titled "Why I don't use registry cleaners"
An excerpt:

" . . . what possible performance benefits can you get from "cleaning up" unneeded registry entries and eliminating a few stray DLL files? Even in the best-case scenario the impact should be trivial at best. Maybe a second or two here and there, maybe a few kilobytes of freed-up RAM, and I'm being generous. How can you balance those against the risk that the utility will "clean" (in other words, delete) something you really need, causing a program or feature to fail?"

Another excerpt from the same article:

"The Registry is an enormous database and all this "Cleaning" really doesn't amount to much…I've said this before, but I liken it to "sweeping out one parking space in a parking lot the size of Montana" … a registry "tweak" here and there is desirable or even necessary sometimes, but random "cleaning", especially for the novice, is inviting disaster."



#6 garybear

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 12:30 PM

I'm not here to argue the good or bad of registry cleaners. The registry is no place for a newbie.
This software is more than a registry cleaner and is created by Microsoft. I would rather see a member use a program like this that creates a restore point before cleaning than some fly by program that is aggressive and may cause problems. I'm not a newbie and I trust this software. It's always good to have your OS backed up before you make changes to your PC. I hope this forum is a place where we can discuss things and agree to disagree. A lot has changed sense those articles were written about registry cleaners. I think Microsoft is trying and I trust them. I would never recommend some thing that I have not used and researched. I understand BleepingComputer's policy on registry cleaners and I do not wish to argue. There is always another side to each story. This is my option and I believe this is very safe to use. I hope some members will check this out and make their comments known before putting it down. I have found no problems with it and welcome all comments.
Thank you!!

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/clean-your-windows-machine-with-microsofts-free-onecare/

#7 zzziiinnnggg

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:37 PM

This was all helpful. I came here to find a good registry cleaner since I was told that was what I needed. Now I'm told not to. lol

With that said I'm curious what you all would recommend for this:

I play cityville and farmville on facebook. The flash player crashes daily. At the Flash site in their forums what they are recommending us to do is scan for virus & maleware, if that doesn't fix the problem then uninstall flash & reinstall it, if it still crashes then it's in our registry and we need to clean it out.

Now that I know it's unsafe to use a registry cleaner & I have no idea what they think cleaning it out will help the flash player I'm back to square one.

#8 ThunderZ

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 04:49 PM

I would suggest following these directions to uninstall Flash.

Then d\l the latest version, Flash 10.2, and install it.

See if it solves the creshing problem.




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