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XP Pro Registry Clean-Up & Tune-Up


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#1 Mediokrates

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 10:28 AM

XP Pro Registry Clean-Up & Tune-Up Multiple Restores & Missing Hard-Drive Space

Hi again,

This is the 2nd of 2 issues I am experiencing currently and would like help resolving. The first is in regards to a possible infection with symptoms that selected folder images randomly change. I am stating this, as I was unsure whether I should wait until that problem is resolved before attempting to fix this, the 2nd issue.

After a recent AVG 2011 Free update, I began experiencing incompatibility issues with Google.ca as my home page, and IE8. Whenever I would launch IE8, it would crash and then recover Google.ca, the homepage. Sometimes an error report would be generated.
After searching I found that the issue is the AVG Safe Search Add-on.

I've tried all sorts of options. I downloaded Google Chrome, but didn't like it. Partly due to its functionality, but also because I use Spywareblaster (currently uninstalled) which is not compatible.

I actually like IE8. I've decided that I will just disable the Safe Search option.

However... due to this and other issues

I decided to restore my computer to a previous state. I did this a few times trying different restoration points to make sure that all the software I wanted was installed, and those I didn't weren't... making sure that my computer was performing properly. One restoration point, which probably had the .net framework 3whatever (the one I'm currently using is 1.1), had my computer activity light constantly on. I've had to reinstall a few programs a couple times during this process, mostly AVG.

The problems are... after all these system restorations I'm sure my directory is messed up... and I've somehow lost 30Gigs of memory on my hard-drive.
This last week-end, I deleted a bunch of unused movies & older files from my computer... almost 30 Gigs worth, actually. They're still deleted, so it's not like they somehow undeleted.
When I began the restore process I started out with about 124 Gigs, now I have only 97.


Could anyone explain what happened here? Are there multiple back-up copies of these reinstalled programs on my computer? Or could this be resolved by deleting my restoration points?

Are there any tools I can run to recover this lost hard-drive space and clean up the performance of my computer?

Thanks

XP Pro SP3
AMD Athlon 64x2 Dual Core 4600+

HP Pavilion m7580n

Edit: My computer says I am using 191GB on C Drive out of 289GB
My Documents uses 148GB, which seems right.

Other contents of C are as follows:
AVG Vault - 90bytes
CMPNENTS - 258MB
Documents & Settings - 150GB
HP - 184MB
Program Files - 3.28GB
Python 22 - 25.4MB
SystemRoot - 0bytes
temp - 0bytes
Windows - 6.9GB
System.sav - 0bytes

Difference is almost 31GB. Where is it?

Thanks again

Edited by Mediokrates, 03 May 2011 - 11:20 AM.


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#2 hamluis

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 11:19 AM

WinDirStat - http://download.cnet.com/WinDirStat/3000-2248_4-10614593.html

FWIW: The registry never needs a "tuneup". Browser add-ons are a frequent source of system problems, IMO.

Louis

#3 Mediokrates

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 11:25 AM

Thanks Louis,

I meant that after all the restores... and having to uninstall and reinstall various programs, I thought the registry might have some errors in it.
I use CCleaner, but know that it doesn't catch nearly everything.
I figured any missed errors might affect the CP performance.

I'll download and run the program from cnet and post back.

But any ideas where my missing 30 Gigs went? I posted a breakdown of my C-Drive and it confirms a difference of 30 Gigs between reported usage, and the total amount used by C Drives components.

Thanks

#4 hamluis

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 11:34 AM

You should not use CCleaner or any other "registry cleaner".

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.
Louis

#5 Mediokrates

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 11:40 AM

Thanks Louis,

That was fast. Awesome program.

Okay, So I've got 28.4GB in my System Volume Information in restore. I think most of that is from the one day when I did most of the restores.
Is there anyway to delete just the restore points on that day?
Or would I have to delete them all?

I notice that I cannot turn off system restore on C Drive without turning it off on D Drive as well, which is my recovery drive. Is that an issue?

Thanks for the tip re: registry cleaners. Will uninstall.

#6 Allan

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 11:42 AM

Use Disk Cleanup and it will delete all but the current restore point.

BTW, I am not a fan of System Restore. When it works it's great. Unfortunately there are too many reports of it failing just when most needed. Instead I suggest using Disk Imaging software. Create an image on a weekly basis to a secondary HD and keep only the 2 or 3 most recent images. It's a failsafe backup method.

Edited by Allan, 03 May 2011 - 11:43 AM.


#7 Mediokrates

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 11:50 AM

Through My Computer - C:Drive - Properties - Disc Clean Up?

#8 Allan

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 11:53 AM

Yes. There should be a tab for More Options which will list System Restore

Alternatively, you can just disable system restore which will immediately delete all restore points, and then create a new one.

#9 Mediokrates

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 12:04 PM

Thanks, that fixed it.

Now have 127GB free, where it should be.

Issue resolved.

Much appreciation!

#10 Allan

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 12:09 PM

You're welcome.




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