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Registry Editors


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#1 Magic Sam

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 10:58 AM

I have been advised elsewhere to leave all such software well alone, or at least treat with caution - particularly it seems if downloaded from CNET.  Would this forum's readers agree (or make any particular exceptions)?



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#2 Animal

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 11:26 AM

The official Bleeping Computer stance on Registry Cleaners which I assume is what you mean and not Registry Editors is as follows:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/407147/answers-to-common-security-questions-best-practices/?p=2853053

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#3 Magic Sam

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 12:53 PM

Yes I did mean Registry Cleaners (a little knowledge is a ..) and I will heed the clear cut advice to leave well alone.  The trouble might come with software that does the same thing but under the guise of something else (tune up, speed up, ...) even defrag which I understand to be worth doing once in a while.



#4 md2lgyk

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 09:33 PM

Until I figured out they really didn't speed up the computer or do much of anything else useful, I used registry cleaners for years.  But I never had a problem or issue after using any of them.  Now, with Win 7, I don't bother.



#5 Magic Sam

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 04:02 PM

I'm still on XP so haven't yet caught up with you.  But I think the question is a bit more subtle:

 

I can follow the general advice to leave registry cleaners well alone.  The problem is that (I suspect) the dividing lines, definitions and distinctions are not lines in the sand.  Does this mean that folk like me should (or should not) avoid anything that claims to speed up the PC regardless of the label?  This could extend to include defraggers and programs such as CCleaner that are I believe generally well regarded - CCleaner's registry cleaner is the only one I have ever used.  Besides this there is no lack of programs, no doubt some more reputable than others, offering to speed up processing in some form or other.

My PC is not a cutting edge machine and is a slow performer (especially when booting) in spite of having adequate free space on the hard drive and my regular use of CCleaner in its normal mode.  In an ideal world I would know which software I could use, based on unbiased and informed recommendations, to improve things safe in the knowledge that these were "safe". I don't know if readers of this post can contribute and agree if such programs exist?



#6 GB2064

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 12:10 AM

Magic Sam

I have used CCleaner for years, but I stay away from it's registry cleaning feature.

You mentioned defragmentation "once in a while", depending on how much, and what you use your computer for, a regular defragmentation, weekly, or monthly, will help your computer's speed.

Also, another way to speed up your computer would be to determine if you could add more memory.



#7 jgweed

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 08:11 AM

Unless you are a fairly sophisticated computer user,and are willing to check and research every proposed registry deletion, then do not use a registry cleaner. The supposed speed improvement is not worth the potential of seriously "hosing up" (notice the Geek term) your operating system.

 

You will get more bang for the buck (yet another Geek term) by deleting unused applications and files (AKA "crud", another Geek term)---you can archive these to disk before deleting--- then running checkdisk/scandisk (using "repair" function) and finally defragging on a regular basis.


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#8 Magic Sam

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 09:50 AM

You will have gathered that I have yet to qualify as a Geek but would like to follow your recommendations. My understanding is that it doesn't make much difference how many applications I have downloaded and installed - hard disc space permitting - provided that I can ensure that they only activate on demand - as opposed to infiltrating into the Autostart menu.  I am using CCleaner's tool  with a view to pruning these to the essentials only (some other such programs presented me with a list of loads of startup applications and processes few of which I recognised). I have since woken up to the fact that Bleeping Computer has its own help page on this!!

 

Are all defraggers roughly the same, or some to be recommended?.  I believe that XP has one built into it somewhere but apparently it takes a long time to do its job.

 

From time to time I use Revo Uninstaller.  This appears to do things to the Registry which I have assumed to be beneficial in that it is removing the "debris" of no longer used software.



#9 GB2064

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 04:26 PM

Magic Sam

The time that it takes for any defragment program to finish depends on several factors, such as the size of the HDD, the number of programs installed, and how long since the last defragmentation.

XP's defragmenter does a good job.

It's more important to defragment on a regular basis, than what defragmenter you use.

Also, Revo Uninstaller is a fine program, but some of it's features should also be used with caution, when scanning for program remnants, I only use the "low" or "moderate" level.


Edited by GB2064, 16 June 2013 - 04:27 PM.


#10 smax013

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 02:08 AM

My personal attitude is that generally register cleaners are a bad idea. I would definitely not suggest using them on a regular basis as part of some "maintenance" routine.

The only possible exception in my mind is if you are basically ready to reinstall Windows already due to general Windows "gunk", then to some people it MIGHT be worth trying as you don't have much to lose (i.e. if it hoses your system, you were already ready to reinstall Windows) except the money that you might pay for the registry cleaner software. Paying that money might be worth it to some people to put off the hassle of having to deal with the pain of reinstalling Windows (and all the applications, etc). Of course, if you do decide to go that route, then make sure you buy/use a "reputable" (yes, that is a somewhat relative term when talking about registry cleaners) registry cleaner.

Personally, I don't use them...but I can see the possible appeal to some to use it as a last resort before re-intalling Windows...I don't see any possible appeal beyond that, however.

I have personally found the better option is to clone/image your Windows installation right after you have installed your key programs and gotten your settings they way you want. Then when Windows gets all "gunked up", you just drag out the clone/image and revert to that clean Windows install, do any updates that are needed, and maybe add the few programs that have been added since that clone. Since I generally keep my data on a separate drive, it is not impacted by any of the cloning process...but if you keep the data on the same drive, then you just restore your data from a the backup you did right before you restore the clone (you did backup your data, right? ;) ).

#11 Magic Sam

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 07:47 AM

It would be nice if the same general consensus of views regarding registry cleaners and editors - = don't touch them with a barge pole - existed with respect to the effectiveness and value for money of the various individual security suites and programs (free and paid for) that are on offer!!

[I've always been under the impression that re-installing Windows was something to do only as a last resort and when desperate, with the risk of data etc loss for those for whom it's not a habit.  I have from time to time taken a ghost image of my hard drive, but never had the need thankfully so far to resurrect the ghost from the dead.  Another topic ..]



#12 smax013

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 04:40 PM

It would be nice if the same general consensus of views regarding registry cleaners and editors - = don't touch them with a barge pole - existed with respect to the effectiveness and value for money of the various individual security suites and programs (free and paid for) that are on offer!!


Not quite sure what you mean. It is generally highly recommended to run at least an active anti-virus program. Now, there are many different opinions as to which is best...and those opinions change overtime (i.e. Norton Anti-Virus used to be great, then it got extremely bloated, but seems to be getting somewhat better again). There are also some who don't believe in running anti-virus programs...personally, I think such people are a little bit on the crazy side. :D

The point is that it is generally recommended that you run SOMETHING.

[I've always been under the impression that re-installing Windows was something to do only as a last resort and when desperate, with the risk of data etc loss for those for whom it's not a habit.  I have from time to time taken a ghost image of my hard drive, but never had the need thankfully so far to resurrect the ghost from the dead.  Another topic ..]


For most it is a last resort since it is such a pain in the rear. There are some people, however, who do it on a regular basis (i.e. like once a year) to help keep the "crud" at bay and keep their computer running at maximum performance levels. I am not one of those people (I am too lazy to go through the pain of re-installing except when I have to).

#13 frankp316

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 05:50 PM

He's talking about anti virus product testing. The testing that is currently done is inadequate and it never has been adequate. And once someone accepts that testing will never be adequate, that person will be better off. Because computer security is a constantly moving target, selection of a security product is highly subjective. There will never be a best product. There will only be a product that the user prefers.



#14 Magic Sam

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 03:48 AM

I risk getting shot at (rightly) for straying off topic.

 

I get the impression that with AV, for the average user not immersed in the technicalities, it is a "least worst" choice, and obviously only a nutter would go online without any AV whatsoever.  Even accepting that targeting the threat(s) is shooting at a moving target, you would think that at any one point in time there would be some sort of consensus over which programs offer the best protection, and if it is worth paying for something equivalent to something else which is available for free.  But I read the regular apparently scientific reviews and get the feeling that the experts are all over the place with their recommendations.  So we toss a coin and hope for the best .. [I used to read the Virus Bulletin occasionally, which is often quoted as the gospel, but always ended up with a headache]



#15 frankp316

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 04:47 AM

The only consensus I have ever seen is that McAfee sucks and is a waste of money. Users come here with all kinds of theories but they are all nonsense. The most common fallacy is that a paid AV is better than a free AV. That has never been true but some think it is logical so it must be true. Throw logic out the window when talking about AV performance testing. 






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