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Discussion Starter #1
I need a recommendation for registry cleaning software for Windows XP. I know that Microsoft has a free download for window 2000 but I don’t think that they offer a free product for Windows XP yet.


A Google search on registry cleaners yields a lot of products. I was wondering if anyone on TS.com has had and good (or bad) experiences with registry cleaners.


Thanks in advance,


Ed Ward
 

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Windows XP does a very good job of keeping its registry tidy without help from outside programs. I work in the IT department of a large college and one of the main sources of OS corruption in our computers comes from people who run registry cleaners without the need or the knowledge. Unless your registry is actually corrupted leave it alone; if it is corrupted only 2 things will revive it: a backup of the healthy registry or the ability to locate and correct the corrupted entries directly or by reinstalling their program. There is no harm in leaving dead-end keys in the registry and removing them does not appreciably speed up the system.

That having been said, I will occasionally use either the registry cleaner function in the "CCleaner" program or the Comodo Registry Cleaner Freeware because I can see what I am deleting. Most registry cleaners don't give that option. I only use registry cleaners when removing the tracks after someone has been into something they should not have been. If you're looking to speed up a system, cleaning the registry will do far LESS good than will deleting temporary internet files and/or trimming the fat off the boot load (reducing the number of programs that run at start-up).

Carol Lister
 

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I use Glarysoft Registry Repair. Seems to work fine.

I also manually go into my Registry (regedit) and fix things, but don't recommend it unless you know what you are doing.

Whiz
 

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Somebody suggested the Glary Utilities in another thread. I downloaded it and then my computer crashed. Not really- it's a good product which does a lot of things, including registry cleaning. It automatically makes backups which you can use to undo things in case you have a problem. It seems relative foolproof, but I don't have enough experience with it to be sure of that. Might be worth a try, Ed.
 

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For those not especially interested in installing a resident registry tool (I don't recommend it because of overuse), there is a Windows OneCare Safety Scanner available that scans for malware and does a basic registry sweep in addition. Click on "Full Service Scan" and allow it to run. DO NOT ACCEPT the generous offer to sign on for full-time services at the end. It did not work with Firefox the last time I saw it used.

Carol Lister
 

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whiz,,just want to say thanks for recommending the glary utilities program,,

My unit was running a little funky and I downloaded glary and now,,,,wow
thanks again,, jim
 

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There is one other freeware program I use and really like. I am VERY reluctant to install freeware, but these have been recommended by PC Magazine as great utilities.

It is called "Absolute Uninstaller"; much quicker than START, CONTROL PANEL, ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS... simply click on its desktop icon and it goes right to work. Nice thing too, is that is shows a RED Italicized "New" behind all the new programs that were installed. You can see if someone has dumped something to your system.

Now, if I could just get Vista to work as well.

Couple other quickies you may be interested in...

1. I have three icons on my desktop: (1) System Shutdown, (2) System Restart, and (3) Abort Shutdown.

2. You can create these simply by right-clicking on the desktop (over open space), selecting NEW, and then SHORTCUT.

3. In the Shortcut window, type "shutdown -s", then click NEXT, and over-type SHUTDOWN.EXE, with an name you like, like "System Shutdown." You can get fancy too by changing the icon to a computer or the like.

4. Do the same procedure to create a desktop button for System Restart, and when you type "shutdown -s" as in #3 above, replace the "-s" with a "-r".

5. And, finally, an ABORT shortcut (and you get several seconds to change your mind when shutting down, so occasionally you may want to ABORT, change the "-s" to "-a".

Kinda neat little personally generated shortcuts ...

If you decide later to dump these desktop icon, simply right-click on them and click DELETE. They do NOT put any hooks in the operating system like most installed programs do.

Whiz
 

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How do you reduce the number of programs that run at startup? My computer takes about five minutes to do a restart and it used to be much faster than that. I have weatherbug that gives a continious weather temp read out and suspect that it is one of the slowdowns. Jackie B.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to all for the many good tips especially for the desktop shortcuts for System Shutdown,System Restart,and Abort Shutdown.

I do not want to venture into regedit. Years ago, I used to write IBM assembler code an a just afraid to get too deep into system internals. sometimes you can really make a mess of things. At least with the early mainframes, you could do a fresh IPL and start over but Windows (to me) is not very forgiving. I do have a good local tech support firm that helps me if I really have a problem.

I purchased a utility, RegCure 1.5.1 for about $40 a year that works for me. IT runs a scan on command, identifies registry errors and repairs them. All in all, it runs in under 3 minutes and does its job. I can notice a significant increase in system performance.

I also use Spyware Doctor and this product does a good job identifying and deleting spyware.

Ed Ward
 

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Carol

Your opinion on Registry Mechanic.

I have been using RM for several years without any problems. I run it about every two to three weeks. Each time I get approximately 14 to 20 hits. I click on repair, RM does its thing, no problems occur.

RM creates a restore point prior to giving you the option to repair. Like I said, never had any problems.

Frank
 

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jbbor,

Does the (4) in your first sentence indicate that there are only 4 complaints? There are 18 pages to be read, I believe. I have no stake in RegCure. If it hasn't caused you any trouble, hooray; consider yourself lucky. My comments are based on the number of systems I've helped to restore after they've been given the RegCure treatment. It's not the only cleaner that behaves badly; it just has more documentation than many of the others. If you don't see any value in my observations, it makes no difference to me.

pullbang,

Start with some questions: "What is wrong with my system that I need a registry cleaner to fix it and how do I know that it's the solution to my problem?" "Do I have a system problem that must be addressed or do I simply feel like fiddling around just to see what will happen?" Large registries with corrupt and dead-end entries seldom cause most of the problems people attribute to them.

My observation is that there are no good registry cleaners but there are a LOT of good money makers for software companies. Many people use them faithfully believing they are safe and necessary until the day their little wunderkind removes something it shouldn't have and generates the "Blue Screen of Death", or worse.

Registry cleaners are not intelligent. They remove registry keys based on whether the entry contains a valid path or not. They can't tell the difference between an entry that has been left for use in the future and one that is a leftover from an uninstalled application. If neither of them goes anywhere, both will be removed. Registry cleaners don't understand fully qualified files names and will remove those files from registry sub-keys rendering the .EXE file that points to them unable to start. And even if the cleaner you choose saves all the removed entries, if your system becomes unstable you will not know which few of the removed keys needs to be replaced so you end up replacing all of them to correct the problem you could have avoided by not messing around with them in the first place.

As I wrote in another place, I use only 1 registry cleaner: the cleaner function in CCleaner. I use it only because I can see what it considers to be trash and I can choose if I want to remove it, and I use it only when I need to remove debris that's left from someone having been someplace they should not have been. If you don't know what to delete by looking at it, why would you trust the task to a program that doesn't know what it's looking at either (other that to shift blame when things go badly)?

It may not be common knowledge, but operating systems were never intended to run forever. Experienced computer technicians realize that after a year or so of use, the OS and its registry will become corrupted. That simply has to happen where a million or so lines of code is involved. When the time comes, we back up our data, wipe our drives and reinstall our operating systems and apps and start fresh.

I am not interested in engaging in a debate with anyone over this subject. My experience and training have caused me to take the position that registry cleaners, especially for XP and Vista, work better at generating income for their developers than they do at improving system performance, and that people who want to rely on cleaners to kick start their systems would be far better off not messing around with things they don't understand.

Carol Lister
 

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Here's a simple step-by-step solution that helped me get back some computer speed.

http://schlerplotti.typepad.com/squirrelnet/2006/08/tips_on_how_to_.html

-Gary
 
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