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  1. #1
    iNET Interactive
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    Putting Registry-/system-cleanup apps to the test




    TOP STORY

    Putting Registry-/system-cleanup apps to the test


    By Fred Langa

    The most contentious software category has to be PC-system/Registry cleaners. Some users find them invaluable; other users consider them worse than useless


    A series of controlled experiments puts these apps to the test — and turns up some surprises.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/Putting-Registry-system-cleanup-apps-to-the-test/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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  3. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Kathleen Atkins For This Useful Post:

    Caroart (2011-11-10),pfurrie (2011-11-10),WarningU2 (2011-11-10)

  4. #2
    2 Star Lounger
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    It would be useful if this investigation could be taken a step further to take a look at uninstallers such as Revo and ZSoft

  5. #3
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    I second Revo. I especially urge you to download the TRIAL PAID FOR version and then go to your c:\Program Files\ dir and look for leftover entries in there of things you know you have uninstalled then copy the c:\Program\Files\Program-to-be-removed" to "Forced Uninstall" in Revo Pro and see what happens. I clean many computers that way and in fact am about to buy the product myself. I am not even touching on trawling the registry for anything left there not appearing in Program Files but that is fun on a long cold night (;-}). Lastly, though this isnt a cleanup tool, once you have done that (or preferably the other way around) run Malwarebytes Anti Malware. If it finds something it also speeds the system up after removal, albeit probably unintentionally.

    Did you ever buy a new laptop with Nortons or Mcafee installed and not want them so uninstalled to put your favourite on? Use Revo Forced uninstall and it will surprise you what was left behind. Oh and for Avast and some other well known free and paid AV programs, there is nothing like Revo to get rid of the rubbish blocking the computer if it gets infected with those AVs on it. They can cause all sorts of merry hell with the system as Zone Alarm will even if uninstalled when nothing was wrong with the computer. Revo kills it completely (paid for version or trial of same with Forced Uninstall).

    Greg.
    Last edited by gregwh; 2011-11-09 at 21:13. Reason: spelling mistake

  6. #4
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    After loading the programs, Windows was much less responsive; several subsystems (Internet and sound, for example) stopped working entirely.
    This is the scariest line in the article. If installing twenty popular applications can destroy a fresh windows installation, wow, I'm left speechless. What can you add to that?

  7. #5
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great article, I think it's a good idea to "start again" with the testing of clean up utilities on the latest operating system.
    I'm glad I hung on to jv16 PowerTools throughout the years. I've always thought this was a decent multipurpose app to have around.

    I think we need, as others have stated, a good testing of some of the popular uninstaller tools, like Revo and others.

  8. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    My own observations, although not nearly as complete as Fred's excellent article shows, follow along a similar route. I have found that I use a combination of cleanup tools for maximum cleaning. I use both CCleaner and Privacy Mantra. I then use a batch file that includes Win 7 Disk Cleanup in the more aggresive mode. As with security apps, I feel the multi-layered approach does the most for this cleanup chore. As Fred mentioned, this scheme is designed for a periodic approach, not a once in a blue moon deep cleanup of your system. As always YMMV. I know there are other very learned persons that I respect greatly that have the opposite opinions of these cleaners. All I can say is my experience is similar to Fred's.

    It would be helpful to see what the differences are with Revo Uninstaller free and Pro versions. I suspect Revo would remove a fair amount of the left over stuff so that the cleaners would not find nearly as much, but as I say I choose to use the multi-layered approach which also includes Revo Uninstaller Pro for uninstall chores followed by the other apps.

    For anyone attempting to duplicate Fred's results, please, make a system Image before starting any of these type investigations. This is the best safety blanket IMO.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  9. #7
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    Great article Fred & very interesting.

    I've used CCleaner for many years and for the past three or four I've also run Advanced SystemCare Pro. Depending on which I run first the other nearly always finds something the other hasn't. To date I don't believe either has caused me any great grief. My only slight concern with CCleaner is that, after analysis, it tells me it's going to remove a certain amount (in Mb), but after I've run the cleaner it quite often tells me that it has removed more - sometimes quite a lot more! I always save the registry back-ups it tells me it will remove, but I've never yet felt the need to restore from any of them.

  10. #8
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    Thank you for a helpful article. I appreciate the credible test methods used.

    I second the request to test third-party uninstallers such as Revo Uninstaller, and I'd like to add a wish: to compare them with the manufacturer-supplied uninstallers (such as the McAfee Consumer Products Removal tool MCPR.exe)

  11. #9
    2 Star Lounger
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    Thumbs up I second CLiNT

    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Thanks for the great article, I think it's a good idea to "start again" with the testing of clean up utilities on the latest operating system.
    ....
    I think we need, as others have stated, a good testing of some of the popular uninstaller tools, like Revo and others.
    CLiNT, I not only second your suggestions but I feel I have to take another look at jv16 PowerTools (finally). I remember trying them about 2003 (?) but back then turning away quickly.

    On a side note: I don't even leave CCleaner on my customer's machines; one guy some time ago removed ALL startup programs and was infuriated that his DSL didn't work any longer because he removed a utility that his ancient setup needed .
    Eike J Heinze
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    SE Wisconsin

  12. #10
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    Same here, I have used CCLeaner for years and has done a great job. Another program that I just started using is Comodo's Program Manager. Seems to be very similar to Revo in whereas it "tags" all information whether a file, folder or registry entry as it is being installed. Bad part though is that it cannot "tag" these items if they are already installed. Then if you need to uninstall, it completely wipes out the files, folders, registry entries, etc. It has been running on my test bed computer for a month now.

    Great article.
    "Every Thing Changes but Change Itself"

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  13. #11
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    Excellent!
    So nice to be validated by a Pro! I have used JV16 for too many years to count! Since it came out actually! I find that with a little caution and a lot of finesse you can improve a system beyond that of the original install or build. I do have to restrict my comments to Win XP and older tho, I have not worked these apps on Win 7, yet.

    I also use CCleaner Advanced SystemCare Pro (and Free) frequently. I even have enough confidence in both to encourage my users to run them on a weekly basis. My users are programmers and service techs thus are constantly creating thousands of left over files, fragmentations and lots of 'temp' files. Resolving their day to day issues and technical research also result in lots of Firefox and Internet Explorer activities and in spite of internal 'clean up' settings for both browsers (and Chrome, and Safari, etc.) there is a lot of chaff left over.

    I repeatedly find the application of CCleaner, ASC and JV16, IN THAT ORDER, to be all a IT pro needs...

    Now to find the magic buttons for all that MalWare and spam!!!!

    Excellent article, I really enjoyed and appreciated it. As for those that are asking for more details on 'uninstallers', that was not the topic of discussion now was it? Stay on topic guys and start a new one if your interests are elsewhere!

    Ray L.

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to RayLab For This Useful Post:

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  15. #12
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    I have used CCleaner for years also with great results. I used to use the RevoUninstaller free version until it no longer supports 64 bit systems. I now use IOBITUninstaller as it is a stand alone program and doesn't need to be installed on your system. It WOULD be interesting to see what difference several of these third party uninstallers would make.

    Excellent article!!

  16. #13
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    I agree, excellent article. How about Vista System Junk Remover batch file and/or Revo uninstaller? CCleaner has a decent uninstaller and free space cleaning capability.

  17. #14
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    Just as I would have expected !
    Not only ANOTHER great article by Fred, but the kind of testing the regular user could relate to, and to top it off the results that I see on a very regular basis. As a professional maintining several hundred workstations in a team enviornment I was turned on to JV16 by Fred years ago, and I turned our team onto JV16. The proof is in the puddin. Been professional in this business now for 14 years, and Fred has been in my email box most of that time - he has taught me a lot - and his team has kept me informed.
    Thanks Fred - AGAIN!

  18. #15
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    Great article. Many computer experts have written that registry cleaners are worthless and unnecessary. You proved otherwise. I would have liked to see a test of the well liked PC Tools Registry Mechanic or the Iolo System Mechanic that Dell strongly recommends, but I think that the results would have been similar. I agree with the comments that another good test might be add on program removers. Are they better than Uninstall? Are they better than Uninstall and a Registry Cleaner? Anyway, great article. Thanks a mission.

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