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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger Banyarola's Avatar
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    To clean or not to clean the Registry: that be the question

    I know this topic will generate about 50,000 replies with varied opinions but the following is what I did..

    I have never used a registry cleaner until the other day...

    I have XP on another drive since I upgraded from ME and NEVER cleaned the registry.
    Years and years of installs, UN-installs, system crashes, different printers, scanners, hard drives, video cars, sound cards, USB devices and power outages etc...

    XP took a long time to fully boot, probably 5 minutes or longer.

    Soooo, the other day I made an image of XP and then ran Ccleaner registry cleaner.
    You have no idea the stuff I found in the registry from programs etc that I have forgotten about until seeing the leftovers in the registry...

    After a couple of beers I got up enough courage to hit the "FIX ALL SELECTED ISSUES NOW" button.

    Then I shut down, did a cold boot, and XP booted up taking the usual 5 or more minutes to fully boot.

    After which, I came to the conclusion cleaning the registry does absolutely nothing to enhance performance or speed the boot up process...

    The only good thing I got from it was enjoyment of the two beers!!

    Thatttts all Folks...
    "If You Are Reading This In English, Thank A VET"

  2. #2
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    I think registry tinkering is only justified if you have leftovers from previous installs that actually affect new installs or similar problems. Other than that, I believe Fred Langa's experience with cleanmgr, in a recent newsletter, which scored only slightly worse than the "best" cleaners, without touching the registry, points in the same direction as your current findings.

  3. #3
    Silver Lounger Banyarola's Avatar
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    I remember reading Fred's letter...
    But, I didn't remember it until you just mentioned it so that wasn't what prompted me to try it..

    I never had any problems with similar programs and registry conflicts and I have installed dozens of similar graphics programs to try them out.

    But, I can see where there could be a conflict under the right conditions.

    I only started using REVO over the past year or two and let that remove registry leftovers..
    "If You Are Reading This In English, Thank A VET"

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    Well I never use registry cleaners. I have tried CCleaner a couple times and I associate it with the disappearance of some stuff that shouldn't have disappeared. That was enough for me.

  5. #5
    Silver Lounger Banyarola's Avatar
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    I just use Revo to uninstall programs and do a daily cleanup. Like temp files, cookies etc..

    I like it for that purpose and never had any problems using it that way.
    "If You Are Reading This In English, Thank A VET"

  6. #6
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    XP seems quite happy running with a bloated registry. Whatever's slowing your system down, I'd bet it wasn't that.

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Cleaning the registry may help solve problems or future corruptions based on conflicts between new apps and leftover junk. As stated your slow boot is more likely caused by apps booting with Windows, lack of resources, and who knows what other problems. Use What's In Startup to check and delete all the un-needed junk starting with Windows.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  8. #8
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    The one way that cleaning all the garbage out of the registry can impact overall performance, is
    that the registry is a part of the OS that loads entirely into ram memory during boot up. The
    smaller and more compact the registry is, the less space it will take up and the more ram you'll
    have for your programs to use.

    Going all the way back to '98, I've use a program called "Easy Cleaner" from Toni Arts. It has many
    apps, like removing MRU's, removing unnecessary files, uninstalling programs, and,,,,,, cleaning the registry.
    It can also remove I.E. History and Cookies, if you ask it to. (separate app's)

    But, if you clean the registry, by removing dead links, etc. and you don't re-compress the registry, you
    have not effectively reduced the size of the registry. So, when I clean my own registry, I then run a
    little program "NTREGOPT" to re-compress the registry to reduce its size. Once when I removed Office 2007
    from my PC, I cleaned the registry and then ran NTREGOPT and reduced the size of the registry by 30%.

    I have never had one single problem using "Easy Cleaner" or "Easy Cleaner II", after running it on literally
    hundreds of PC's. It's now been upgraded to run on Vista, Win-7 and Win-8. I've made it a part of my
    Win-7 tune-up package, on my web site.

    However I do test a lot of programs that I read about on the internet. Several years ago now, I tried a
    program being highly touted, called "CCleaner" (Crap Cleaner). After doing the default cleaning I rebooted
    my PC and it was DEAD..... would not reboot.
    So I used my last Ghost Backup Image File to get back up and running.
    A couple of years later, I tried CCleaner again, after making a fresh Backup. Sure nuff, it trashed my PC
    again. Enough is enough! I'll never let that program anywhere near my PC, ever again.
    The 'Defraggler' was another program that trashed my PC.

    I'm a PC technician and I've never fixed a slow boot condition by cleaning the registry. However I do fix
    the slow boot condition on just about every computer I work on, for the first time. There are several
    programs I use to clean the junk files out of a PC. The first is my own Cleanup.bat, batch file.
    Then Windows own "Disk Cleanup" run in extended mode, which I've talked about many times in this very
    forum. Then I might install and run "Easy Cleaner II". It looks in every folder in the HD, for junk files and
    will find and remove files that other programs are not set up to remove.

    Then I will go into the Startup folder and shut off every Startup program that's not 100% necessary to
    run the PC, printer, etc. Also reset the boot delay time, from 30 seconds to 3 sec's.
    Then run "Spybot Search & Destroy", to scan for and remove Adware, Spyware and some trojans.
    Then Install and run "Malware Bytes" and again get the latest update and run a full scan.
    By now, in the process I've got the boot time down to around a minute, give or take a few seconds.

    If either Norton AV or McAfee AV is installed, , , I uninstall it and replace it with AVG 2012, FREE.
    It's a far superior AV program and it's FREE. I also UN-Install any other programs that are not being
    used and are not needed. Most new PC's today, come with a Game Pack of over twenty games.
    They are put out by a well known spyware company, "Wild Tangent". I Un-install them whenever I
    find them. Also, take out any Trials or Demo's.

    Net gain on the cleanup of a PC is usually in the neighborhood of 100,000 files, or more. (removed)

    I encourage my customer to sit there with me and see the stuff I'm cleaning out and give their
    approval to any programs that I have to un-install. When I'm done, I regularly get a comment
    something like, "WOW! It didn't run that fast when it was new!". I know, that's the idea.

    There are a few little tweaks to improve performance that I've not mentioned here, but are a part
    of my Tune-up package, on my web page.

    I'm sorry this response ran so long, but it's a fairly complex subject.

    Good Luck and Happy Holidays!
    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

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  10. #9
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    Angry Just HAVE to add my $0.02, sorry

    The Registry is a database. It does not work like most people imagine by having to read through all the old junk to get to a relevant entry it needs. It is much more like an indexed sequence of steps to get to the final destinations and how much junk is logically between each step does not influence the performance.

    My experience has taught me that "cleaning" the registry does not shorten boot time or program load time at all. It may help to eliminate conflicts in case you have to re-install the same piece of software if the uninstaller of that software does not really clean out the registry.

    Ccleaner is my favorite multi-purpose secret weapon to eliminate excess start-up junk, old junk files and to uninstall gunk. BUT it is a tool for grown-ups because if you just delete everything you see in Start-Ups you may render your machine unusable.

    Your problem are five minutes boot time and I admire you patience to even live with a machine like this! Your problem likely has nothing to do with the registry!

    Clean out the tons and tons of junk your poor computer has to run starting up. If you have the machine overly full with start-ups it gets tight in RAM Windows begins to shovel stuff back and forth between RAM and the page file; disk I/O is thousands of times slower than RAM.

    If Ccleaner and common sense don't do it then I recommend AutoRuns from SysInternals. You will be astonished what you'll find in there. BUT you have to be VERY careful with AutoRuns, this really is a tool for someone who knows well what they are doing.

    What AV are you running?
    If it is WebRoot SpySweeper the five minutes may be due to that!

    How much RAM?
    What model/speed CPU?
    How full (in %) is your C: drive?
    How much space (in GB) is free on C:?
    What size parameters for your page file?

    Should you reply be assured I will have more questions but maybe a suggestion or two. On the other hand if the machine does get faster you don't have time for the beer anymore. Trade offs wherever you look

    Update 12-02:

    I am exactly going where DrWho already went, thanks DrWho. Personally I just use different tools but I do similar steps at my customer's machines and have the same experience.

    Re. Ccleaner: I use it for years and years but NEVER had an un-bootable machine after using it. Everybody's mileage varies.
    Last edited by eikelein; 2011-12-02 at 08:46. Reason: DrWho's post came while I was writing.
    Eike J Heinze
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  12. #10
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    Never ever ever had problems NOT using a registry cleaner.
    Have had some issues occasionally using a registry cleaner.

    Conclusion; neither I nor the program's authors are brain surgeons!
    The title of my movie is "How I learned to stop worrying about leftover registry entries and lived happily ever after."

  13. #11
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    IMO, registry cleaning should only be done if you have a serious problem with your system such as mentioned above by Rui in post #2 & Eike in paragraph 2 post #9. Routine registry cleaning gives you too much of a chance of removing something important.

    I have not routinely used a registry cleaner since I first installed the original XP release in 2001. As long as I am vigilant about monitoring what is started during the boot sequence I'm fine with the boot time. Especially with Windows 7 the number of boots that I do is dramatically less than with XP (& prior OSes) so even boot time is not a huge deal for me.

    The processing of the registry has changed considerably since the Win9x/ME days. Parts of it are virtualized. It is not all read in at once during boot. Different parts are read at different times.

    Joe

  14. #12
    4 Star Lounger Jagworld's Avatar
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    All good opinions ---- so i'll post mine :-)

    I've also went though the reg cleaning arena from time to time with "Nothing" special ever happening. I believe (like others) that if one knew what he/she was doing then some things could be fixed going into the reg.

    IMHO, the vast majority should just think of system image "Backup's" :-)
    Last edited by Jagworld; 2011-12-03 at 07:33. Reason: typo

  15. #13
    Silver Lounger Banyarola's Avatar
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    Well guys, all of you have made some valid points..

    I can never recall having any problems and never cleaned the registry until just recently as I mentioned in my original post here in the forum and my first computer was bought in 1985.

    Like I said, I didn't notice any difference at all so I think I will refrain from cleaning it in the future because it seems that having a registry cleaned is more likely to give you problems then not cleaning it and leaving it alone.
    "If You Are Reading This In English, Thank A VET"

  16. #14
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    If you do decide to use a registry cleaner (I do) I check what entries are going to be cleaned if I let it. If something you need is checked, simply uncheck it.

    I use CCleaner much more often to help with cleaning temp file locations. You have to watch what you clean, for example if you clean the MSE logs then your PC will not realize it just did a scan and will request you to scan again. I believe most agree that cleaning these temp file locations regularly does stop problems, and does speed things up. If you choose to use the registry cleaning section as well, just look at what you are cleaning before blindly clicking OK.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  17. #15
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    That's why I've always loved "Easy Cleaner II"..... if it's ever going to error, it will error on the side of caution, by leaving something that could possibly cause a problem if removed. I don't have to go through the hundreds of lines of registry keys, because I trust the program.

    I fully agree on NOT deleting logs. Unless you know exactly what logs you want to delete. If not, then just leave them all alone.

    I can understand a person saying "I've, done this, or I've done that without any problems". But how many actual computers are we talking about? Maybe one, six or less than a dozen? (I own more than that)
    When I advocate anything, I'm speaking from many years of experience with literally HUNDREDS of PC's, of all different makes, models and ages.

    But I won't criticize anyone who's not willing to take a chance with their registry. If they are in error, at least they are in error on the side of caution and there's Nothing wrong with that. How many times have we heard about someone who took a chance, doing something iffy and lost.
    Like . . . Every day?

    I just had to rebuild a computer for someone who took a chance and decided to NOT have their computer maintained for over two years. That was one of those chances that didn't turn out so well. It was so infected and infested with Virus, Trojans, Spyware and one Fraud, that it couldn't even run. Windows Explorer was totally DEFUNCT.
    But thankfully, when I set that PC up for them 2+ years ago, I made a Ghost backup for them. So after salvaging all their data, it took only ten minutes to have the computer back up and running normally again.

    I want to wish Everyone, a Very Happy Holiday Season

    Last edited by DrWho; 2011-12-05 at 23:19.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

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