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  1. #1
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    Trimming The Registry

    Trimming the registry

    Tuesday, April 16, 2002 After watching Win98SE slow down at boot time, I figured that even ToniArts Registry Cleaner wasn't as effective as it could be. I've just spent three months compiling and registering batches of DLL/OCX from Visual Basic, and I suspect that the Registry Cleaner deletes the data when it discovers that a file no longer exists, but that it doesn't delete the entire key.

    1. Backup the system registry files, either by PKZIP at a purse-DOS boot, or by exporting the registry file from RegEdit.
    2. Create a Win98 Start up disk with CDROM support
    3. Reboot to DOS
    4. In c:windows attrib -s -h -r *.dat
    5. In c:windows del system.dat
    6. Reboot from start up disk
    7. Install Win98 (takes about 45 minutes)
    8. I needed to reinstall Office97SR2, because Word97 loaded with complaints.
    9. System.dat before install <font color=red>8.6MB</font color=red>
    10. System.dat after install <font color=448800>2.5MB</font color=448800>

    Is booting faster? Significantly.

    If I were doing it again I would not have RegEdit exported the entire registry as one file; I would have exported each major branch (hkey_classes_root, hkey_current_user etc) and then exported each branch from the clean registry to see which branch was the bloated one, and then maybe have imported all but the bloated one from the old set.

  2. #2
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    Re: Trimming The Registry

    Sounds nice, but what about other installed softwares? Were you able to import the necessary portions from your old registry, or if I follow your steps should I be prepared to do a lot of reinstalling?

  3. #3
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    Re: Trimming The Registry

    > prepared to do a lot of reinstalling?

    Not a lot. Well, I dunno. I didn't have to do a lot.


    If I were doing it again, I'd have dumped the five major branches as separate entities, recreated the Registry, and then dumped the five again and compared sizes. The biggest OLD one, presumably contributing heavily towards my 8MB file, I'd leave alone, but would import the other 4.


    If this were a regular thing for me, I'd track down the real offending branch, and just delete that. It's probably got the client's name plastered on it somewhere.



    Having said that, I'm one of those guys who installs really neat Win utilities, uses them for a day, and then forgets about them, so I don't mind doing a reinstall every 6 months or so. Clears the air, I feel.

    Yesterday I had to reinstall Office97SR2, because Word complained that it wasn't all there. It loaded anyway, but I suspected HTML filters or something had gone missing. Reinstalling Office97 is not a big pain, because all my settings re-appeared magically.

    I reinstalled VB6 and a couple of utilities - GriSoft virus checker and something else.


    That's it.


    I'll make another suggestion (apart from the obvious BACKUP EVERYTHING etc) and that is to <font color=448800>dump the registry, delete the registry, re-install Windows, dump the new registry, and then immediately reload the old registry.</font color=448800> In theory nothing has changed except you've won a clean registry that you didn't have an hour ago.

    Then you could experiment at leisure - delete this branch and import it from there. Nope? Try another branch. And all that experimentation could go on without any further re-installation of Win98.



    One last thing- my first boot of the day always does a backup of my production drive (10 x 2G partitions) to a bootable backup drive (10 x 2G partitions), and at least twice a month I test that backup drive by booting from it, so when I'm fooling around with Windows, I'm feeling secure that I can always get something done if the 'phone rings.,

  4. #4
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    Re: Trimming The Registry

    >a lot of reinstalling?

    (later) ooops! Also Lotus and Corel suites .....

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