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  1. #1
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    registry cleaner

    Here's an interesting blog on use of a regsitry cleaner: Ed Bott: Why I don't use registry cleaners. Some good stuff. I'd be interested also if anyone has any links to real perfromance studies for registry cleaners.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: registry cleaner

    I'd tend to disagree with the author, in general terms. Firstly, the whole tone of the article appears to be one of someone "venting" after being bitten, by allowing an automated utility loose on his system. In my experience, such programs clearly warn of the potential effects of changes to the registry, and clearly leave the onus upon the user. It appears that this particular user failed to heed the warning, made a botch-up of it and, like all poor workmen, lashed out and laid the blame squarely on the tools.

    Further, he criticizes the lack of available data on performance increases. Perhaps if he proposed a viable way of actually measuring and quantifying same, then it might be possible to generate some. I can't conceive of a way to do this myself. Perhaps others can't either and perhaps this explains the non-existence of such data. If he's speaking of dubious performance increase claims, resulting from removing a few benign, unused entries, then he's probably right. But there's a lot more to registry cleaning than just that.

    I've found registry cleaners useful in removing orphaned entries from programs that didn't uninstall properly. Such entries can often cause a system to hang at boot, which is certainly a performance issue I'd think! Same for shortcuts that have been orphaned or point to the wrong thing and other sundry tasks. I think the moral of his mistake is to have an understanding of what you're doing, don't let some automated, artificial non-intelligence make the decisions for you and... <img src=/S/rtfm.gif border=0 alt=rtfm width=24 height=23>

    Alan

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    Re: registry cleaner

    Alan,

    Of course if you read the EULA of almost any piece of software all responsibility is laid completely on the shoulders of the user. I think what you see many times is the manufacturer of the tool promoting it as being generally safe and no special experience required.

    I just thought it was an interesting read. And although I have a couple of different registry tools installed (EasyCleaner and Regseeker), I couldn't tell you the last time I used one to 'clean a registry'.

    I tend to agree with the premise that when used to improve performance (i.e. speed) that these tools are pretty much useless. Maybe even worse than useless because of the potential to damage a system. What we who are somewhat experienced with PCs forget is that many less experienced users take the recommendations of a product as gospel. These folks will believe what the software developer/marketer is saying and run the product just to be running it - 'cause it will do so much good.

    OTOH, when used to help diagnose a problem such as a faulty uninstall these products are probably useful.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: registry cleaner

    Very interesting (if that's the right word), but there's an ad for a free registry cleaner download. Wonder how long that will stay there.

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    Re: registry cleaner

    And I also agree with everything you're saying, Joe. Guess it just shows there are two sides to the coin. While some of the "older" claims are probably not relevant anymore, I think these beasts still have their place, but may be a pitfall for novices, as you say.

    Alan

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    Re: registry cleaner

    I tend to agree with the premise that when used to improve performance (i.e. speed) that these tools are pretty much useless. Maybe even worse than useless because of the potential to damage a system.
    __________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

    If I can just throw in my <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15> worth. I think registry cleaners were useful for the 'older' Windows OSes (ie pre- XP) where the registry size was limited & could cause serious performance issues if it got too big. This isn't an issue with XP, so I agree that their usefulness is certainly more limited now.

    Microsoft themselves say

    "Windows XP supports larger registries than previous versions of the kernel, which were effectively limited to about 80 percent of the total size of paged pool. The new implementation is limited only by available system disk space.

    A tendency to use the registry more like a database developed among registry consumers, which increased demands on registry size. The original design of the registry kept all of the registry files in the paged-pool, which, in the 32-bit kernel, is effectively limited at approximately 160 MB because of the layout of the kernel virtual address space. A problem arose because, as larger registry consumers such as Terminal Services and COM appeared, a considerable amount of paged-pool was used for the registry alone, potentially leaving too little memory for other kernel-mode components.

    Windows XP solves this problem by moving the registry out of paged pool and using the cache manager to do an in-house management of mapped views of the registry files. The mapped views are mapped in 256K chunks into system cache space instead of paged pool."

    So now you know!
    <font color=448800><font face="Comic Sans MS"><big>Lyra J </font color=448800></font face=comic></big>
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    Re: registry cleaner

    I've not read the article yet, but I do know that the author, Ed Bott, has had several books published by Microsoft Press. I should imagine he has a reasonably good idea of what he's doing....
    <font color=448800><font face="Comic Sans MS"><big>Lyra J </font color=448800></font face=comic></big>
    <img src=/S/flags/UK.gif border=0 alt=UK width=30 height=18> Ducking the arrows in Robin Hood country <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/Lyra_J_sig.gif ALT="No, Admins, no! I'm sorry, okay!" title="No, Admins, no! I'm sorry, okay!">

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    Re: registry cleaner

    In fact, Ed Bott has written a couple of books with Woody!

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

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    Re: registry cleaner

    Well there you go then... <img src=/S/clever.gif border=0 alt=clever width=15 height=15> There's one being shown on the WOPR homepage at this very moment!
    <font color=448800><font face="Comic Sans MS"><big>Lyra J </font color=448800></font face=comic></big>
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    Re: registry cleaner

    Yes, I've read some of Ed Bott's publications and I'm very sure he knows what he's talking about. I wasn't trying to suggest that he doesn't, but I still disagree with the "general" suggestion that reg cleaners are of no use at all. In hindsight, it was actually someone else (John Hoole Via Matt Goyer) who had been "bitten" by using a you-beaut registry cleaner without due care:
    "took me ages to figure it out until I ... realized This program deletes DLL files too"

    I'd also wonder exactly how one could possibly quantify speed/ performance increases against registry cleaning activity. Still, different strokes for different folks, and I still find my ones useful on 98 for finding and correcting errors.

    Alan

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    Re: registry cleaner

    And I know that this is going to sound a little like I'm contradicting myself, but I agree with you totally. I use regseeker on a regular basis and find it extremely useful in correcting errors and cleaning out orphan entries from bad uninstallers.

    Whether it makes a speed/efficiency difference is, as you say, difficult to quantify, but that won't stop me using it. As for the 'being bitten' issue, any regcleaner worth it's salt should backup the registry before making changes anyway so there's always a fall back in case of problems.
    <font color=448800><font face="Comic Sans MS"><big>Lyra J </font color=448800></font face=comic></big>
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    Re: registry cleaner

    And I agree totally with you, just to complicate matters even further. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> In fact, I don't think anyone's disagreed with anyone else in this thread, just been discussing different and equally valid sides of the coin. I got the "venting" and "being bitten" impressions from the person who posted their original problem and their "took me ages to figure it out" wording. Whether his registry cleaner made a backup or not didn't seem to have mattered, since he couldn't figure out what he (err... some crappy piece of software) had done to cause the problem.

    Alan

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    Re: registry cleaner

    The last comment I have about this topic is that with newer Windows OSes I think there is a cost/benefit situation to consider. If a system is running well - that is no problems booting, no application aborts, no wierd error messages other than those caused by cockpit problems, and no obvious performance problems - then why waste the time and effort running something to fix 'registry errors' and 'orphan entries'? It would seem that those are not really problems just annoyances. The time and effort required to determine the validity of the recommendations is not justified by the benefit of fixing something that is not really causing you problems. I will admit there was a time when I would have done just that but have since tried to curb that 'dark side' of my computer personality. Just my not so humble opinion <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: registry cleaner

    I'll add a final comment too, agreeing with you that it's not worth trying to wittle things down for no perceivable benefit; indeed it may end up back-firing. But it is good to be able to use such a utility to weed out entries that actually are giving problems. All this agreement is such a wonderful thing.

    Alan

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    Re: registry cleaner

    I agree!
    <font color=448800><font face="Comic Sans MS"><big>Lyra J </font color=448800></font face=comic></big>
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