I'm always thinking the junk in my registry is conspiring to slow my machine down. Major Geeks did an article on the legitimacy of registry cleaners and if they really do anything. Their findings were inconclusive but if anything is cleaned out of the registry by these products it was the ones that you need to buy that have the best chances, (they listed them). Being a miserly old man I am again contemplating using one again. One needs to be careful not to have one that deletes non-garbage from the registry. I had one that did that. So what do you think?
Last Edit: Mar 15, 2014 11:00:30 GMT -6 by BH_Target
What I learned in A+ class a long while back, is that the primary, legitimate tool for editing the registry is: (do not insert "regedit" here) the Control Panel.
"regedit" is for experts or you can back up the registry but other processes do that automatically. Win7 especially does a very good job, if you just add and remove programs or devices through the Control Panel you'll not have any problems and you can avoid any risk of trouble.
All those registry cleaners, driver update sites, etc. are just so much SPAM and are just trying to get you to their site for illegitimate reasons.
If you have excess crap that starts up every time you boot your computer, you can turn it off in "msconfig", but the best thing to do is to turn off auto-updates and other such crap within the program itself, of just uninstall the program if you don't really need it. Many times printers install a lot of bloatware, so be selective when you install the drivers; all you really need are the drivers themselves to make it work, but there are most likely some things you might want for extra functionality. Choose a custom install when you do these things and look at what each thing the install program is trying to add. If it's already been added you should be able to look into the program group and see what is junk, and remove it in the add/remove programs section of the Control Panel.
If the Control Panel happens to leave behind some small references to programs or devices after they've been removed, it's not going to slow down your computer in any significant way. If you've experienced a new, significant slowdown recently in your computer, use the Task Manager (Cntl-Alt-Delete>Task Manager) to find out what processes or applications are running that are taking up processor time or memory space based on the percentages listed there. If you don't understand what a particular name means, you can copy it and paste it into Google and you'll find out exactly what it is, and how much it's needed, and often whether it's harmful.
Having a teenage son who collects virus' like a dedicated biologist has taught me a lot...the hard way.
Last Edit: Mar 15, 2014 13:36:12 GMT -6 by Hawkeye
So the bottom line is Win 7 cleans the registry of any and/or most of the files associated with any particular program during the uninstallation process of said program. So there's no trace of that program within the registry. Except maybe for the DDL files. Those files are what some of the registry cleaners I've tried have confused as being part of an old program. When those shared links go bye bye the whole lot is buggered.
As for d/ling bad crap, (and having the DDL files get toasted) I've become quite adept at writing zero's to my hard drive. It fixes mistakes permanently. The DOD version of the zero writing application is very good. I don't need kids to make a mess of my PC, I can do that just fine.
The trick is fixing the mistakes without all the zeros
but the real trick is not getting into that situation in the first place. In general trust in Windows to do what's needed, not some aftermarket gimmick that's mainly trying to lure you in for other reasons. But above all, if they all would just follow the Hippocratic oath:
"...never do harm..." (often considered the most important part)
it would not really be a problem.
Last Edit: Mar 15, 2014 14:37:23 GMT -6 by Hawkeye
Post by BH von Güber on Mar 17, 2014 11:08:32 GMT -6
There are some 'real' ones that work well and aren't spam. The trouble is, the spammers are pretty good at misdirecting people to their scam sites. In any case, one must be smart enough to know the difference.... Unfortunately, I've had to clean up about 6 of these messes for friends who didn't know what they were getting.
The one Jake mentioned is good...just please... if you're going to use one do two things:
1. Make sure you know what you're doing. 2. get it from someplace reputable. A good place to start is CNET. They do reviews and rankings. I know of no one who's ever caught internet cooties from the CNET download area. There are probably others... On the other hand, just picking something that looks interesting off the web and clicking it will likely get you infected with something. Be knowledgeable and careful.