Topic: Registry Cleaners - Do these things really work? (Page 1 of 1) Pages that link to <a href="http://ozoneasylum.com/backlink?for=30014" title="Pages that link to Topic: Registry Cleaners - Do these things really work? (Page 1 of 1)" rel="nofollow" >Topic: Registry Cleaners - Do these things really work? <span class="small">(Page 1 of 1)</span>\

 
jive
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greenville, SC, USA
Insane since: Jan 2002

IP logged posted posted 02-20-2008 23:19 Edit Quote

I have recently acquired an old laptop from a buddy, but am getting blue screens of death like crazy. I did a google search on how to fix this, and am seeing all kinds of registry cleaning software... does this stuff really work? Are there any good free ones available that you know of?

.....

Maybe I should just do a complete reformat and reinstall...

argo navis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Switzerland
Insane since: Jul 2007

IP logged posted posted 02-20-2008 23:51 Edit Quote

No, and no : they tend to damage stuff further for almost no benefit in most cases.
Solution 1 : reinstall yeah. Nah, seriously, do it anyway, and prior to plugging in any kind of internet connection,
make sure you have a firewall installer on a cd-rom (or at least XP SP 2).

You should also make sure you have all the drivers : a proper reinstall should cover Firewalled OS / Drivers / System updates in this order.

My 2 cents.

liorean
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Umeå, Sweden
Insane since: Sep 2004

IP logged posted posted 02-20-2008 23:53 Edit Quote

CrapCleaner and Iobit Advanced WindowsCare Personal are pretty good.

I'd also:
- Run the laptop through memtest86. Memory errors is a very common cause of blue screens.
- Run it though hijackthis! plus an analyser of the results of hijackthis! (or a forum with people who knows what the results mean)
- Run a good defragmenter on the harddrive, such as JkDefrag.
- Run a systems files defrag such as SysInternals PageDefrag
- Make sure all drivers are updated.

--
var Liorean = {
abode: "http://codingforums.com/",
profile: "http://codingforums.com/member.php?u=5798"};

(Edited by liorean on 02-20-2008 23:54)

Blaise
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: Jun 2003

IP logged posted posted 02-21-2008 10:14 Edit Quote

Yeah, see all the trouble you have to go through with a Windows machine!

You could just install a friendly Linux distribution like Ubuntu and not have to worry Trojans Viruses, worms and corrupted junk registry*.

*Disclaimer: Ok, you'll still have to be aware of these issues, but let's not be pedantic.

White Hawk
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: zero divided.
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 02-21-2008 11:26 Edit Quote

Short answer: NO!

Windows is quite capable of maintaining the registry. Whenever you leave your machine idle, registry defragmentation is just one of the tasks it undertakes. I can't tell you the amount of time I've wasted on having to fix serious issues caused by so-called 'registry cleaners'.

If you really have an issue with the registry, you'll be able to specifically determine the root of it, and fix it manually. Automatic registry fixing software simply causes more problems than it claims to fix. On the other hand, if there are no obvious problems (related to the registry or otherwise), then you have no need of the software anyway.

BSoDs are not (or at least, are very rarely) caused by registry problems! The ads you are seeing when you perform these searches are just that; adverts.
_____

Before you go mad and re-install the entire system just to discover that you're still getting BSoDs, please check your hardware and hardware settings, run a system file check, and eliminate any recent driver installations as the cause. I would wager that it's far more likely a hardware/driver issue than a software one.

BTW - have you taken note of the error given during the BSoD? This isn't just a screen of gibberish, but outlines the cause of the error. If I can be of help, I'd be happy to.

liorean
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Umeå, Sweden
Insane since: Sep 2004

IP logged posted posted 02-21-2008 13:14 Edit Quote

White Hawk: It's not defragmentation that registry cleaners do. It's cleaning up the actual content of the registry, removing cruft, leftover and unused keys, adding some keys to block some trojans etc. Mostly they clean up after installers and uninstallers that leave keys that aren't useful any more.

Also, when you do a systems defrag for the first time you'll find Windows doesn't do a particularly good job of preventing registry fragmentation at all. If you never install anything though, you'll of course not find it fragmented. (In other words, systems defrag is something that is useful when you have just done a full system install, but if you're not installing things often, it's probably something that won't help particularly after you have done it once.)



But you're right. Registry problems don't directly cause BSoDs very often. Hardware, drivers or sloppily programmed applications are the most common causes, not the registry. BSoDs are caused by kernel mode irrecoverable errors. User mode irrecoverable errors just kill the process, not the system.
However, the registry contains settings and instructions for programs and services, and those can make programs cause these kernel errors. It's mostly a problem in spyware and malware riddled systems though, not in well managed systems.

--
var Liorean = {
abode: "http://web-graphics.com/",
profile: "http://codingforums.com/member.php?u=5798"};

White Hawk
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: zero divided.
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 02-21-2008 13:57 Edit Quote

Defragmentation is generally the only maintenance task your registry will require, and even then only if you're in the habit of installing and uninstalling applications repeatedly. The rest of it is generally bollocks - registry cleaners cause problems; their requirement is a myth perpetuated by companies that are trying to sell you their utilities, and then they generally tend to remove a lot of useful entries with the so-called junk entries.

Adding keys to block trojans?? That's a new one - anti-spyware utilities will do this without trashing the registry in the process. System defrag has nothing to do with the registry - but if you wish to manually maintain the registry in this manner anyway, I believe there is a Microsoft registry defragmentation utility that you can download. As for 'useless keys' - these are really not an issue, and certainly do not cause BSoDs... oh, hang on, you've acknowledged all that anyway, so...

I maintain, with conviction, that if two identical machines used in precisely the same manner for a prolonged period of time were differentiated only by the regular use of a registry cleaner on one machine, there would be no performance improvement in the cleaned machine - in fact, you'd likely see an increase in errors and issues, and even security holes as a direct result of the cleaner. Registry cleaners just don't do anything useful, and are often the cause of serious issues.

Seriously, if you feel like taking note of the BSoD information, there is much that can be garnered from it to identify the issue.

CPrompt
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: there...no..there.....
Insane since: May 2001

IP logged posted posted 02-21-2008 14:04 Edit Quote

I would reinstall as argo said or better yet, take Blaise's suggestion.
There is a program that you can get that will download all the patches from the beginning up to the time that you run it from Windows Update. It creates an ISO of all the patches which you can then burn.

Once windows is installed and you have registered it through Windows activation, you can boot this CD and install all patches with one swoop. Right now though...I have forgotten what it is called but when I get home I will look it up and post back.

Later,

C:\

White Hawk
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: zero divided.
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 02-21-2008 15:36 Edit Quote

Personally, Blaise's suggestion wouldn't be much good to me until such a time as all my favourite games, Photoshop, and in fact, a majority of the applications, tools and utilities I use are ported to, available on, or compatible with Linux.

In fact, until such a time as all my clients (major financial, educational, and legal institutions) decide to switch from Windows to Linux, Blaise's suggestion would be no good to me.

Am I the only one who has this problem? Am I the only one who has to take a deep breath and count to ten every time I ask (or respond to) a question regarding Windows and get a response like "install Linux - fnar fnar"? Would it be considered helpful and wise in response to a question about car maintenance to respond "why don't you just get a horse"?

I'm sure it's really funny, and I'm sure that there are a large number of people who point at their screens, cackle horrendously, and laud the wit and wisdom of the poster... but how many times does a joke have to be told before someone shoots the comedian in the face?

Sorry - just had to get that off my chest.

(Edited by White Hawk on 02-21-2008 15:52)

argo navis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Switzerland
Insane since: Jul 2007

IP logged posted posted 02-21-2008 15:48 Edit Quote

I don't hear "why don't you get a horse".
I hear "what are you doing with a Beetle when you can build up a Ferrari from scratch?"

I have the same clientele problems you do - just try to find
alternatives. Banks use Java a lot for instance.

So don't shoot the comedian : this is NOT the industry, this is *home*,
and it's great to see people take control of their comfort.

My 2 cents.

Blaise
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: Jun 2003

IP logged posted posted 02-21-2008 17:33 Edit Quote

White Hawk, you were bound to have plenty of good advice, so I thought I'd offer my own perspective. Before your last post I didn't know, nor anyone else here I imagine, that you absolutely could not make do without specific Windows programs.

Anyway that aside, if your Windows machine has got to that stage, even recovering it with careful registry maintenance will never bring it back to full health, so a reinstall would be recommended, be neat and tidy and have a plan about everything, stick Windows in it's own ~10GB partition and move your My Documents to a separate drive, where you should also install all your programs.

2 months ago I got fed up with issues such as yours I was having with Windows, so I formatted my whole disk and installed with Ubuntu, it wasn't a walk in the park, but it wasn't very difficult to have an OS with all the tools and extras that I need and wanted. I've been a +50% happier person ever since.

er.. .anyway, wasn't it jive who wanted to know about registry cleaners in the first place? I'm confused



(Edited by Blaise on 02-21-2008 17:35)

liorean
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Umeå, Sweden
Insane since: Sep 2004

IP logged posted posted 02-22-2008 01:30 Edit Quote
quote:
White Hawk said:
Defragmentation is generally the only maintenance task your registry will require, and even then only if you're in the habit of installing and uninstalling applications repeatedly.


Generally you're right. However, programs can set settings in the registry that can cause problems entirely unrelated to that program's operation. An example would be that a few of my games, including Deus Ex 2 and WoW, for a time stopped working because a plug-in to Skype that I was testing out overrode the default Windows registry keys for audio devices. Uninstalling it didn't help since there was nothing resetting the keys to their original value.

quote:
The rest of it is generally bollocks - registry cleaners cause problems; their requirement is a myth perpetuated by companies that are trying to sell you their utilities, and then they generally tend to remove a lot of useful entries with the so-called junk entries.

Quite true. The problem mostly lies in that one person's useful application is another person's nuisance however. If using a registry cleaner you need to make sure to set it's settings such that it doesn't clean out things you consider useful but the author consider nuisances or privacy problems. One such example is that they often clean out the history of the "Run..." item on the start menu - and I use this history quite a lot, so I wouldn't want them to empty it.

quote:
Adding keys to block trojans?? That's a new one - anti-spyware utilities will do this without trashing the registry in the process.

Actually, most often the anti-spyware and the registry cleaners do this in the same way. Most spyware and trojans check for certain registry keys before installing themselves. These anti-spyware and registry cleaners usually insert these keys with dummy values such that they think there is already an instance of them installed, so they don't install blank installs over installs that have already started collected data. Thereby preventing them from installing in the first place. (Anti-spyware has other ways of preventing spyware and malware as well that don't include registry hacks such as these, but this is a mechanism that both types of programs share.)

quote:
System defrag has nothing to do with the registry - but if you wish to manually maintain the registry in this manner anyway, I believe there is a Microsoft registry defragmentation utility that you can download.


Actually it does. A system defrag obviously defrags system parts protected from a normal defrag that are not part of the registry, but if you use SysInternals PageDefrag you'll see the brunt of the fragmentation it deals with is in registry files, simply because the registry sees many more small changes than most other parts of the system. (SysInternals is Microsoft owned nowadays by the way, and their PageDefrag is a Microsoft recommended utility for manual registry defragmentation.)

quote:
As for 'useless keys' - these are really not an issue, and certainly do not cause BSoDs...

No, but they add to the startup time and the time required for applications accessing the registry. Mostly harmless, however.

quote:
I maintain, with conviction, that if two identical machines used in precisely the same manner for a prolonged period of time were differentiated only by the regular use of a registry cleaner on one machine, there would be no performance improvement in the cleaned machine

That depends on which applications are installed and how well secured the other parts of the system is, of course. If you're talking about virus riddled public computers in an internet café, I'd say running registry cleaners often on one machine and not on the next machine will prove the former machine to end up in much better shape than the latter.

With proper anti-malware, anti-spyware, anti-virus; a good firewall; and in multi-user systems limited user permissions; a lot of the after-work done by registry cleaners is made unnecessary however.

quote:
- in fact, you'd likely see an increase in errors and issues, and even security holes as a direct result of the cleaner. Registry cleaners just don't do anything useful, and are often the cause of serious issues.

Security holes - well, at least CrapCleaner has a very good history of patching holes they introduce. They can and do introduce other problems such as some programs not starting up at all after doing cleaning, or programs malfunctioning due to them changing required registry entries.




That being said: I find registry cleaners are not at all as useful as other system maintainance tools. Defragmenters, memory checking tools, graphics card and network card diagnosis tools, process viewers, event log analysers, anti-malware and anti-spyware etc. And of course, making sure you keep drivers up to date.

--
var Liorean = {
abode: "http://web-graphics.com/",
profile: "http://codingforums.com/member.php?u=5798"};

(Edited by liorean on 02-22-2008 01:32)

CPrompt
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: there...no..there.....
Insane since: May 2001

IP logged posted posted 02-22-2008 01:46 Edit Quote
quote:

White Hawk said:

Personally, Blaise's suggestion wouldn't be much good to me until such a time as all my favourite games, Photoshop, and in fact, a majority of the applications, tools and utilities I use are ported to, available on, or compatible with Linux.




well from what I read Jive asked what to do with what seemed to be an extra laptop that was having some issues with Windows. So...that is why I suggested either just reinstall or give Linux a shot.

Later,

C:\

White Hawk
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: zero divided.
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 02-22-2008 13:39 Edit Quote

Wow - I feel... analysed... (lol)

No points there that I would wholly disagree with, but it's still highly unlikely that a registry cleaner will fix the BSoDs; generally, one would not be much use (as is likely the case here).

Oh yeah, and SysInternals PageDefrag is good - gets my seal of approval.

DL-44
Lunatic (VI) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

IP logged posted posted 02-22-2008 16:04 Edit Quote

Just a note on my completely uninformed perspective.

I recently looked into registry cleaners, did what I thought was some pretty decent research - though which in hindsight should have included this exact post here - found some reviews and discussions that seemed to have some pretty good information, and downloaded a couple of programs.

First time through the first scan.................it encountered an error which forced it to shut down.

And that was the last I saw of my dear old hard drive. Thank Jeebus for back ups.

I have since reinstalled windows on a small partition, and Ubuntu on the rest of the drive. This is my second go-round with Ubuntu, and so far so good.

FWIW

Seymour
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: K-town, FL, USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

IP logged posted posted 02-22-2008 19:56 Edit Quote

I would say sell the used laptop back to your friend and buy a eee pc. They run ubuntu right out of the box =)

CPrompt
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: there...no..there.....
Insane since: May 2001

IP logged posted posted 02-22-2008 21:55 Edit Quote
quote:

DL-44 said:

I have since reinstalled windows on a small partition, and Ubuntu on the rest of the drive. This is my second go-round with Ubuntu, and so far so good.




good to hear that you are giving it a shot again DL. The new Ubuntu (7.10) comes with native mounting of NTFS partitions too

I had a problem one time with a cleaner program, I don't think it was a registry cleaner as much as a "Clean up my computer" type of thing. I was young and naive. It also had the option checked on the "Startup and Recovery" section to "Reboot on System Failure". WOW...was that weird. Start -> Restart -> Start -> Restart.

I had no backups though

So...case in point, I think it is majority that Jive should probably just wipe the thing out and start all over again. I used to do that on my Windows computer about once every year or so just to give it a good cleaning and fresh start.

Later,

C:\

Tao
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: The Pool Of Life
Insane since: Nov 2003

IP logged posted posted 02-22-2008 22:16 Edit Quote

I'd also go for the fresh install jive. On my old Dell laptop I installed Xubuntu which is designed with older models in mind. I've had great fun with it and its helped me to learn about open source and all things Ubuntu.


Those who look for monsters should look to it that
they do not become monsters. For when you gaze
long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.


[on subject] I've used a few cleaners and never really noticed any improvement in performance. What did improve performance was stopping all those programmes that try to load at start-up, that can accumulate over the years on some peoples computers.

(Edited by Tao on 02-22-2008 23:58)

jive
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greenville, SC, USA
Insane since: Jan 2002

IP logged posted posted 02-25-2008 10:19 Edit Quote

Thanks for all of your responses. The more I think about it, the more I am inclined just to wipe it clean and install a fresh copy of ubutu on it...

CPrompt
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: there...no..there.....
Insane since: May 2001

IP logged posted posted 02-25-2008 15:57 Edit Quote

there ya go! That's the spirit.

Later,

C:\

onclejean
Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted

From:
Insane since: Mar 2008

IP logged posted posted 03-18-2008 12:52 Edit Quote

I agree that registry cleaners are more likely to do harm than good, and that they are particularly risky for the inexperienced user. Sometimes when one has a problem a good registry analyser which includes a cleaning tool can be helpful. In this context JUV Powertools which used to be a free tool developed by a student in Finland and is now marketed in a quiet way by Mace Software has many useful options including search for instances of software that you do not want any longer and cannot fully uninstall. Link to http://www.macecraft.com/.
Any registry cleaning should always be done on a Registry that has been backed up and the cleaner should save the changes, Note that system Restore will not always save all the items in the registry that are changed by a cleaner.

White Hawk
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: zero divided.
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 03-18-2008 15:05 Edit Quote

*cof* SPAM! *cof*

No offence, but I wouldn't pay for that utility when there are countless capable Freeware tools with just as many useful features.

Examples (with just a quick search) include these here, here, here, here, and here.

Of course, if one must use such a utility, my personal favorite is CCleaner, which is free, proven, and probably has more features than the one posted by onclejean. I actually do use CCleaner myself, and would recommend it (it includes an uninstaller, privacy cleaner, configurable registry backup+clean, secure data erasure, and a startup editor). Not bad for Freeware.

(Edited by White Hawk on 03-18-2008 16:27)

CPrompt
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: there...no..there.....
Insane since: May 2001

IP logged posted posted 03-18-2008 15:31 Edit Quote

A lot of registry problems happen because of junk left over after and install/uninstall. At least from what I have seen. I started using RevoUninstaller to uninstall apps. After it goes through, it will scan the registry and such for any left over junk.

There is a version of it for a portable apps. Pretty handy.

Later,

C:\



Post Reply
 
Your User Name:
Your Password:
Login Options: Remember Me On This Computer
 
Your Text:
Loading...
Options: Show Signature
Enable Slimies
Enable Linkwords

« BackwardsOnwards »

Show Forum Drop Down Menu