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in need of a free safe registry cleaner


laserjet
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The main reason is that it is sometimes hard as heck to figure out what is needed by the system and what is not. When Norton SystemWorks (and previous versions of the Norton Utilities) included a registry cleaner, I used to run it completely manually, so that I would have to select each 'error' and wade through whether it was really an error or simply Norton being silly and trying to hose me. It took much much longer that way, but I saved myself from hosing systems numerous times. It got to the point where I finally started making an exceptions list of keys that it would find on every scan that it wanted to delete that *I* knew actually needed to be there.

The basic premise is this - there is no possible way for a computer program to be ready for each and every program ever written for Windows and how it stores info (if it does so at all) in the registry. Thus, a reg cleaner, and especially an automatic one, is just as prone to make mistakes as a novice who is given weak instructions on how to find supposedly offending registry keys, a copy of regedit, and told to remove all offending keys, even those that 'seem' offensive.

The heavy reliance on the registry that Windows makes these days makes it sometimes impossible to recover from a hosed registry, unless you really know what you are doing - and with more and more systems being sold with only a single HD, and without separate partitions for system / OS and for data, you simply take too big of a risk in hosing your computer, and then having to format and start from scratch.

Even with my pretty strong experience with using registry cleaners in the past, I shun them now and watch very carefully what I *do* delete with automatic cleaners like CCleaner. It's jsut a matter of "Better safe than sorry."

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  • 1 month later...

Well said John.

I have had very good success with Reg Organizer, which is a no-nonsense tool that has served me well over the years. It has a reliable registry compacter (requires a reboot afterwards) and a search a replace feature, as well as a "find all occurrences" feature. I have reliably used it to change the address of numerous programs (Ex. c:\program files\firefox to c:\program files\browsers\firefox). While there are more thorough and aggressive registry cleaners out there, This one has never let me down.

I recently tried (once) Registry Easy which has identified a few undesirable ActiveX keys in my registry. I checked the registry to confirm their existence and sure enough the ones I checked are in there. Registry Easy lets me Block them, but surprisingly does not have a feature to delete them. If anyone knows of a tool that can both identify AND DELETE undesirable ActiveX keys in the registry, I would be happy to try it.

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I use CCleaner, but with all registry cleaners you must be careful, no matter how 'safe' they are

Before doing any kind of cleaning I always back up my registry first (Start ---> Run ----> 'regedit' ---> Export)

And use CCleaner's back-up tool aswell

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like to use the trial of TuneUp Utilities on my customer's computers. It's fully functional in trial mode, and I've never had it remove anything that caused a problem. Normally it speeds things up a bit, but if you used other registry cleaners then it might not make a noticable difference.

I liked it so much that I purchased two licences about a year ago. It does a great job, and in Windows XP you can even see an increase in browsing speed by using it's built-in browser and TCP/IP settings optimizers.

The best part is that, unlike Registry Mechanic, it's not bloatware that slows your computer down more than it optimizes it.

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i use ccleaner but it does not get all of invalid reg keys out and i had esuing free registry cleaner but i ditched it after reading it is considered a rogue application. anyone have a suggestion regarding a safe free registry cleaner thanks

Hello, Jv16 Powertools (macecraft.com) said it could make my laptop run faster. I tried it and it did. It also claims it's easy to use, won't make a mess of my laptop. And they were right again.

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  • 2 months later...

CCleaner is definitely one of the better registry cleaners I've seen on the market. I think you gotta remember that when you go freeware, you're taking a risk on software that might be brilliant, might be awful - and might not be supported as well as a paid solution.

Registry cleaners are often hyped as "simple solutions for novices" but as has already been said, if you don't know what you're doing, you can still create some mass chaos on your system by using one in the wrong way.

Always, always, always back up the registry before you do anything. Cleaner involved or not.

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  • 1 year later...
Guest garybear

Hi! My choice is RegSeeker. If you are not familiar with the registry, then my choice is CCleaner. The registry is not a place for the beginner. Always make sure you back up your OS regularly. ERRUNT is a good freeware to back up your registry. Deleting registry entries can cause you a lot of grief. Most registry cleaners have back ups.

Garybear

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