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SPEEDING UP WINDOWS


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Hi exile 360. Thanks for your "How To Speed Up PC" tutorial, have done most of what you suggested (downloading apps to clean up junk etc) but am worried about where you warn about using the registry-cleaner in CC Cleaner (where ignoramuses should'nt use it!!!)GULP!!!

Well, I have used it quite a few times in an utterly reckless fashion (thinking it was safe)and am now wondering apprehensively what good stuff might have been demolished in the process? My antiquated computer is so feeble that apart from XP3 Home all it has got on it is Firefox, Thunderbird, MBAM, Ad-Aware, Avira, Speccy, Nitro PDF Reader, and CC Cleaner. It has enormous trouble trying to handle only those and lockups are normal (especially when Avira and Ad-Aware are booting up and it is a very protracted process!); but this small contingent of apps should make it easy to tell if something is seriously out of whack in the Registry should'nt it? In other words, with such a Spartan system would'nt it be the case that if something important in the Registry was damaged then it would stick-out like the proverbial dogs nuts?

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Not necessarily, unfortunately there is no fully comprehensive guide or database on "what should be in my Windows registry" anywhere, so the only sign that something may have gone wrong is when you see an error or have an issue trying to run a program.

That being said, while I do warn against using any registry cleaners without knowing what you're doing (something I still stand by and believe), the registry cleaner in CCleaner is very non-aggressive and generally won't remove anything that is needed or would cause errors (I say generally because I have seen a few cases where that wasn't true). Also be aware that using registry cleaners doesn't generally improve system performance in any measurable way (at least I've never seen anyone able to show any real data that it did).

With an older system, when performance starts to go downhill, even after doing routine maintenance, removing programs that you don't use any longer etc., then that could be a sign of an impending hardware failure (failing hard drives often show the symptom of slow read/loading times for long periods of time before they fail, though not always), and it could also simply be an issue of the particular software you have running on boot and the amount of CPU cycles it requires to load, the amount of data it has to read from the hard drive on boot (AV's are notorious for this) and how much RAM the processes use, which is a pretty big concern for older systems where RAM is often limited and can only be upgraded so far.

At this point, if your system is still slow, there are some things you can try, such as different combinations of security software (i.e., if you believe Avira is slowing the system down, try replacing it with MSE or Avast! to see if it runs better or swap Ad-Aware for MBAM to see if that runs lighter). You should also be sure to set exclusions in your security programs for one another in their realtime protection exclusion settings, as resource conflicts can often lead to slowdowns in performance, which can be resolved by exclusions.

Aside from that, there is one other thing to try, and that is looking at the startups on your system with a tool such as Sysinternals Autoruns, but just as with registry cleaners, you must be careful with anything you disable, making certain that it isn't required for your system to run, function as it should and still be secure so it's something I only recommend if you know what you're doing or are willing to do a lot of research on each entry before attempting to disable it.

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Hi Samuel! Hey thank you very much for your extremely detailed response to my wheedle! Samuel, I cannot write much at the moment, am pretty tired after a hectic day of being absolutely Freaked-Out after some weird encounters with Google Search result pages suddenly changing their appearance after my FireFox Browser would keep failing to load, and then eventually load-up to display an alien google results page. Even though I live way down in the Southern Hemisphere it's a wonder you guys at MBAM could'nt hear the shrieks of paranoia!!! Ended up doing a post on this MBAM Website about it fervently hoping that an MBAM Geek would see it, but the first guy to see it was a new fella "fivealive" who was having the same problem! This was an immense relief because misery loves company!!! Soon we were joined by "sho-dan" who with great panache solved the problem: Google are engaging in a convoluted and protracted implementation of a "New Look" to their Search Results pages (amongst other things) and fivealive and me had been here and there slamming into "transitional phases" of this thing (whatever the hell that means!) or something. Well, probably the massive relief of being shown that my computer had'nt been taken over by bad bugs or getting hijacked by bad dudes or that I was'nt getting dementia or the Dilirium Tremens, unleashed a colossal eruption of writing that is of practically encyclopaedic immensity (it went on for hours!) and have only been doing something else since about half an hour ago: it's fairly late at night now! So would like to reply to you tomorrow as really am bushed and am too tired to be able to think with the necessary clarity for responding properly to the vast amount of highly detailed information you have so very generously provided. I want to try and do it justice as a sign of my genuine appreciation, and also to do beforehand a lot of thinking about all that info too. A nights snooze and a new day is the best way to do it, so will respectfully sign off until then Samuel, and hope to be able to continue the thread in an optimum fashion tomorrow. Cheerio, and thank you and all the guys at MBAM for being very good dudes and for letting everyone enjoy your awesome Website.

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Hi Samuel. Thank you for your very kind words and for generously providing your assistance. Samuel, I actually have been here for about two hours writing in reply to what you have written, and had reached a stage where "Exclusions" were trying to be figured out (I do not know anything about "Exclusions") and I had opened up Avira to look at it and was jumping backwards and forewards from the (MBAM Website) to Avira (in the Avira Settings Panels there is a panel named "Exceptions" and it has a button that you can use to navigate to programs on your System and you can import them into a list that you can create on the "exceptions" panel. Is this what you were meaning by "Exclusions"? Is the idea of "Exclusions" to, say, stop Avira from heuristically monitoring Ad-Aware and also stop Avira from scanning Ad-Aware?) and then I opened the gigantic Ad-Aware to see if there was an "Exceptions" area like Avira has got (there is'nt). Not being able to find anything I pressed "HELP" in Ad-Aware and the next thing you know I am getting flung Webwards at a hefty rate of knots to their atrocious website (Good God it is an eyesore: it is staggeringly rudimentary and looks like it has been made on Notepad!!!)which had nothing to offer,so I shut the Browser down thinking that I had another FireFox "sleeping" on the TaskBar with the ongoing MBAM post in it. Only to discover, to my horror, that it was'nt there!!! (Ad-Aware had grabbed the Taskbar FireFox to fling me up to it's unpreposessing website) Bye Bye Big Long Post On MBAM Website!!! Honestly, things like this are gonna drive me to drink one of these days. Computers are indescribably Fantabulous but they can also make people go Apeshit!

So really gotta start again, and will do so by putting here what was in the one that just got sent to the Cosmic Recycle Bin; it is to show you what kind of PC I have got:

OPERATING SYSTEM MS Windows XP Home 32-bit SP3

PC MANUFACTURER MICRO-STAR INTERNATIONAL CO., LTD MS-7181

(Socket 940)

PROCESSOR AMD Sempron 2600+

Palermo 90nm Technology

HARD DRIVE 78GB Seagate ST3802110A (PATA)

RAM 512MB Single-Channel DDR @ 133MHz (2.5-3-3-6)

GRAPHICS MX70 (800x600@75Hz)

128MB RADEON 9200 PRO Family (Microsoft

Corporation) (Sapphire/PCPartner)

OPTICAL DRIVE HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-H10A

It is at least six years old and unfortunately am not in a position to get anything better and so just have to hope the thing does'nt clap out. Was almost going to get some more RAM for it (it has two RAM Bays and each one can take a maximum of a 1GB RAM card or in other words maximum RAM capacity for this PC totals 2GB) but the Hard-Drive is VERY noisy (sometimes it sounds like a cheap vacuum cleaner!) and it is whirring away with a "rattly/buzzy" droning whirrr as this is being written. With this Hard-Drive "Rattly-Buzzy-Drone-Whirr" = "Quiet"!!! Also Samuel another thing: I have done a hell of a lot of reinstalls of the OS on this PC: used to be a maniacal downloader (in spite of only being on dial-up!) and downloaded vast hordes of stuff just to try new things out, and not being a Geek and therefore being reprehensibly reckless (as well as utterly ignorant!)I unleashed a lot of bad programs on the deck and got computer lockups and crashes and all sorts of crazy, paranoia-inducing happenings! And to which the same solution was always resorted to: grab the XP Installation CD!!! You would'nt believe how many reinstalls of the OS I have done with that CD (nearly a HUNDRED!) but because I am not a Geek, the Reformatting of the HD and new reinstalls were the only way I could make sure that all the bugs were gone from the System! Non-Geeks cannot hunt for bugs when their System is going haywire: it is futile because non-Geeks do not know what they are doing and cannot read code, and would'nt even know what a bug looked like! Also, non-Geeks should not start messing around in the Registry (I found out about "regedit"!!!) as they can do incredibly destructive idiocies like accidentally deleting vital things (I bet there are actually people like that!!!).

But where the hell was I? Yes well, the Hard-Drive: have sometimes when reinstalling the OS, had to do it all over again because of instability in the OS making it do strange things: this was extremely alarming because it seemed like the instability was actually in the Hard-Drive (especially when you put alongside it the noisiness of the HD) and you already are suspecting from my earlier post on this page that the Hard-Drive is probably on the verge of going to heaven!!!(I think its a Hare Krishna because it sure sounds like one with all the horrible noises that it makes!). Suspicion of the shape of the HD is what kept putting me off from getting more RAM. Then I got this program called MooO that is very good as it shows you all the time (whenever you want to look at it) all sorts of processes that are going on in your computer - if you havent seen MooO stuff before, this URL will take you to their website and to the download page for System Monitor 1.63:

http://www.moo0.com/?top=http://www.moo0.com/software/MultiDesktop/

And what MooO tells me is that (in addition to not enough RAM and a very wobbly HD)the CPU is'nt up to it either! Big programs like Ad-Aware make the CPU hit 100% so the whole System "bottlenecks". It's all far too old and nowhere near enough grunt.

I downloaded and ran your StartUpLite and it removed Ad-Aware from the Startup System! It left Avira there though, so did your program remove Ad-Aware because it is not good to have Avira and Ad-Aware both in Startup? The PC boots up a heck of a lot quicker now without the massive bulk of Ad-Aware occupying the Startup! Would Avira and Ad-Aware have been getting in each others way in Startup? I wanted them in Startup to maximise (or so it seemed to me even though I don't know anything about I.T) the bug-hunting "reach" of these AV's in the System (Ad-Aware is hard to classify as it is a great AV but is also a fabulous hunter of all sorts of other bugs too)on the primaeval basis of "TWO MUST BE TWICE AS GOOD AS ONE! but what people like me keep forgetting is that this is the Space-Agey Magical Cosmos of I.T. and not the same as hunting mammoths with rocks and ...well, rocks!!! (I'm gonna get a lot more sophisticated by using a rock tied on stick with strips of bison pelt!!!).

Well that had better be it for one session, hope that enough things have been covered here (still peeved off about the previous preliminary post getting obliterated - and it was nearly completed!!! It was a lot better than this one because was in a much better mood and could concentrate better) I will pop back here later.

Thank you very much indeed Samuel, and all the very best to all of the crew at MBAM.

P.S. There is number of people who are MBAM Website Members who are slacked-off at Google.

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It does indeed sound like your hard drive may be on the way out, usually a lot of noise isn't a good sign.

As for the value of upgrading the RAM, going to 1 or 2 GB would make a world of difference and generally isn't that expensive, and even if the hard drive does fail, it can be replaced as well (and they aren't too expensive at all these days), so if you don't have the money for a new PC, upgrading what you have would certainly be well worth the expense.

As for Ad-Aware and Avira, you should be able to run them both together (though doing so will clearly slow things down a lot, especially during boot which you've already discovered). You can re-enable Ad-Aware if you wish, or simply be sure to scan with it frequently (once a day should be adequate) along with MBAM to make sure you're clean (a Quick Scan in MBAM is all that is required, not the Full Scan).

All in all, any system with only 512MB of RAM won't be able to run very speedily these days as most current software is designed to run best on systems that have 1GB or more.

I also saw a post you made about not installing Windows Updates. If that's true, then that is one of the quickest ways to get yourself infected. Don't let paranoia about what MS might be doing to your system get to you. Remember, it's their operating system you're running, if they wanted a super secret backdoor into your system that was absolutely undetectable, it would already be there. They don't need Windows Updates to install to make something like that happen (not that I'm implying that they would do such a thing, as I doubt it myself since it would probably be VERY bad for business if users and businesses ever discovered such a thing ;)).

Anyway, once you upgrade your RAM and replace your hard drive (assuming that's the route you choose), you're primary bottleneck will by your CPU. A Sempron is not the fastest chip on the planet, but it should get the job done for your day to day tasks for normal computer usage, so even with that, if you did do the upgrades, your system would run better than it did when it was new.

Now, on the subject of exclusions, yes, exceptions are the same thing as exclusions. The terminology used by the various security vendors differs often times, but all you need to know is that you should find where (if they exist) the settings for excluding processes and/or files/folders from being checked and monitored by the security application's realtime protection, and if it does exist, add to that exclusion list any other security products installed on your system that also run in realtime (in this case Avira and Ad-Aware).

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Hi Samuel, thank you kindly for the new post - it is very good of you guys to look after the MBAM "Free" Mob!!!! There is a heck of a lot to ponder in what you wrote because you obviously think that the old heap I'm using is actually worth an overhaul? One BIG prob (and mean BIG!) is that it means that the knuckle-dragger who is writing this would actually have to open up the PC (EEEK!!!) to put more RAM in and that raises the question of Static Electricity: have got an Anti-Static-Wristband (got it in case the nerve was ever raked up to actually bite the bullet and try and put some big RAM in, but after reading somewhere on the Web a terrifying article about it being dead-easy for those who do not know what they are doing to precipitate a kind of slow-motion-PC-Death from Static Electricity if such dumasses fool around inside the PC, Yours Truly proceeded to do a humungous Chicken-Out!) but have never done any of this kind of stuff before: have read articles on the Web about putting in RAM and it is the Static Electricity thing that is the big obstacle viz putting in bigger RAM Cards. Ditto concerning a new Hard-Drive as well but also with the latter there is the necessity to "jumper" the thing and my eyesight is not that good. With RAM, if I knew for absolutely certain how to neutralise any possibility of wrecking the computer from Static Electricity, then I could probably do the put-in-RAM bit pretty quick and be in and out. However, trying to put in a new internal Hard-Drive would be a whole new barrel of lemmings and the prospect is majorly paranoia-inducing! The sheer number of things that could go hideously wrong immediately stimulates a nascent Mother-Of-All-Tummy-Upsets. So therefore Samuel, would an external USB Hard-Drive be as good as an internal one? I would have to disconnect the internal one before using an external HD?

Also Samuel, I can get expensive Kingston RAM (no computer stuff is cheap where I live, not even 2nd-hand things) or cheaper RAM (it is called "A.RAM"). Do you recommend highest quality or will less prestigious RAM do?

As for the "Exclusion" thing, thanks for clearing the matter up: I will make Avira "Exclude" Ad-Aware so that Avira will not monitor or scan Ad-Aware. But it is not possible to make Ad-Aware "Exclude" Avira because there is no "Exclusions/Exceptions" facility in the Ad-Aware Interface Settings.

Have noted what you say about updates, but why did those Icons on the Desktop completely change their appearance when a few weeks ago I actually let the OS do an update? On the Web have seen people saying that bugs can get downloaded with Microsoft Updates and I dont wanna get no bugs!!! When a couple of Icons change into creepily weird-looking ones precisely when several days of updating has been going on, then surely that means bugs got into the System via the updating? However, I will switch the "Automatic Updates" in Services back on as you are the expert, but if any Icons go funny again I will be grabbing the battered XP Installation Disk!!!

Many thanks Samuel, your help and advice is very greatly appreciated. MBAM IS GOOD!!! GOODER-THAN-GOOD!!! GOODER THAN GOODER-THAN-GOOD!!!

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A USB hard drive is not the solution, it would be much slower than an internal hard drive and your system likely doesn't have the capability of booting from USB. Replacing a hard drive is rather easy, however it shouldn't be too expensive to take your PC, new RAM and new hard drive to a local tech shop and have them install them for you, that way the work is under whatever warranty they offer on their services (usually 90 days or more) and you know it was done by professionals. If you're not comfortable doing the work yourself, then you probably shouldn't attempt it, especially when you have the option of taking it to a tech shop to have them do it for you :).

For the RAM, I'd go with Kingston over the other brand you mentioned (which I've never heard of). Kingston is generally what I use and has proven to be quite reliable. You should be able to locate some relatively inexpensive RAM if you check online retailers such as Amazon.com and Newegg.com.

The only icons on your desktop that should change when you install Windows Updates would be your icons for Internet Explorer, as the new versions use a different icon from version 6, which is the version that ships with XP (and is very much a critical security risk and no longer supported by Microsoft). If other icons changed, it could have simply been an issue with your icon cache becoming corrupt, something that CCleaner can likely take care of using the Cleaner tab to clear temp files.

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That being said, while I do warn against using any registry cleaners without knowing what you're doing (something I still stand by and believe), the registry cleaner in CCleaner is very non-aggressive and generally won't remove anything that is needed or would cause errors (I say generally because I have seen a few cases where that wasn't true). Also be aware that using registry cleaners doesn't generally improve system performance in any measurable way (at least I've never seen anyone able to show any real data that it did).

While I don't have any physical evidence. My mother had an XP machine with SP1 on it and well a lot of other junk. Lets say it was not the fastest of machines to begin with but with all of the things that were on it (not talking about any malware or viruses) it was one of the slowest machines I have ever used. After uninstalling a bunch of programs I noticed a slight improvement but not a lot... after running the registry cleaner in CCleaner... I noticed drastic improvement. So really the only way I can see people noticing a lot of improvement is in these cases.. old machines with a lot of junk programs that add lots of unneeded registry entries. But like you said I don't have any actual data but there is no doubt in my mind that it will significantly help many machines. And I imagine this is why many people recommend using them.

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Hi Samuel and supernovasky; thank you Samuel for your latest post (have reinstalled my OS again - it was a miserable process with all sorts of things going wrong, had to do two entire reinstalls and then could'nt get Thunderbird to connect to the ISP mail-server. Meanwhile had gone to (this) MBAM Website in the new Firefox install and bungled the password and had told Firefox to keep the password and so was unable to get into the Website! Went to my ISP's website to leave a message there asking their tech to phone me to try and get T-Bird to connect to their server, and after that checked my cellphone - which is the only phone that can be used as my computer occupies the sole phone-line in my cave! - to find that the battery was nearly flat and the next discovery was that the cellphone charger had mysteriously vanished! Yesterday and today have not been good days!!! - although the charger was eventually found after enormous amounts of naughty language and the hurling of things around trying to find it, and then it turned out to be not needed anyway as remembered Mozbackup and wondered with not much optimism if there might be a backup in the USB Drive. Miraculously there was!!! Pretty soon, T-Bird was going good as gold and was downloading 57 new emails!!! Hell that Mozbackup is outtasite! It is fabulous with T-Bird as it will make a backup file of EVERYTHING: settings, emails, Add-Ons, etc - brilliant.) So Samuel, am doing a lot of musing over what you have written, and do not think I should attempt to put anything in the PC: getting a local Tech to do it would be very expensive though on top of the RAM and new HD. In my country there is a "EBay" type outfit (which is very good) and they have always got vast amounts of computer stuff of every conceivable kind: there is an outfit advertising second-hand "Acer" PC's of the type ACER DESKTOP DUAL CORE 160/1024/DVDRW and even though they are pretty old and not cheap, they have already got 1GB RAM in them and the outfit selling them will bump it up to 2GB if required. The PC is one of those small-case variety that is not a Tower, and instead lies flat so you can have your Monitor sitting on top of it. Would go for it as have communicated a fair bit with the seller and they seem a damn good outfit, they are very communicative with important information but they have never been in any way pushy. Am gonna have a serious think about the Acer as it would actually be cheaper to get with 2GB RAM as well, than doing the old thing I've got now up. Samuel, I will go to the website they advertise on and try and get all the specifications for the PC and then post them here and hopefully you would'nt mind looking at them and providing a verdict on how good such a PC would be? (Incidentally how I got back into the MBAM Website is by pushing "Forgot Password" and MBAM auto said a new password would be emailed; but then when T-Bird was installed, could'nt connect and get any emails! Until very late today when that MozBackup file was found buried away in the USB Drive. Will go look for those specs now. Thanks again Samuel, it's great to be able to communicate with a Tech about these things. Am not gonna be like supernovsky and unleash CC Cleaner on the Registry again!!!

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Yep, feel free to post the Acer's specs here once you find them and I'll take a look. It likely comes with Vista or Windows 7, which have higher requirements than XP does, which means that 1GB of RAM is not the same in Vista/7 as it is in XP, but 2GB should run capably (and 3GB or more is optimum). The advantage of a newer system is that it likely uses DDR2 or DDR3, which are typically far cheaper these days than older types of RAM so upgrading wouldn't be nearly as expensive.

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Another note on the memory for your current computer is that you may not notice any difference at all just because of the speed of the processor. You could easily spend $50-$100 on memory and once its installed realize you basically wasted your money. I've seen this to be the case in many situations.

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Hi Samuel and supernovasky, it's great to be able to "talk" with you guys as am pretty desperate for advice. Thank you very much Samuel for being prepared to look at the Acer specs: have been trying to find out if they have got any left and they think they might have one (they do not communicate by email - only by phone or by "talk panels" like this one on that EBay-type website they advertise on; I cannot phone them as they are a hell of a long way away from where I live and phone charges here are absolutely horrendous, and let alone long-distance toll-calls!!!) but that is as far as it has got at this stage. You are absolutely correct Samuel about it having Vista on it, but that is quite easily remedied by using the mind-bogglingly massively utilised XP3 Installation Disk!!! Have just posted a message for them on that website, but they are not seeming all that communicative at the moment (they could be cheesed-off and skeptical about the inquiries because was inquiring about these computers several weeks ago but did not buy one as the war-chest was not up to it back then); if the latest attempt to get them interested will post the full specs here at MBAM. Thanks again Samuel. You make a good point supernovasky, when I run MooO it shows the CPU "bottoming-out" real hard when Avira and Ad-Aware are booting, and in fact it "tanks" when you open them and other programs like Thunderbird (hell that T-Bird carries a lot of blubber!) so even though Samuel feels it might at a stretch be worth overhauling, it's sheer antiquity is heavily going against this, because just new RAM and a new HD would, when you add Tech charges to it, be a lot more expensive than to get a better 2nd-hand PC. Also, as you say supernovasky, new RAM and HD still does'nt solve the antiquated and eye-wateringly underpowered CPU issue. It has got a very rudimentary Graphics Card in it as well. Cheers.

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Nearly forgot, Samuel: somewhere up the page I wrote that one of the apps that was downloaded while following your "Speed Up PC" Article (it was an app that removed from the Startup Folder programs that were wasting memory there) had removed Ad-Aware from the Startup Folder. This is not what actually happened, because after the latest reinstall of Ad-Aware I used msconfig to check the Startup and Ad-Aware was not in it!!! Was absolutely astounded and do not know what to make of this at all. Had not done a reinstall for a long time and so must have seen it in Services possibly and then later got that mixed up with the Startup. Beats me, but if Ad-Aware does not establish itself in the Startup Folder when installing how come it "hogs" such a colossal amount of System resources when the PC is booting up? After the latest reinstall (have just finished doing another one this morning after doing some installs of experimental programs - an old and very bad habit that can rapidly clutter the Registry up with uninstallation debris and even worse!!!) have so far got MBAM and Avira on the deck but no Ad-Aware (Ad-Aware took nearly five hours to update after the last reinstall - have had it in the USB Drive for a long time!)and the System boots up real quick Avira does not make it "drag" at all even though I always configure Avira to it's maximum "coverage capacity" such as "Secure Startup", etc. So that Ad-Aware... it is like a whale!!!

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Hey Samuel, at the risk of being an absolute pain-in-the Ass Pest (and certainly do not want to be!!!) still would ask this question: what does it mean when those "Registry Cleaners" say that they are going to "repair" the Registry? Also have seen Antivirus programs say that they can "repair" viruses (or that is my most probably utterly wrong interpretation of what they are saying!!!). Have also been continuously mystified why most Antivirus programs ask you if you want to leave a Bug(s) they have found in your System (OS): why would anyone want to leave a Bug or Bugs on their System??? Better hasten to add that the question about the "Registry Repair" thing is purely academic (you are not allowed to laugh Samuel!!! Already told you have evolved to the level of putting a rock on a stick yes?) as just about everywhere you go on the Web with regard to Tech websites (program download sites etc) there seems to be a heck of a lot of the time pleas to (a) push the button to let (someone!) scan the BeJesus out of your computer to "see if the Registry has got any faults" and (b) these invisible entities will generously what they call "Repair Your Registry For You". Samuel, what the heck IS all this stuff?

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With regards to Ad-Aware, I believe it loads through the Winlogon entry, so it might not show up in MSConfig or Services.msc, that's why you didn't see it but it still runs at boot.

Regarding "repair", what registry cleaners mean is that they have found registry entries that appear to be unneeded (such as leftovers from uninstalled software etc.), they don't really "repair" anything (i.e., they don't replace needed entries that are missing). With regards to antivirus software, they often refer to virus removal as "repair", but generally it is the same thing, they're repairing your system by removing the infection(s). With regards to giving you an option, there are several reasons, the most major one being the possibility that the detection is a false positive, it allows more advanced users to check the detections to see if a program they know is safe has been falsely detected as an infection, in which case it should not be removed and should be reported to the AV vendor so that they can correct the FP (False Positive).

With regards to your CPU, while I agree it is pretty low on the speed scale, I'm still fairly certain that upgrading the RAM on a 512MB XP system to 1GB or 2GB would make a substantial difference in performance, as would replacing an old, and possibly failing (based on your description of the noise etc.) hard drive.

A new system would be best, but also be aware that your XP key will likely not work with a new system, because they are generally tied to one piece of hardware (your XP computer), Microsoft does not have any sort of licensing for consumers that I'm aware of that allows migrating a Windows operating system license from one PC to another.

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Hey Samuel, at the risk of being an absolute pain-in-the Ass Pest (and certainly do not want to be!!!) still would ask this question: what does it mean when those "Registry Cleaners" say that they are going to "repair" the Registry? Also have seen Antivirus programs say that they can "repair" viruses (or that is my most probably utterly wrong interpretation of what they are saying!!!). Have also been continuously mystified why most Antivirus programs ask you if you want to leave a Bug(s) they have found in your System (OS): why would anyone want to leave a Bug or Bugs on their System??? Better hasten to add that the question about the "Registry Repair" thing is purely academic (you are not allowed to laugh Samuel!!! Already told you have evolved to the level of putting a rock on a stick yes?) as just about everywhere you go on the Web with regard to Tech websites (program download sites etc) there seems to be a heck of a lot of the time pleas to (a) push the button to let (someone!) scan the BeJesus out of your computer to "see if the Registry has got any faults" and (b) these invisible entities will generously what they call "Repair Your Registry For You". Samuel, what the heck IS all this stuff?

If I may, 'repair' and 'remove' are generally interchangeable... also people may want to leave something if its detecting a false positive... basically something that isn't actually bad or harmful. No program is perfect and sometimes may detect perfectly fine files... however this is hardly the case probably less than 1% of the time. Hopefully Samuel can add more to help you understand.

edit: Samuel beat me to posting this :)... sorry I'm late.

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Am pretty overwhelmed by the generosity of you dudes: thank you very much indeed. It could accurately be said that I am almost literally a "hermit" and the Web (meaning the MBAM Website) is how I "socialise": can go over the top a bit but hopefully not too much!!! All of this kind of stuff is very new, have not had a computer and access to the Web for very long, only about six months). Samuel cannot thank you enough for your replies to my pestering - it must require the patience of Job for a Geek to answer such questions but you are a Geek who actually is prepared to do so instead of doing what most Geeks do and treating the "Hog-Pelt-Clad-Cave-Dwellers" with utter disdain!!! (WHY ON EARTH WOULD THEY DO THAT???). Samuel and supernovasky (a Russian? - COOL!!! ZA RUS!!!) your replies to my ignorant questions are going to be here for all the "Newbies" to see; they will be invaluable information to them also: when I first got into "computering" it was extremely frustrating at how massively beginners were disregarded in the whole I.T. Scene. Finding this MBAM Website where there are Geeks who will actually "talk" to non-Geeks is an incredible phenomenon and absolutely wonderful!!! Samuel and supernovasky get a Major Vote as being Most Excellent Geeks!!! Thank you.

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Just an additional note: while writing the above stuff was trying to simultaneously keep track of an auction for a powerful PC Tower that was on that "EBay" website (the Acer has fallen through, Samuel, they seem to think I am gonna waste their time, but they are the ones who are missing out on a sale!!!) and that I had bid on (it was all for nothing, the good stuff always gets lots of bidders and I got left floundering in the dust as usual!!!; as was mentioned earlier where I live, there is no such thing as good, cheap comuter gear unless you are miraculously lucky and fluke something. Apologies also Samuel for seeming to miss what you said about the Ad-Aware bootup: hell, that is extremely arcane viz the "Invisible Boot"!!! Have never even heard of Winlogon!!! The massive bulk of Ad-Aware is really too hefty for my puny System but hate the idea of being without it. Have noted what you said Samuel about it probably not being possible to migrate XP3, am gonna have to do some research on the Web. Thanks also Samuel and supernovasky for explaining about Registry "repairs" and False Positives. It is difficult stuff for a beginner but you guys are making it an enjoyable experience to learn. Thank you.

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