Cleaning The Registry!!!!

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by FireDancer, Sep 17, 2003.

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  1. FireDancer

    FireDancer Registered Member

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    RE: RegSeeker

    Hello ,

    I understand alot about my computer, it's hardware, it's security and maintenance but
    the one thing I never chose to play around with was the registry. I have read in forums
    all over the nightmare stories of some guy who wanted to clean or edit his registry and
    BOOM it was lights out for a while! The system had a massave coranary due to the fact
    that the person did not know what he/she was doing. I on the other hand just avoided it
    all together and never really messed with it.

    I did have JV16 power tools installed for some time but only used it to the extent that
    when I un-installed a program that was no longer used to clean those entrys out by name
    or vendor. I now have decided that it is time for me to learn the registry and quite being
    so affraid of it. I have not used JV16 in quite some time and removed a program last night
    from my computer and when I opened up JV16 power tools it had expired. Being the cheap
    skate that I am I was not willing to pay $29.95 to kill my computer!(who wants to Fdisk/Format anyways)
    Anyways I have found RegSeeker and have not yet attempted to use it.

    I loaded up RegSeeker and looked through it and the thing I dont understand is that I see
    alot of entrys that are marked, FILE OR PATH NOT USED, FILE TYPE NOT USED, OBSOLETE ENTRY,
    and EXTENTION NOT USED. It would seem to me at least on the surface of things that these
    entrys would be safe to delete due to the fact that they are not used! (makes sence to me)
    but in as much as MURPHYS LAW seems to follow me around like a shadow, and I am not totaly
    sure of what I am doing here so I left them to write this post. Some of these entrys are
    marked in RED and some in GREEN and I am sure that the red ones are not safe to remove nor
    the green ones for that matter. How can I tell what is safe to remove?

    Is there somewhere I can read/learn about registry entrys? I feel my system is very strong
    and well taken care of but needs a little more attention in the registry dept. I currently run
    WIN98SE, SpyBot S&D, SpyWareBlaster, SpywareGuard, Ad-Ware 6.0, NOD32v2 AV, TDS-3 AT
    Kerio 2.1.5 FireWall all behind a LinkSyS 4 port router. I back up my registry once a day and
    create a image of my C:\ once a week or so with Acronis True Image... so IMHO I am doing
    pretty good but am lacking in the Registry Dept!!! Can someone help to direct me into the
    Black Hole called the Registry and help me understand more?

    Regards,
    ~FireDancer~ :rolleyes: o_O
     
  2. Dan Perez

    Dan Perez Retired Moderator

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    Hey,

    I'm sure you will have lots of other input on this one :) but in my opinion, the registry is best just left alone. I personally am uncomfortable with letting any program "clean" the registry because of all of the problems that can ensue (particularly since I have no backup regimen in place :oops: )

    The only real point of interest, again IMO, are the autostart locations where trojans or other malware choose to place themselves. In this regard, use of the DCS Autostart Viewer

    http://www.diamondcs.com.au/downloads/asviewer.zip

    is highly recommended to keep an eye on these areas and to semi-safely remove problem entries. (It is not fully safe unless you are certain that the entry you intend on removing is safe to remove, but you can always get good advice on these on the forum).

    HTH,

    Dan
     
  3. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    I agree with Dan that the registry is best left alone. The only time I would consider going into it and doing cleanup was if the system was having problems, and cleaning the registry was a necessary part of fixing it.

    One of the better recommendations involving registry cleanup was recently posted by TonyKlein over here:

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=13760;start=msg87973#msg87973

    One underlying point within that post questions just what value cleaning the registry provides... After it's been done, if no problems have been introduced, just what has been gained? Anything? :doubt:
     
  4. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    I use a registry cleaner to clean traces of un-installed programs usually after a reboot.

    I have the idea that this cuts down on the possibility of software program conflicts.
    Say I uninstall ZA(for example) and want to install a newer version or a different firewall.
    Maybe cleaning any leftover traces in the registry gives a cleaner slate to start over with another similar program.

    Manual removal/renaming of registry keys is ok as long as I have specific guidance from someone that I trust.

    Beyond that I think it's too risky and complicated for me personally to get involved with the registry.

    I definitely don't trust my luck either!
     
  5. Phant0m

    Phant0m Registered Member

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    I’ve use to been on 486/20mhz 8MB of Ram for many years and one thing required to know is maintenance if you want to keep your machine running smoothly and speedy. And regardless what gets put out, Registry Cleaning is definitely a requirement to keep the Machine running smoothly.

    I’ve been remoting people’s Win9x/ME/NT/2K/XP systems for years now with Default Windows Client called Netmeeting and you be surprised with just how much Registry Cleaning can cure, especially PC Performance degrades for one thing and Application Delays, Freezes, crashes for another.

    There is no 1 perfect Registry System, and there are registry cleaning systems which are faulty but there are few that aren’t and works quite well together as a combination. And it’s true no 1 or 4 Registry Cleaning Systems can remove “ALL” left behind registry entries but I wouldn’t advise people not to use known good Registry Cleaning Systems to properly maintain their Systems to avoid the few mentioned anomalies. And I surely wouldn’t recommend people to manually find invalid registry entries and delete them especially without taking proper measures and even then that can be fatal for many.
     
  6. FireDancer

    FireDancer Registered Member

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    Hi all,

    Thanks for the replys... Well it seems that registry cleaning/editing can be a somewhat sticky subject.
    LWM I took a look at the thread you added for me and I am a bit confused.. TonyKlien says... "The best thing to do is to avoid accumulating all that junk in the first place."

    How do you avoid it? I mean you have to use software and each program adds something or another to the registry to make it run right correct? I am not trying to disagree with you or Dan and you are both probably right that the registry is better left alone but dont you think that even if you can use a reg cleaner program to get some of the left overs out arent you a bit better off?

    TheTester states that...".I use a registry cleaner to clean traces of un-installed programs usually after a reboot."

    "I have the idea that this cuts down on the possibility of software program conflicts."

    So it seems that the issue of cleaning the registry could cause a long disscusion both ways :) I uninstalled Mozilla Browser FireBird 6.0 and am seeing reminants of it in RegSeeker... but further more can anyone tell me what thses entrys are that say ..

    FILE OR PATH NOT USED, FILE TYPE NOT USED, OBSOLETE ENTRY, and EXTENTION NOT USED.

    It seems that if you get alot of these over time from past software programs you then have a bunch of junk in there doing nothing or as TomKlien says, a Bloated registry. Sounds to me like damed if ya do and damed if ya dont situation.

    Well I always love to hear from all of you and thank you much for the insight allthough it seems I might have to just load the gun and hope I dont shoot my self!!! LOL J/K!!!!!!!!

    I am gonna experiment or at least try but not before backing everything up :) I hope some else chime in with thier perspective.

    Regards,
    ~FireDancer~ :blink:
     
  7. Detox

    Detox Retired Moderator

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    No expertise here - but I use "EasyCleaner" 1.7f and it does a nice job... I never had any trouble with anything it cleaned. I also realy dig the space-usage option it has - nothing to do with registry at all but I like being able to look at the pie charts of what files/folders are taking up what% of space on all my drives :p
     
  8. MickeyTheMan

    MickeyTheMan Security Expert

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    http://pages.infinit.net/carbo1/registryeditors.html
    Pay attention to warning.
    With a proper backup first, i do like reg seeker
     
  9. Phant0m

    Phant0m Registered Member

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    I’ve seen too a lot of posts referring to serious situations as an outcome of attempts to clean their Systems registry, but normally they in reference to manually editing the registry using Registry Editors to remove supposedly unnecessary Registry Entries. And the rare few who do only speculate, there was much inconsistencies to void Registry Cleaning Systems being the cause of their anomalies…

    I’ve been trying out all varieties of Registry Cleaning Systems dating back years and years, and yes there were some situations with the products. There were a few that had potential which blossomed incredibly to be very good Registry Cleaning Systems today, because of others mistakes and much known and available Information about Registry Systems today, today’s technology in that field are pretty safe.

    I’d selected the safest and top notch Cleaning Registry System(s) to be used as combination to-do no less than the best for its field, for most effective & safest job on my Systems and those I remote dating back years now. I’ve Registry Cleaned great number of machines with Windows 9x/ME/NT/2K/XP Systems and never ever had any anomalies occur.

    I’m not saying this means you can go d/l newly released Registry Cleaning Systems without any fear, find some Registry Cleaning Systems that’s been around for quite some-time like System Mechanic’s Registry Cleaning System…

    And anyone who thinks using Registry Cleaning Systems you don’t have control what becomes removed better do some research, all the registry Cleaning Systems I’d tested offer exclusion Controls among view/select/delete whatever controls. And before deletion process it backs-up the upcoming Registry removals, normally as importable .reg files.

    RegSeeker for an example; back-up folder is a sub-folder named “Backup”, personally I feel wasting valuable “Disk-space” with back-ups of the Entire Registry System is just insane…


    Regards,
     
  10. merci

    merci Registered Member

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    One piece of advice that needs emphasizing : back-up the Registry before you ever click regedit.exe. (In Win 9x just make a copy of User.dat and System.dat.)
    Before changing a key Export the original - saved as a .reg file which you can Merge back in if things go pear-shaped - even with Script Sentry running.
    In XP it is also now possible using a neat little app called Erunt which has a built-in optimizer that tidies the hives first.

    Rgds
     
  11. Phant0m

    Phant0m Registered Member

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    It's always been possible :)

     
  12. merci

    merci Registered Member

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    OK. How do you do it without Erunt?
     
  13. Phant0m

    Phant0m Registered Member

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    Backing up the Windows 2000/XP Systems Registry manually, or using available Software which had been existing quite some-time…
     
  14. merci

    merci Registered Member

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    That's what I'm asking. How do you back-up the XP Registry manually? I hope you're not referring to making start-up disks...
    I was not aware of any freeware that could do it before Erunt. Please enlighten.

    Rgds
     
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