Safest Registry Cleaner?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by ErikAlbert, May 2, 2006.

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  1. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Introduction
    Registry Cleaners have been discussed many times at Wilders and it's not my intention to discuss Registry Cleaners
    all over again. These discussions taught me, which Registry Cleaners are the better ones.
    These discussions didn't tell me which Registry Cleaner
    - is the very best, because each member has his own opinion on that.
    - is the SAFEST one, bacause each member has his own opinion on that too.
    So I did a crazy test on my own to figure out which Registry Cleaner could be the SAFEST one, which is IMO the most important property of a Registry Cleaner.

    Once winXPproSP2 is installed OFF-LINE, your harddisk contains nothing but winXPproSP2-registries and
    MS Application-registries and all these registries are supposed to be VALID without any exception, which means that each Registry Cleaner in theory
    won't report any registry that needs to be removed.
    Experts will most probably tell me, that some registries can be removed safely and I have no doubts they are right, but that doesn't solve anything for less-knowledgeable users.
    Less-knowledgeable users and I prefer to think like one, don't know anything about registries and they don't see the difference between a registry, that can be removed safely and a registry, that cannot be removed.
    So any reported registry by a Registry Cleaner in this test is a FALSE POSITIVE for less-knowledgeable users.

    Registry Cleaner Test
    The following Registry Cleaners in alphabetic order were included in this test.
    I used most well-known Registry Cleaners and a few newcomers in my test, that were mentioned at Wilders.

    Ace Utilities v3.0 (Acelogix) - $29.95
    Amust Registry Cleaner v2.1 (AMUST Software) – $29.99
    CCleaner v1.28.277 (CCleaner) - Freeware
    EasyCleaner v2.0.6.380 (ToniArts) - Freeware
    Eusing Free Registry Cleaner v1.0 (Eusing Software) – Freeware
    JV16 PowerTools 2006 v1.5.2.336 (MaceCraft Software) - $29.95
    Registry Healer v4.4.1 (KsL Software) -
    Registry Mechanic v5.2 (PC Tools Software) - $29.95
    RegSeeker v1.45.0505 (Hover Inc.) - Freeware
    RegSupreme v1.3.0.35 (Macecraft Software) - $12.95
    RegSupreme Pro v1.2.0.38 (Macecraft Software) - $16.95
    RegVac v4.02 (Super Win Software) – $29.95
    TuneUp Utilities 2006 (TuneUp Software) - $39.99
    (Registry Medic isn't included, because the download page was dead.)

    Registry Cleaner Test Results
    If there was an expert mode, I took the normal mode, like less-knowledgeable users would do.
    The number behind each Registry Cleaner = number of registries, that were reported for removal.

    The most aggressive one is #13.

    01. Amust Registry Cleaner...... : 11
    02. EasyCleaner................. : 22
    03. CCleaner.................... : 23
    04. Registry Mechanic........... : 28
    05. Ace Utilities............... : 36
    06. JV16 PowerTools 2006........ : 50
    07. RegSupreme.................. : 64
    08. RegSupreme Pro.............. : 64
    09. TuneUp Utilities 2006....... : 109
    10. Eusing Free Registry Cleaner : 124
    11. RegVac Registry Cleaner..... : 139
    12. Registry Healer............. : 185
    13. RegSeeker................... : 208

    Don't take this test too seriously. It's just an indication.
    My advice for less-knowledgeable users is still : use any of these Registry Cleaners VERY CAREFULLY or not at all.
    I'm going to use one of the freewares in combination with "Total Uninstall v3.61" to remove the leftovers after running TU.
     
  2. mikisu

    mikisu Registered Member

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    Nice work,ErikAlbert.:D

    Something constructive!

    The problem of course, is for the cleaner to achieve that compromise between being too conservative or too dangerous!



    Mike

    .
     
  3. sweater

    sweater Registered Member

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    Yap, that's why I choose & regularly use only EasyCleaner v2 of ToniArts for cleaning the registry coz it's not as aggressive like the others. :D ;)

    Then, I use RegSeeker, using this only for finding some entries that was confirmed to be dead or left-behinds of those uninstalled/removed programs. I am not tempted to touch those other things it find coz I know that it's really as aggressive as the German soldiers in world war II. :blink:
     
  4. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    @E-A interesting

    Never know what to make of these:

    On my winbox with all the toing and froing ! and screw-ups and recoveries !!

    CCleaner (with all "Issues" options checked): 7
    Regseeker (with all options checked, red & green results): 520 !!
    EUsing (with all options): : 204
    RegCleaner v4.3 (with all options, over 200,000 items checked): 18
    Easy cleaner: 125 (all green)

    I use CCleaner on a regular basis, never really know what to do with some of these results.

    Heh:
    WE SHOULD HAVE A CONTEST AND SEE WHO CAN GET THE HIGHEST SCORES.
    Maybe use Regseeker and see how high the results can go with all options checked.
     
  5. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    I have tried several cleaners in my life.
    CCleaner, Regcleaner, EasyCleaner, RegSeeker, RegSupreme, jv Power Tools, Norton Systemworks, Tune Up Utilities, and maybe some more.

    Best experience:
    Norton Systemworks never deleted anything wrong.
    RegSupreme never deleted anything wrong.
    Tune Up Utilities never deleted anything wrong.

    Worst experience:
    RegSeeker - removed important Acrobat entries.

    Best overall - Tune Up Utilities.

    Mrk
     
  6. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Thanks for appreciating my work and it's indeed an interesting test and facts are facts.
    1. Each Registry Cleaner failed in this test, because the test environment was only winXPproSP2 and CLEAN, because I wasn't even connected to the internet during this test.
    2. Each Registry Cleaner reports differently and the numbers prove it.
    3. There are some really aggressive Registry Cleaners, dangerous to use for less-knowledgeable users.

    The test would have been better, if it was done by a real expert, who could have told you which Registry Cleaners are really dangerous. The removal of one false positive is enough to screw up your system. I can't do that evaluation, but I learned to be very prudent with these softwares.
    ----------------------------------------------
    Concerning REGISTRY you have to take care of TWO problems IMO that have nothing to do with eachother.

    Problem-1 : Bad Software Uninstallers
    It doesn't matter if you are connected or not connected to the internet, this problem will always be there.
    Too many softwares have a bad uninstaller and that causes a mess in your registry, even on a 100% SAFE computer.
    This is a problem caused by the good guys.
    That's why I'm going to use "Total Uninstall v3.61" (unfortunately the paid version), which does a much better job than "Add/Remove Programs" of Windows, which uses the same bad software uninstallers.
    Unfortunately "Total Uninstall" isn't always perfect either and that's why you need a "Registry Cleaner" to clean the rest.
    So I think that this combination will be sufficient to solve this problem for 99%.
    This solution works only 99% for legitimate softwares, you want to remove to replace them with a better software. So I'm talking about softwares you really need for your job or hobby.

    For softwares (legitimate or not), you only want to try for awhile, you need another solution and I think that softwares, like FD-ISR and RollbackRx, DeepFreeze, ShadowUser, even Image Backup/Restore could be the perfect solution (99%) for this type of softwares.


    Problem-2 : Keeping your registry SAFE
    You only have that problem, once you are connected to the internet.
    This problem is caused by the bad guys and I'm still thinking about that, because you have several solutions for this.
    A dedicated registry protection software might be a solution.
    FD-ISR, RollbackRx, DeepFreeze, ShadowUser, ... might be a solution.
    Disconnecting your computer from the internet forever might be a solution. :D

    The perfect Registry Cleaner?
    The perfect Registry Cleaner is IMO.
    - one that allows you to make a registry backup
    - one that allows you to exclude "false positives"
    - one that is always used in combination with installing/uninstalling softwares by the user.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2006
  7. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Erik

    That was a very interesting piece of work. Thanks.

    Couple of comments. First, I wouldn't assume that a fresh install of Windows would leave a perfect registry. That I fear might be giving Microsoft more credit than they deserve.

    Second the toughest part of Registry cleaning evaluation is sometimes the real consequences don't show up immediately.

    I have used RegSupreme Pro, and I would use the standard cleaning, and over a six month period never had any problems. Then I did a full clean with Amust, and initially all seemed fine, until I went to update Microsoft Office. Amust must have messed up the installer stuff, cause lordy I had fun straightening that mess out. I've gotten much more cautious with Regsupreme and have stopped using Amust.

    Pete
     
  8. StevieO

    StevieO Registered Member

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    ErikAlbert

    Nice thread, long overdue, and a very informative and useful comparison chart.

    I've been using regseeker for a number of years very successfully, always with backup enabled, but never needed to make use of it. I only delete Green entries, and then only after checking them first, and often double clicking on them, which launches regedit to the exact location, for further verification before deciding.

    I recently installed Eusing Free Registry Cleaner which i did a thread on here, and it finds a few more than regseeker, but not that many more. All of them were harmless to delete.

    The difficulty with the numbers game is that quantity doesn't always mean quality, whether it's large or small !

    Some or all of those MS entries might very well be safe to delete. Unless we knew exactly what they were, it's impossible to say, and may lead people to draw the wrong conclusions about certain products.

    I agree though, that tampering with the registry should only be done with extreme caution, and is not for everyone.

    I have also been installing/uninstalling everything with Total Uninstall for several years too. This is a very reliable piece of software, a must have i would say. After an uninstall i also use regseeker etc to find remnants and clear up, as things do get added after an installation, so naturally won't be in TU's database.


    StevieO
     
  9. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    1. You assume that an installation of XP is perfect. Your system is not clean, even when you brand-new install it. Want a proof - check the event log between several reboots. You will see a variety of errors and warnings.
    2. Registry Cleaners work by different methods and scan different areas - hence the different reports - just like TV news, intelligence agencies, anti-spyware scanners.
    3. Correct. Dangerous tools are not for everyone. Would you give a chainsaw to a child?
    Mrk
     
  10. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Mrkvonic,
    I don't assume anything, I'm just telling how it should be in theory, not how it is in reality.
    It's NOT NORMAL, that Windows starts with a registry, that isn't clean.
    It's NOT NORMAL, that Registry Cleaners already start removing registries, right after installing Windows.
    It's NOT NORMAL, that companies aren't able to write a decent uninstaller to uninstall their OWN software.
    Maybe experts and experienced users find that normal, because they got used to it, but newbies will have a hard time to understand this, especially when they paid for it.
    You can't trust the bad guys, but you can't trust the good guys either. ;)
     
  11. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Erik

    You are right, its not normal, but it is reality.

    Pete
     
  12. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

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    It is unfortunately true that just about any "good" reg cleaner will remove entries after a fresh install of Windows. That amount increases if the OS is patched first prior to running the reg cleaner. If you remove all the roll-back folders, ones starting and ending with "$", it will remove even more. Have been playing with this reg cleaner > http://tinyurl.com/lvtk5. It`s very aggressive. There are mixed reviews on it from another board. It has`t hurt me........yet.:rolleyes: Use at your own risk.:blink:
     
  13. mrhero

    mrhero Registered Member

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    Hi, Can you test Registry First Aid? I think it is safe if you delete only low risk entries.
     
  14. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Sorry too late, it takes pretty much time and preparation to create such a test environment and the main trouble is : I don't have my external harddisk yet, I didn't test any backup software yet, I didn't test any snapshot software yet.
    I like to do things systematically and I had to reinstall my computer for other reasons and I just took that opportunity to test several Registry Cleaners.

    For me it doesn't matter which Registry Cleaner, I use.
    What matters to me is how and for what purpose, I will use a Registry Cleaner.
     
  15. StevieO

    StevieO Registered Member

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    @ ErikAlbert

    "It's NOT NORMAL, that Registry Cleaners already start removing registries, right after installing Windows."

    Well it might be as i said earlier, if they are not being used for anything.

    "It's NOT NORMAL, that companies aren't able to write a decent uninstaller to uninstall their OWN software."

    I agree about the uninstallers and have been saying this for years. It should be a mandatory requirement that everything is deleted.

    @ mrhero

    I've used Registry First Aid before and found it very good.


    StevieO
     
  16. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Well that is exactly my trouble. These unused registries might not be important right after installing Windows, but they could be important for later. My knowledge isn't sufficient to be sure about that.

    Do you know any registry cleaner that allows you to exclude these unused registries, so that you still can keep them, while the registry cleaner won't report them anymore ?
     
  17. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi Erik

    Since you are inclined and now have the setup to do some of this type of testing, when you get ready to play with the likes of FDISR and Rollback would you kindly give me a shout. You might be able to explore something with a new system, that I can't begin to do.

    Pete
     
  18. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    Sure Peter, no problem at all.
    I was planning to exchange my experiences and problems with Wilders anyway and this for any kind of software.

    Unfortunately, my new computer is still not complete :
    - I don't have my all-in-one printer yet, so I can't print anything, which is very annoying.
    - I don't have my external harddisk yet for backup/restore different situations.
    - I don't have my second DVD/CD-writer yet for LightScribe Labels (that is not important for doing tests).
    And I have to get used to my new hardware and all these new softwares.
    WinXPproSP2, Total Uninstall, Registry Cleaner, Image Backup, Encryption, Snapshot softwares, etc. ... pffft.
     
  19. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hey Erik

    What you need to do is get what I have. A 2nd machine, laptop with Raid, and wireless network. You will then have enough variables to drive you nuts for years.:D

    Pete
     
  20. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    LOL. If I buy a second computer, my wife explodes.
    She complains enough already for being a computer widow. :)
     
  21. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    i choose regscrubvista as a candidate, however the site is down and i cant find a download link.
     
  22. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    I think "Lexun Designs" have dissappeared.
    Shame really, there were some good apps.

    I saw recently, couple of months ago, that the developer was offering his apps to be taken over by someone else. AFAIK his website is down/gone for good.

    The regcleaners he developed are still around on the free software sites.
    I dont think I ever saw a copy of regscub vista.

    Have no idea as to the bonafides or effectiveness of the regscrubXP app.

    LBD
     
  23. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I'm still looking for a registry cleaner that allows me to exclude valid registries, that seem to be useless, in order to keep them and not to report them anymore.
    If I run that registry cleaner right after installing winXPproSP2 (and after installing any other software), I can exclude all these "false positives" and never see them again.

    EasyCleaner doesn't have that feature.
    CCleaner doesn't have that feature.
    Eusing Free Registry Cleaner has a GUI, I hated already after opening it. Good grief, what a BAD design.
    RegSeeker has this feature, but I don't like the way how RegSeeker handles them, rather a primitive solution, if you ask my opinion.

    It looks like I have to look amongst the commercial registry cleaners.
    EDIT :
    I liked only two of the commercial registry cleaners and both have the exclude feature, called ignore.
    1. Amust Registry Cleaner v2.1 (AMUST Software) – $29.99
    2. TuneUp Utilities 2006 (TuneUp Software) - $39.99

    Because "TuneUp Utilities 2006" does alot more than "Amust Registry Cleaner", besides registry cleaning,
    I will buy "TuneUp Utilities" in the future. The $10 extra is neglectable.
    TuneUp Utilities has a well designed and organized GUI and that's what a "User of a lesser God", like me needs.
    It's quite an expensive investment : Total Uninstaller ($29.00) + TuneUp Utilities ($39.99) = $68.99
    for just uninstalling softwares properly. Of course both softwares offer more than that.

    I'm very happy with "Total Unintall" until now.
    Even installing "MS Office 2000 Pro" on two CD's was possible with "Total Uninstall" and installing downloaded softwares wasn't a problem either and it seems to remove each software thoroughly, even the changes after the install.
    The only little disadvantage of TU is, that I have to REMEMBER using TU each time when I install a legitimate software.
    Bye bye to "Add/Remove Programs" of Windows.
    Wasn't it one of promises of M$ to give Windows something like "Total Uninstall" long ago?
    What would you choose : glassy windows or a good software uninstaller in Windows Vista? :)
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2006
  24. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    well each program has their own setup programs, so i the programmers need to improve those uninstallers.
     
  25. sweater

    sweater Registered Member

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    Well, you're just adding yourself to the lists of advertisers of TuneUp Utilities 2006. :D

    Maybe, in the future I'll also try this software when i buy a new laptop.
     
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