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windows registry cleaner

which one to choose?

     
8:57 am on Aug 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm looking for a good, trusted Windows Registry Cleaner - and would love to hear some direction as to what programs you've found that have been reliable/helpful. There are so many programs for this use on the web - it's hard to find a good one!

Free/open source would, of course, be preferred. I'm willing to hear of paid options too though.

Thank you!

9:09 am on Aug 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Why do you want a registry cleaner?

A specific problem requires a specific solution. If you don't have a specific problem, leave the registry alone.

Whilst software may leave junk behind when uninstalled, it usually does no harm. If a rogue program has done something you don't like (such as changing file descriptions) you can make corrections manually.

Kaled.

3:34 pm on Aug 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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cCleaner is a good one for my needs. I run it every few weeks and it gets a few things each time. I generally notice a performance increase if I run it on a PC that hasn't been properly maintained for a long time. cCleaner also offers some other handy features that help keep your computer cleaned up.

As Kaled says, you probably won't notice a huge improvement from using a registry cleaner. However, I would have to say that it does offer performance benefits over the long haul.

7:35 pm on Aug 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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What are the risks of using a registry cleaner?
11:27 pm on Aug 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If the registry is backed up, the risks are minimal, but so are the rewards of a "successful cleaning".

Removing junk may improve speed but the difference is likely to be marginal rather than noticeable. A significant improvement is likely only if there is a specific problem, and if such a problem exists, unless it is a known and common fault, a registry cleaner is unlikely to fix it.

The registry is a free-format hierarchical data-store. Its nature is such that generic cleaning is mostly impossible therefore any cleaner must rely on rules. If the rules are wrong, damage will result. Certain generic errors can be fixed such as unterminated strings, but such problems are rare (and are probably detected and fixed automatically by Windows, but I'm not certain).

Kaled.

11:04 pm on Aug 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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kaled - Thanks. That's the clearest statement about routine registry maintenance that I've seen.
 

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