|Don's Home Technology PC Reference Windows Registry Issues
The Windows registry, stored on your PC in several files, records the relationship between hardware, memory space, and addressing. Containing information and settings for all the hardware, software, users, and preferences of your computer, whenever you make a change to the Control Panel settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in the registry. The operating system continually references this information during its operation. When the registry becomes very large, your computer's performance can decrease and cause it to be unstable.
You can either use regedit to fix a problem yourself or use one of the utilities to repair it. Although, using regedit can be dangerous, if you find a simple solution like removing a specific registry key, it may be safer than running one of the programs below which may change other things not related to your problem.
Recommended registry repair software:
Comments on cnet forum Dec. 2009:
msgale says: "About every six months this issue gets resustated. The same answers are given, nothing changes. Some say they are the best thing since bread, others say they are junk and don't work, some say they cause problems.
rbsjrx says: "The simple truth is that there's no technical reason why someone who understands the workings and limitations of Windows registry system can't write a perfectly safe and useful registry cleaner utility - and some do.
msgale says: "Dr. Mark Russinovich is a Technical Fellow at Microsoft, who has written extensively about Microsoft Operating System internals and has access to Microsoft source code, does not believe it is possible to write a viable registry cleaner."
It has been noted that reg. cleaners in general should be used seldom and not during any noted system problems. If you have NO problem now, then use a cleaner. However, I strongly recommend CCleaner.
Most will give a technical description of specific problems, which requires some experience to determine whether or not you want to fix them.
I have found only one that I will use, PC Tools Registry Mechanic, but even the best can make a mess of your PC if you don't know what the function of the entry does.
rbsjrx commented: "Registry cleaners are over-hyped and a poorly designed or written one can cause much more harm thn good. IF (and that's a big "if") you need to use one, stick with IOBit Advanced System Care (ASC), CCleaner, or Uniblue's Registry Booster.
A PC consultant friend said: "I have not found any truly serious problems resolved by any registry cleaner. I haven't found any reg cleaner to make a marked improvement in performance either." Art