any benifits to cleaning the reg?

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blackecho

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ok, i've had a masive quanity of software installed on my comp over the past four months. i've erased a lot of them, and had to uninstall quite a few of them by erasing them from program files. i've got a huge hard drive, 120gigs, and was wondering if there was a point to cleaning the windows registry of old program keys? if they are taking up even a gig it's nothing to worry about space wise, but can they slow down my system?
 
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That's a debatable question. Certainly Microsoft has not considered it important enough to include a cleaner with the OS.

On the other hand, if you install and uninstall a lot, there could be some bloat to the registry that would slow things to some negligible degree.

Take a look at this thread about cleaners/optimizers that are free:
http://forums.techguy.org/t221738.html
 
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blackecho,

You have asked a question that I would like to know the answer to as well!

Presumably there are some sites somewhere with some authoratative articles about the merits, or otherwise, of Registry cleaning but, so far, I haven't found any.

I can give one example where cleaning was of practical help to me. We had a game which we decided to uninstall. Later, we tried to reinstall it but always failed. I used the very mild Registry cleaner that comes with Norton Cleansweep and the cleaner that formed part of jv16 PowerTools but they didn't help.

At some point I ran the sysinternals part of Spybot that checks for registry inconsistencies and, lo and behold, it found and removed a couple of old references to the game and we were able to reinstall.

It is possible that a cluttered Registry may cause problems when upgrading a program if the uninstall of the previous version was incomplete.

The dangers of messing up the Registry are obvious but, if you have a fresh backup available before each clean (rather than relying on the cleaners built in backup) you should be OK.

My HDD is only about one tenth of yours so I routinely use cleaner programs for Temp files etc. and now use RegSupreme for my registry. It always finds 400 plus 'empty useless keys' which appear to be created by my ISP, probably on boot up. Can you guess which ISP is so invasive?
 

MysticEyes

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I use jv16 to clean up the remants it shows in Installed Programs after an uninstall, but not it's reg cleaner.

If you are not having any problems I would leave it alone.
 
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MysticEyes

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True, but microsoft has made registry cleaners for it's OS's.. regclean is available for win95-98-ME..
Not meaning to nit pick, but RegClean was more of a repair utility not a cleaner.
 
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If you do a lot of program installing and removing it may benefit you to have a bit more of a plan for complete removal.
Programs like the afore mentioned "Clean Sweep" will monitor your installations and make removal far better. It is not really designed to clean-up anything that it didn't "see" installed.
You can also remove things with "Go Back" it will remove/restore anything that changed from one point to the next. So if you want to install something to test it, you just create a point to "Go Back" to first. Then after the test is complete, you Go Back to the earlier point.
 
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Not meaning to nit pick, but RegClean was more of a repair utility not a cleaner.
A very good point. It was not intended to be used for any sort of routine maintenance but only to solve particular problems. That is really a major distinction.
 
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I personally would like to get more debate on this subject. My boss has asked me to do some research into it and decide weather or not to implement the cleaner into our maintenance program. I'm not entirely convince that it helps the computer much. I can see if you are having glitches, hang-ups and crashes that a cleaner program might come in handy to rule out all possibilities. Considering most work computers do not uninstall or even install that many programs, I don't see a big need for one.

Are there any sites that talk extensively about this subject? I was unable to Google any good sites. Thanks.
 
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As I said in my post, I have never been able to find anything that seemed really conclusive or authorative about registry cleaning.

I have found threads by people who suggest that your computer will burst into flames (or at least be totally wrecked) if a cleaner is used and also from people who claim to use one at every shutdown, as if it was a malware scanner!!

Depending on how many computers your company has and how many run vital functions, could you run a test by installing and using one or more brands of registry cleaner on one or more of the less vital machines and see what happens after 3 or 6 months?

I'm just guessing as to how long a test needs to run to produce any noticeable difference in how the machines perform (if there is any measurable difference). Suggest something like that to your boss, with the warning that the outcome is unpredictable, and he might just lose interest!
 
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