The Full Facts About Windows Xp Registry

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The heart of your computer is the windows registry. Just like a file system where you store your documents, the registry is where Windows system stores assential data with regard to your pc. Every aspect of your system configuration including all software and hardware settings is held in the registry. Just like a file system windows registry uses a tree like structure. For example, the settings for Internet Explorer are stored in HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftInternet Explorer (computer specific settings) as well as HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftInternet Explorer (user specific settings) keys or registry files. Windows uses this essential data to perform all operations on your computer.

When you install new software (even if you install a small component from the Internet) or make any adjustments to the configuration (integrate new hardware or modify appearance of your desktop) the adjustments are held in the registry.

In the case of a brand new PC your registry will have no errors. But as you use your PC it accumulates old and out of date records which can cause crashes and a drop in performance. As well as this, keyloggers, trojan horses spyware and viruses use the registry to abuse the system.

Windows registry is the most sensitive and critical element. Cleaning and repairing your registry requires understanding and expertise. doing it the wrong way can lead to more problems and even stop your PC from working. Doing it the correct way will lead to less system errors and better performance.

Four registry cleaning Myths:-

Myth 1: Cleaning the registry on a regular basis is a must.

If your windows computer is relatively new, less than 6 months old, and you are not a very active user cleaning the registry would not give you much of a result. However, if you are an active PC user who regularly installs new software, you need to clean your registry regularly. As a general guide read through these questions:

1. How often do I change my hardware, memory, joysticks, monitor, printer or scanner, etc?

2. How many times do I install ActiveX or other components when browsing the Internet?

3. Do I follow the exact software uninstall procedure?

4. How many times do I install and uninstall photo, games, graphics audio and photo software?

5. How often do I change my system configuration for example internet explore settings, or other?

It depends on how you answered these questions but you could need to clean your PC registry daily, weekly, monthly, or every 6 months. More frequent alterations require more frequent cleaning.

Myth 2: All registry cleaners are the same. The more problems they find the better the cleaner.

How many problems it finds is only one indicator. The more important indicator is how many problems it fixes the

right way. There are two main methods to registry cleaning, they are:

1) “Smart & safe”; and

2) “Bulk & Deep”.

We could compare it to cleaning a house. Some people, in fact most of us, accumulate a lot of paper on their desks. You can clean your desk by going through every piece of paper, carefully reviewing each document, statements, important notices, and newspapers. You file each important document in the right folders and ditch the junk. However, there are some documents you are not sure about. You take the time to establish weather these documents are impotant or not. This kind of cleaning is smart & safe, which results in a clean desk and organized folders. Also you can rest knowing that you will not have problems in the future because you did not get rid of those important documents. Similarly, a smart & safe registry cleaner does the job the proper way – if it is not sure about the registry record it doesn’t discard it but works to find out if the record is important. This cleaning results in a healthy registry, with less errors and more PC performance.

Or maybe, while cleaning your desk you may keep only important documents and discard the documents you are not sure about along with the junk. You don’t bother spending the time discovering weather the documents your not sure about are important. With this cleaning method you will get rid of more documents but you may end up throwing away important files. This method is called “bulk & deep” cleaning. Similarly, a “bulk & deep” registry cleaner might show more problems and remove good registry records.

In fact, some registry cleaners report a lot of so-called “false errors”. false errors are falsely identified problems that are, in reality, not problems at all. It is even more dangerous if these products try to fix those falsely identified registry problems. Sellers of those products “identify” more problems to make their product look better. They call “bulk” cleaning “deep” cleaning. “Bulk & deep” cleaning does a mediocre job cleaning your registry and can lead to more problems and errors later.

Myth 3: Backing up and restoring the registry will prevent any trouble.

It is critical to have full back up and restore as it allows you to bring the registry back to how it was at a certain point in time. It will not be enough to stop you having problems though. You need both full registry restore and undo registry changes.

Let’s say in a day or a week after cleaning the registry on your PC you experience a problem with one of your applications. You can use the full registry backup to bring the registry back exactly to the point in time when you created the full backup. The problem with that is, you will lose all the changes to the PC configuration you made after that last backup. With “undo registry changes”, on the other hand, you are able to reverse the problematic registry changes without affecting the other registry parts. You can fix the problem without losing all the configuration changes made to your PC.

The general rule is: use “full registry restore” for major disasters and “undo registry alters” to fix specific problems.

Registry is the most sensitive part of your computer. The ability to have both a full restore as well as selective undo is important to prevent you from having problems.

Myth 4: Just cleaning and repairing your registry is enough.

Windows registry also needs compacting which reduces the registry size and defragments it by removing the gaps and empty spaces in the registry tree.

Cleaning garbage from your registry makes it better since it removes unused and incorrect data that causes registry pollution, computer errors and a decrease in performance. There are other reasons however for keeping your registry in tip top condition. Registry structure is such that when you remove unused and incorrect data, gaps are created in the registry tree. Your computer uses the registry to perform every system operation. Having gaps or empty spaces in the registry tree slows down your PCs performance and might create operational errors. So, just like the defragmentation of files compacting the registry removes holes and fragments helping your PC to run with more stability and speed. That is why in addition to cleaning and repairing the registry must also be compacted.

A brief summery:

Windows registry is critical to the health and performance of your computer. Smart & safe registry cleaning, repairing and compacting will prevent problems and keep your PC fast and healthy.

Please note:

Using a registry cleaner is just one of the things you need to do to maintain your Windows PC. You should follow other good practices that include keeping your computer updated with the latest Microsoft updates, regular defragmentation of the hard disk and virus scans.

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