windows registry scan and repair

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what tool would my windows cohorts recommend for scanning and repairing the registry?

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what tool would my windows cohorts recommend for scanning and repairing the registry?

None; the registry does not need repair nor does it benefit from cleaning.

If your computer will not boot due to a damaged or corrupt registry; then you use system restore to restore the last good registry there was.

Registry "cleaners" are bad news; they work by comparing what they find in your registry to their database predictions of what should be there. This database is generally included in the original install and then updated when you install new software or hardware or updates provided you have the correct part of the application running. The software author may create their database from other existing databases, from lists of entries commonly made by applications available on line; by asking other software manufacturers to submit a list of their applications and the entries they make; or by actual product testing (very rare).

These registry "tools" then compare what they find in your registry to what they expect based on the database they have. Anything they find that does not match is declared to be an error, and is fixed. How do they fix things? They just delete them.

So lets say you installed an update or patch or new software and had the tool disabled for some reason. It missed those entries and never added them to the database. Scan and it deletes them. OOOPS, now some feature in your game or some application you use is now missing. You go to the toolbar and drop down and the option is missing or greyed out. If you are lucky you remembered to backup the changes before you let the tool fix your registry by deleting them and the tool is well enough written to restore them. Otherwise you wind up reinstalling programs to get functions back , and that is if you are lucky. Often the make it so damaged that you cannot uninstall or reinstall your applcation without real work.

So forget registry tools unless you have a specific problem and know what you are doing. Then they can be useful to let you find the keys that you want to delete; but only if you know what you are doing and have a specific outcome in mind.

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i agree with pete and TT

i got burned once at techtv

even after pete and chappy warned me

but i went ahead

and trashed my


so ive learned my lesson

i havent used a registry cleaner since


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Thanks for the Reply

We use expensive ones at work, NETIQ has one in a bundle we use, we use them to untangle cross entries, and old entries, and dead entries that are left after many years of group policy changes. We do find when you do things like Install Citrix Xenapp for example, that it has over 300 registry entries. Add to that publishing apps and de-publishing apps, can leave a lot of dead links that you are not going buy hand to remove.

I will tell the guy who asked that there are no reliable automatic registry checkers for the consumer, as I am not going to loan out the $90,000 NETIQ suite we have.


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If I need to remove old program's leftover entries from the registry due to conflict with installing new software I use jv16 and CCleaner. The most common reason for these removals is when changing anti-virus programs. Many do not completely uninstall and when installing a different product it may balk if it detects the old program's leftover entries.

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Generally speaking these hundreds of entries might add a few nanoseconds to the loading time of the registry as it is built from the hive files; but they remain inactive and do not affect your machine while it is running. Basically they are harmless and you risk worse problems by removing them than leaving them.

Yes; if you are having specific problems such as the application refusing to reinstall because it finds a registry key from the previous install and thinks it is already installed then you need to find and remove those entries. Sometimes visible entries such as a send to , save as, or other context menu entries remain which can confuse users and these too you may require a registry tool to find and remove; but in these cases generally speaking you are trying to deal with a specific issue and you are hopefully qualified to make the judgement as to what needs removing.

But blindly running one of these tools , letting it find "errors" and fix everything it finds is a big mistake.

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  • 5 months later...

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