Security

Why your registry doesn't need cleaning

If you're not too familiar with the registry and how it works, there are a slew of different companies that would like to sell you a registry cleaner. Do you need to clean your registry? Let's look at the facts.

A long time ago, in a land forgotten by time (before Microsoft Windows 95), Windows computers and their programs had .ini (configuration) files that stored information. These files determined how a program ran, its environment, and a host of other things.

Then the Windows Registry came onto the scene, with each key in the registry being similar to a bracketed heading in the old .ini file and values similar to entries under the .ini headings. However, registry keys can have nested subkeys with string or binary data that .ini files don't support. Does the registry periodically need cleaning? Let's take a look.

Hives and keys?

A registry hive is a group of keys, subkeys, and values in the registry that has a set of supporting files that contain backups of its data. The registry has gone through very little changes, so if you're interested in learning more about it, check out "What's all the buzz about registry hives?"

If you're not too familiar with the registry and how it works, there are a slew of different companies that would like to sell you a registry cleaner. Do you need to clean your registry? Let's look at the facts.

What registry cleaners claim to do

What do registry cleaners claim to accomplish? Well, some of them claim to reduce the size of the registry and remove orphaned entries to speed up Windows. Sure, removing orphaned entries will reduce the size, but today's hard drives have gigabytes of free space and 10 MB isn't going to make a difference.

Besides, no one can give you a benchmark telling you how much speed you'll gain. The reason they can't tell you how much faster your system will run is because the size of the registry has nothing to do with the speed at which your machine operates.

The .ini files are flat text files, which require sequential searching. Registry files are database files, complete with indexing. If the index is up to date -- and the system rebuilds it after each change, so it probably is -- then size makes no difference.

Other registry cleaners say they'll remove invalid registry entries that can cause errors in other installed programs. Programs keep registry entries in their own keys and rarely reference keys written by other programs. They also include an uninstall routine that deletes the entries when you remove the program.

Many older programs may not work this way, and maybe some of today's programs don't do the best job of clearing their entries. However, the system will never reference the data that they leave behind.

Some registry cleaners claim that they correct problems with Windows crashes and error messages. I've been an administrator on Windows machines since NT 3.5, and I've never traced a crash or error message to the registry -- nor have I met any administrator who has.

Finally, some registry cleaners say they remove entries pointing to nonexisting files that are invalid and require deletion. If a registry entry points to a file that's no longer present, of course you can delete them. However, if an entry points to something that doesn't exist, then the system will never use it. Do you delete every unused file on your computer?

Who needs registry cleaners?

There are two types of people who possibly might need registry cleaners. The first are those people who open up the registry and make manual changes. These people know exactly what they're doing; they follow precise instructions from the manufacturer, or they just like to tinker around and see what happens. This group might need to undo what they've done and could use a registry cleaner.

The second group of people who definitely need to clean their registries are programmers and developers. During the development of a program, you might go through hundreds of install/uninstall routines. It's important to ensure that you're working with a clean machine to make sure previous problems don't interfere with the latest version of your software.

Final thoughts

If you're a developer or someone who fiddles with the registry, then by all means find yourself a good registry cleaner. As for the rest of us, leave the registry alone, and don't buy into the hype of needing to clean your registry.

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247 comments
seanferd
seanferd

Thanks for that bit of info, deepsand. I had wondered if there was some scanning or viewing capability for that in some software that I could afford. but I had done no research. I haven't been using XP lately, so I just haven't thought of it. Thanks again.

deepsand
deepsand

You stated that this function "did not run." Can you be more specific? Of the various stages involved, which ones were reached? With what results? Were any Error Messages displayed? Also, do you have any running background tasks, such as Spybot S&D's "TeaTimer," which might block any "Run Once" Registry changes?

bdlarson
bdlarson

I agree that perhaps a reg cleaner might be a waste of time but I disagree to stay out of the registry. Any IT pro with a bit of knowledge and skill knows where to look for obvious problems (IE- the RUN keys) If someone asks me to look at their computer because of problems the registry is usually one of the first places I look.

DrMicro
DrMicro

Lots of good comments and suggestions here. I run a small IT Service and Repair business and have been working with PC's since before DOS (Anybody remember CP/M?). Believe me, in the 25 years I've been doing this, I've seen a pretty wide selection of what users, bad software, viruses and malware can do to a PC. Although this discussion mainly centers on the pros and cons and relative merits of registry cleaners, I would add that a good computer cleanup also involves a thorough scrub of files and directories, cookies, temporary files. A good test might be to take a clean, newly-installed system, add the usual basic software (word processing, 3rd party firewall, antivirus and antispyware apps). Time bootup and basic program response times. Give the computer to a family of 4 which include Mom, Dad, a teenage son and a teenage daughter. Wait 6 months (assuming you don't get a frantic call before then), then re-test boot and program response times, noting any error messages you didn't get before. Make a full backup of the existing registry before you start (export the full registry). Don't forget that the HKEY_CURRENT_USER hive will only be valid for whatever user you're currently logged on as, since it comes from USER.DAT in the user's Documents and Settings folder. If you want additional insurance, image the whole drive as a last-ditch backup precaution. Then run one or more of the cleaners that have been mentioned (I use CCleaner, Regseeker 1.5.5, and a program called Advanced Windows Care V2 from IObit. All are free for personal use). Run everything in as full automatic as possible with the exception of the startup options in Advanced Windows Care. That you need to look at before taking the automatic recommendations. You can disable individual items manually. Reboot after each utility is run. As for order, I'd recommend running CCleaner first, both for files and for registry issues, then run Advanced Windows Care, then Regseeker last. I'm assuming that the antivirus (I like NOD32 for paid versions and Avast for a freebie) and antispyware programs (Sunbelt CounterSpy for paid, and Ad-Aware/Spybot combo for the freebies) have been kept up to date and not disabled. Do your timing tests again after the last reboot. If you want to, you might run a registry compactor (Auslogic makes a fair free one) before you do your test. Remember, the registry is basically a database and like any database, will benefit, however slightly, from compacting. I'd be surprised if you didn't experience an improvement. For the purposes of this example, I didn't mention uninstalling old, obsolete or unneeded programs, though in the real world, I'd do that first. Lastly, do a disk defrag. Do your timing tests again, then compare your results at each stage to the baseline values you got when the system was new. They won't be quite as good because of software and hardware drivers that have been installed in the meantime, but they should be a lot better than the ones you took before you started your cleanup routine. A comment to the posters who advocate using regedit to manually scrub the registry: Bravo for you and I'm glad you have the time it takes to do that. Side note: If you have a PC with multiple users, you will have to run your cleaners for each user profile (see comment above about the HKEY_CURRENT_USER hive).

gardoglee
gardoglee

Aftr having spent literally hundreds of hours manually removing thousands of registry entries left behind after uninstalling a certain six-figure enterprise level business intellignece tool at a client site, I dearly wish I had had a registry cleaner available. Unfortunately, when you are working on a client machine you may not have the authority to install the tool you need, so instead you do it the difficult, error prone manual way. Weeks later the developer staff of the publisher admitted confidentially that they knew perfctly well that their unistall didn't work, and that this problem also occured when installing routine upgrades. Their recommended course for applying routine maintenance upgrades was to wipe the machine clean and reinstall a fresh copy of the OS, followed by reinstalling and reconfiguring the BI product. With multiple machines for multiple environments this was ridiculous, but that's how the product was. Beyond the question of why a $300,000 software product did not include a better upgrade routine is whether a simple $29 registry cleaner package could have saved thousands of dollars in maintenance costs. Registry cleaners are certainly not a cure-all, and as noted above can cause their own damage, but it should be available on every machine. Microsoft should have enhanced the old regclean application to do a thorough job and bundled it into the OS long ago.

bernalillo
bernalillo

I to have been working on MS machines since dos 3.3. I began using registry cleaners around 1997 and have been a strong believer since. I have cured many a bluescreen or restarting machine with a good registry cleaner and I regularly boost performance whith them. My favorite two are freeware and I see no reason to buy one. I AM however cautious, not all reg cleaners are created equal. Some can do as much harm as good. I have yet to find one I really trust on a 64 bit machine. I have removed in excess of 2000 bogus entries in a single pass on some machines and I use them as a regular part of cleaning up a machine. (yes, I also delete temporary files with other apps which maximizes the cleaners effectiveness) In my experience most PC's die the death of a thousand cuts. Spyware, inproperly written uninstalls, improper deletions and crashes all leave their mark. Reg cleaners do help but can only do so much, which is true of any tool.

normhaga
normhaga

Test Machine: Emachines w4620 CPU: AMD MT-32 (1.8 Ghz) Ram: 2 gig pc3200 OS: XP Pro SP2 Retail install - all current updates allowed for this test (auto updates disallowed, updates normally allowed only after testing), drivers taken from OEM driver install disk and allowed to update. HD: WD 120 gig Scorpio (2 partitions equally split - part. 0 OS and programs, part 1. local backup capsule for Paragon Drive Backup 8.51 and inaccessible to OS) Firewall/anti virus ZoneLabs Internet Security runs 24/7. Spybot installed but not allowed to autorun. Teatimer only allowed during installs or when browsing questionable sites. System isolated from network and internet during tests. Running processes: alg.exe ati2evxx.exe (2 instances), crss.exe,ctfmon.exe, explorer.exe,jusched.exe,lsass.exe,MDM.exe,PDAgent.exe, PDEngine.exe,PDVDserv.exe(backup),PRISMXL.sys,services.exe,smss.exe,spoolsv.exe,svchost.exe(5 instances),synTPEnh.exe,SynTPLpr.exe,system,vsmon.exe(firewall/antivirus),winlogon,zlcient.exe(firewall) Major Software: Office 2003 suite, Visual Studio 2005, Office Accounting 2007, MSSQL server and client (disabled as services and manually started when needed), Adobe PhotoShop CSII, Dreamweaver 8, 010 hex editor, Sun Java 1.6 update 3 sdk,Cygwin, Cygwin X, Metasploit 3, Nessus 3(disabled as service, manual start when needed),RealVNC Enterprise,SpyBot S&D(current release - see above), SecureCRT 5.2.2, Paragon Drive Backup 8.51, Paragon Partition Manger 8.5, Paragon Total Defrag 2007, PerfectDisk 8.0 (build 67), Autoruns, Whats Running, Rootkit Revealer, FireFox 2.0.0.11, IE Explorer7.0 with IE Pro installed, and WinSPC 4.0.5. I can PM full information, but it would be quite long. The erroneous reg checker was slow, but thorough and caught know bad entries missed by other reg checkers. The Reg defrag started, consumed all CPU cycles not reserved for the OS. First test with firewall/anti virus on - manually shut down after 30 minutes from the task manager because program was unresponsive to its controls; second run with firewall disabled - same result as first run. Repeated above tests from clean cold boot - same result. Out of curiosity I ran the reg defrag for 4 hours while I slept. When I woke, it still consumed all unreserved cpu cycles. This is from my applications log: (event id:1517, userenv) "Windows saved user NORMAN-EM\Norman registry while an application or service was still using the registry during log off. The memory used by the user's registry has not been freed. The registry will be unloaded when it is no longer in use. This is often caused by services running as a user account, try configuring the services to run in either the LocalService or NetworkService account." All other functions were tested and appeared to operate correctly. If you need more, let me know.

JCitizen
JCitizen

The only quirk was minimal because I was using wrong driver for a trackpad: but I already knew that and am willing to put up with small insignificant imperfections like this untill HP wakes up and publishes a new driver. The functionality is fine and I have no qualms about using it on that OS. Vista x64 may be a different animal however.

deepsand
deepsand

Far too many such tools fail to give the user control over which entries are changed, what the values are changed to, and which ones are deleted; i.e., they decide what to do, giving you nothing but a "take it, or leave it" choice. I've come to like Registry First Aid precisely because it gives me that level of control.

seanferd
seanferd

I don't believe I've seen that much about ADS all in one place. Of course, if I'd done any serious research, I might know a bit more on the subject. Thanks. edit: sp?

deepsand
deepsand

you earlier mentioned that you thought RFA to be some sort of malware. What sort of malware did you believe it to be; and, what led you to that belief?

deepsand
deepsand

The speed of the scans is greatly dependent on 1) the Paths that are included in/excluded from those to be scanned for errors; 2) the Paths that are included in/excluded from those to be scanned for possible corrections; 3) the Number of Files within those Paths; and, 4) the Number of Possible Corrections found for each error. As for the apparent freezing of the Defrag function, this is a condition that I've never observed. Am I correct, then, in assuming that you reached the screen where the various keys were displayed, along with their present and projected compressed sizes? What version of RFA have you installed? Have you tried running it in Safe Mode?

john_galt
john_galt

I agree, but for the novice customer, PC Tools Reg. Mechanic is about the safest I've found, and for the Tech., as well as the Novice since two modes of operation are avialable, RegVac Registry Cleaner is IMO the best I've found. What I really get leary of, is when a new service pack or update is installed, such as my XP with service pack three now installed, and in Beta. I make sure I do back-up before I tackle any major or minor cleanups. With OS updates, patches and the rest we deal with, Registry Cleaners can become as out of date and dangerous as a virus.

deepsand
deepsand

MS has done exceedingly little to either promote or educate about their use. One has to wonder if they view ADS as being extant for their sole use, given that they do rely on it to store things such as IE Zone data. Perhaps they don't want the rest of us soiling their turf.

apotheon
apotheon

I would have thought this stuff would be [b]abundantly obvious[/b] to anyone that can count to ten without using his fingers. 1. I never implied that "crapware" and "malware" were synonymous -- and I [b]certainly[/b] didn't say they were. I don't know where you get the bizarre notion that you have to "educate" me on that fact. 2. You seem to believe that the only way one can split software into two categories where one category is more likely to prove a security weakness than the other is if one is "malware" and the other is "everything else". This is not the case. For any reasonable definition of "crapware" (i.e., any definition whose primary characteristic is the fact that the soft[b]ware[/b] is [b]crap[/b]py), the crappiness of it lends itself to increased likelihood of security vulnerabilities. Intent is not necessary to indicate a statistically greater incidence of security vulnerability. 3. George Ou's definition of "crapware" is as a superset of his definition of "malware". As such, because "crapware" [b]includes[/b] "malware" by his definitions, his definitions ensure that "crapware" is more likely to pose a security threat than non-"crapware" (unless you assert that the "crapware" that isn't "malware" is in fact less likely to introduce security vulnerabilities than non-"crapware", to balance out the statistical boost to vulnerability provided by the "malware", or unless you assert that the intent to create a security vulnerability in no way positively affects the likelihood of actually succeeding in that goal).

deepsand
deepsand

of "Crapware" and "Malware," at http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=547 . "[i]Definition of Crapware: Crapware is software that you don?t want on your computer. Not everyone will agree on what is and what isn?t Crapware because a piece of software that one person wants might be something that another person doesn?t. Some software will fall in the grey area where people need - or they think they need - certain features of the software but it causes them grief by causing system slowdown or instability. Although we can technically define Malware, Spyware, or Adware as Crapware because it?s software that people definitely don?t want, those three typically get put in to the category of Malware.[/i]" They wholly consistent with both my differentiation between and the relative secutity threats posed by each.

deepsand
deepsand

"[i]You implied that they all pose the same threat to security when you said "crapware is no more likely to compromise security than is the typical application whose presence is desired."[/i] Firstly, the Title of my post at the head on this sub-thread, reading "The difference between malware and crapware lies in the [b]intent[/b]" should suffice to make it clear that I make a clear distinction between "crapware" and "malware." Secondly, my statement which you quote, "crapware is no more likely to compromise security than is the typical application whose presence is desired," is, within the context of my here preceding statement, both consistent with said statement and, by definition, true, unless you define "crapware" to be but that subset of "crapware" which is also "malware," in which case you've changed the definition of "crapware" to be synonomous with "malware." "Crapware" and "malware" are 2 entirely diffent things. The former is stuff that you simply do not want; the latter, stuff that you should not have, [u]because[/u] it's [u]malevolent by design[/u].

apotheon
apotheon

"[i]Your 're-phrasing' implies intent, which is where we differ.[/i]" Uh, no, it doesn't. I spoke of likelihoods, not motivations -- and I spoke of how easy a target was for malicious security crackers, not whether the reason something is an easier target has anything to do with malicious programmers. "[i]If your meaning is that all software providers seek the same end, then we do most certainly disagree.[/i]" I have no effing clue where you'd get such an inference. Seriously. When did I say anything at all that would give any reasonable human being that understands plain English worth a damn any kind of inkling that I thought all software providers "seek the same end"? "[i]Furthermore, it cannot be successfully argued that all applications pose the same potential threat to security.[/i]" [b]You[/b] implied that they all pose the same threat to security when you said "crapware is no more likely to compromise security than is the typical application whose presence is desired." My response [b]very specifically[/b] indicated that I disagree that all applications pose the same potential threat to security. Where do you get off claiming our positions were the reverse of that? edit: clarity

deepsand
deepsand

If your meaning is that all software providers seek the same end, then we do most certainly disagree. Furthermore, it cannot be successfully argued that all applications pose the same potential threat to security. Finally, as regards my experience with crapware, I would suggest that dealing with that beginning with the "bonuses" MS bundled with Win95, including such undesirables as "Comet Cursor," and continuing through those still being pre-loaded, some even pre-installed, by HP constitutes sufficient experience for our purposes here.

apotheon
apotheon

Considering I just rephrased something you had just finished saying, but with an alteration such that I'm saying there [b]is[/b] a common security/vulnerability difference, it seems ludicrous to me to entertain the notion that you don't know what I'm talking about. Unless someone else comes along and expresses the same inability to understand what I've said that you have, I'm just going to let you pretend ignorance on your own. Have fun with that.

deepsand
deepsand

Explanation needed. And, how does this relate to my prior statement re. the vulnerablities inherent in crapware vs those in all applications in general?

apotheon
apotheon

I'm pretty sure you're not sufficiently experienced in dealing with "crapware", if you really think it's no more likely to provide an easy target for malicious security crackers than software people actually seek out of their own accord.

deepsand
deepsand

I submit that the answer is that, in general, crapware is no more likely to compromise security than is the typical application whose presence is desired.

apotheon
apotheon

I never meant to suggest you would [b]necessarily[/b] be compromised with that kind of garbage on your system -- just that the practical reality is that you almost certainly [b]will[/b], and whether any particular given piece of "crapware" is to blame just depends on the luck of the draw: Which piece of "crapware" is exploited first?

deepsand
deepsand

While malware intentionally seeks to compromise security, crapware may or [b]may not[/b] accidentally result in such.

apotheon
apotheon

"[i]with [crapware] I at least know that there's a reasonably good chance that my machine's security has not yet been compromised.[/i]" Of course, "yet" is the operative term here.

deepsand
deepsand

While I despise both, with the latter I at least know that there's a reasonably good chance that my machine's security has not yet been compromised.

deepsand
deepsand

In [b]all[/b] cases, before I install [b]any[/b] freeware/shareware, I search the web for other users experiences with both that specific application and any others that the same publisher may have. I also give the publisher's site a thorough look. In the case of Rose City, a visit to http://www.rosecitysoftware.com/ should suffice to convince of their genuineness.

JCitizen
JCitizen

the disaster they caused me and about 75% of my clients. CNET is rating them the top security suite for 2008 now. I don't think I can get past my negativism to let them have another try at destroying another install. Perhaps on my lab honeypot; it is expendable! Better buy about 2Gb more RAM for that one though!

normhaga
normhaga

NAV certainly qualifies as malware in my book. I used it for about a week and then did a complete reinstall to junk it.

royhayward
royhayward

So NAV is now malware? I guess I agree, but this is a funny idea that I don't think will get much buy in from software vendors. But with all of the time I spent wrestling with NAV to get it uninstalled over the years I guess it serves them right.

JCitizen
JCitizen

If a utility causes a lot of grief, BSODs, and won't uninstall properly I think it deserves to be labeled malware at least. In the paranoid world of data security, guilt by association is hard to ignore.

normhaga
normhaga

I will answer the best I can. When I got a new HP Vista 64 based laptop, I found that the majority of my utilities did not work or did not work correctly. I went on a search for Vista based reg cleaners defraggers, backup utilities, etc. Every time I entered some utility into the search bar, RFA and two other asserted reg cleaners that I knew to be scams that actually installed malware would pop up. I never tried RFA, but at the time, I think it would have been pointless. I purchased the computer for the hardware 1 week after the RTM of Vista. I already had the MSDN downloads of Vista in every flavor. I am not adverse to trying new software because it is a part of what I do. After I test software and make sure it performs correctly, I throw the book at it looking for vulnerabilities. While I do not remember the specifics of many of the tests without a DB, I do remember when something repeated is associated with known malware. And so in a nutshell, I think I answered your question. More than any other item, I believe my thought was made based on association.

normhaga
normhaga

No I do not have or know of any stats supporting corruption during defrag. It seems to me that software houses would not want this to be known and it take to long to create the situation for me to compile my own stats. If you had an error rate of .001%, when you multiply that by 1^9 (1 gig) you would have .001 errors per gig. While a thousand gigs of moved data to create one full error seems high you must remember that during a defrag the same data may be moved 5, 6, 7, or more times. It only takes one inverted bit to bork a critical file. There are 8 bits to a byte, so that the chance becomes statistically likely over time. The solution is to do a bit verify on each byte of data moved in a defrag, but this would add horrendously to the time it takes to do a defrag. You could also do a CRC check on each byte, or an MD5 but you have the same problem regarding time.

deepsand
deepsand

I mentioned in my prior post that I'd run into problems of my own. As they began immediately following the obligatory re-boot after installing MS patches, my 1st response was to do a Restore; Restore would not start. I eventually traced that particular problem to a corrupted DLL. From the outside, compared to the copy cached, it appeared to be the original as installed; the Size, along with all Time?Date stamps were fine. However, upon analyzing its contents, it was immediately observed that its Check Sum and Hash values were all wrong; it was, in fact, not a valid Windows image at all. While pondering how that could be, it occured to me that a 30-day trial version of Diskeeper 2008 Premier Pro had just expired earlier the same day; and, that I had activated its real time, background defragmenting feature. Now, while I cannot be certain that that DLL was not corrupted prior to the use of DK 2008, I must certainly allow that it may have been corrupted during a re-write by DK 2008. Does anyone really know the extent to which such re-writes are truly faithful copies of the original? Absent a zero error rate, sooner or later an error will occur. BTW, there's no need to apologize for a "tardy" reply. Except for a possible small few, TR is not our 1st life; for most, it's not even our 2nd one. And, in my case, although replacing the aforementioned DLL gave me access to the Restore function, that led to yet another problem, so that I'm still trying to get the box fully remediated.

normhaga
normhaga

Sorry about a late reply to your previous post. It goes against conventional thought, but what I have noticed is that excessive defragging can contribute to system failure. I noticed this with Perfect Disk 8 build 64. I have not determined if the corruption is due to background processes or error in bit copy. My thought is along the lines that when you move millions of bits, some error creeps in. I do not suggest not defragging, but watch how frequently.

deepsand
deepsand

you need not worry about corrupting the Registry owing to its hanging. It builds a .REG file, places the appropriate "Run Once" entry in the Registry, and then advises you to re-boot. I'd give you more specifics re. the name & location of the .REG file, etal., except that I'm now in my own Hell, owing to multiple file corruptions, such as explorer.exe, cmd.exe, several .dlls, and God knows what else, such that I am unable to effectively search the HD.

normhaga
normhaga

I have looked at the program via Whats Running, Autoruns, and Tune-Up Utilities process explorer, no indication given of why the problem occurs. Then I ran into a problem with a corrupted disk and rather than restore a backup that had been worked over several times, I rebuilt the OS from the ground up, which is why I have not responded before now. After rebuilding the laptop and before defragging or chasing other reg cleaners I looked at the reg compressor with a new FULL OS/Program install - same problem. I am kinda touchy letting an unknown program near any production machine, but I will check this option out on another machine. One thing to keep in mind though is that this machine refuses to run some software and it has to do with the video chipset (ATI X300 PCIE 5595, part of the X200M series). The X300 is really a cross for laptops of the X200, X800, and X1600 that uses shared rather than dedicated memory. As an example, DOS 6.22 will not run on this machine because the video does not support DOS, nor will XGL under Linux support 3D graphics for Compiz.

deepsand
deepsand

For the box in question, you might try using some utilities, such as SysInternals Process Explorer and RegMon, to better see what's happening. That RFA's using so much of the CPU time is not surprising; with no others apps running, it will use all that the CPU has to give. The odd thing is that it appears to be accomplishing nothing. Also, have you tried RFA on another machine?

normhaga
normhaga

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\FileSystem] "NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation"=dword:00000000 "Win31FileSystem"=dword:00000000 "Win95TruncatedExtensions"=dword:00000001 "NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate"=dword:00000001 I actually think that it may have more to do with the video driver. Sounds strange, true. However, the ati video driver is the only driver that is not the OEM install. I went to the ATI site and downloaded the most current driver.

deepsand
deepsand

Every time a file is accessed, even for a simple read only, its Accessed Time/Date Stamp gets updated. Under certain conditions, this can bring a machine to its knees. You might try temporarily disabling this. From COMMAND mode, enter [b]FSUTIL behavior set disablelastaccess 1[/b] To re-enable, replace the "1" with "0"; i.e., [b]FSUTIL behavior set disablelastaccess 0[/b] (BTW, this can be used to greatly speed up a number of applications, such as AV and AS, which potentially scan a very large number of files.) Also, you might take a look to see if the Deferred Procedure Calls are spiking.

normhaga
normhaga

Known install - a standard test install. While not my best machine, it is my favorite and operating conditions are known across a wide variety of conditions well enough that I can tell if the computer is infected by how long a process takes. Number of files > 293000 Excluded files directories: none RFA version: 6.1.0 Platinum Registry entries >= 210000 (not all files are registered in the registry by intent) Ran in safe mode with same result. I reached the screen where the hives would have been displayed, if they were displayed. No hives displayed, no sizes displayed, no projected sizes displayed because this is where the program freezes.

JCitizen
JCitizen

in fact I used to be card carrying party member; however I was more optimist than despair monger. :)

seanferd
seanferd

It was always a popular bit of graffiti seen in various spots at schools I attended. Literati, Libertarians, and Objectivists enjoyed carving it into tables and desks.

JCitizen
JCitizen

I always heard it was an expression of helplessness and despair. Perhaps they thought you picked the moniker for that purpose. As in,"Oh! I do say, who is John Galt?"

apotheon
apotheon

I'm glad you get some value out of it. Now . . . let's get back to egregious off-topicness -- or perhaps strict on-topicness. I could go either way.

seanferd
seanferd

It could be that I might post something ridiculously ignorant without any warning. Thanks for the posts, and there's not a thing to be 'sorry' about. I was highly amused. I am just glad that there is a place like TR, and people like yourself bringing us news, articles, information, and yes, entertainment. Thanks again. -- Sean

apotheon
apotheon

I was pretty sure you knew I was Chad Perrin. Suddenly seeing you post something that made me think you didn't know was a surprise to me. Silly me. I should have realized you were being "funny". Sorry 'bout that.

deepsand
deepsand

IMO, "novices" should [b]never[/b] be allowed to touch the Registry Hive, even by way of a "cleaner."

seanferd
seanferd

I actually knew that. That is why I sorta kinda singled you out. :) I actually didn't even have to check your profile- your identity was mentioned in a blog somewhere, ahh, here: The programming paradigm needs an update I may have known prior to the blog's publication, but definitely afterwards. This has been a most amusing group of off-topic postings. On topic is great as well. I love TR. I think I need a bumper sticker.

apotheon
apotheon

I [b]am[/b] our IT Security host, Chad Perrin. Check my profile.

seanferd
seanferd

You, me, maybe JCitizen, and definitely apotheon, are going to be soooo busted. We'll be lucky if our IT Security host, Chad, doesn't write us all up. ;)

john_galt
john_galt

I think you and seanfred, need to go to work, and if you think reading that tedious, expository fifty-page monologue was a chore, try talking for three straight hours. :) If I get booted off here for off-topic diatribe, it's your guys fault.;)

john_galt
john_galt

Last I heard, he and Dominique moved to the Valley, as it seems they were both upset at Gail's demise. I do think he should stop asking who is John Galt though.

apotheon
apotheon

I have to admit -- the second time I read [i]Atlas Shrugged[/i], I skipped your speech. Considering it's basically just a summary of the concepts put forward in the rest of the book, and is a tedious, expository fifty-page monologue, I'm sure you won't begrudge me that bit of laziness. edit: italics

seanferd
seanferd

Thanks for the laughs. From both these posts. (What... & The man who said)

john_galt
john_galt

you were expecting some hidden Valley, with a Solid Gold Dollar Sign, planted in the middle as some joke by one of my friends.:-)

john_galt
john_galt

RegVac not only has sound effects but visual as well, that gives the watchful line by line scan Tech, some sense of amusement. They can be turned off, but if there is a cust., watching, it's impressive as hell as it sucks up the nasties, and rings a bell. :)

seanferd
seanferd

out where Howard Roark is.

apotheon
apotheon

I'm surprised to discover that the answer to "Where is John Galt?" is "New Jersey."

seanferd
seanferd

I didn't know RegVac was still around. I had used it quite a number of years back, and it was definitely one of the better cleaners at the time. I don't really recall how much user control it allowed, but it never broke anything on my Win 95/98 systems. I may have to check that one out again, even if just for the sake of entertainment value. Does it still have that shop-vac sound on start-up? (Or was that Parson's dll cleaner?)

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