By Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.
Did you vet this program before hawking it? Have you used any other such programs, so as to make a comparison?
I've been using Registry Mechanic pretty regulary now, and haven't noticed any issues. Of course, this is a paid subscription, and will run out in about 8 months so . . . is it worth it to go to TweakNow for FREE when my Reg Mech runs out? (I see a lot of negative reviews; what's everybody's concensus on this?)
One thing that many people seem to overlook is the wonderful and some times handy 'System Restore' feature of WinXP. I always create a restore point before I install any testing programs or make any questionable changes to anyone's system - it can (and has saved mine) save your butt and hours of rebuild work.
I prefer a registry app that does the additional processing to see if a key can be "repaired". For example, after updating Java runtime, there can be a fair number of keys pointing to the previous version - rather than delete them, I'd rather choose to fix those keys. Registry First Aid, for example, offers up choices to fix keys, and lets the user select. Additionally, it has three levels of fixes, essentially "safe", "caution", "hey, watch out!". I always examine its choice(s) for fixing, especially in cases when the key points to something like "update.exe" - there can be a lot of choices and its suggestion is quite likely not correct (sometimes it is); but I can check out the others, picking a different fix, outright deletion, or to leave the key alone. I also use RegSupreme Pro, which can also fix keys (but it does not first offer up what fix, if there's more than one possibility, to apply).
As opposed to those that merely give one a "take it or leave it" choice, Registry First Aid puts the use in control. Granted, it does require some [u]thought[/u] for its full & best use, but that's the price one pays for not having to rely on others for decisions that affect you.
As described in some of these threads, a registry cleaner can quite comprehensively fubar your machine, did anyone say rebuild? First thing to do is to back up your registry, like so... 1, START menu then RUN 2, type REGEDIT 3, on the file menu select EXPORT 4, save it somewhere safe 5, play with any registry cleaner you like, or just delete stuff for fun!!
Good advice, I have used many different registry tools over the years, they all act basically the same. However, TweakIV offers a slight twist. TweakIV lets you "fix" or edit your registry on each of the three classes separately. Slightly different than the one fix, fixes all. But as this poster warns, rule of thumb i always back the file up before running ANY utility on it. Wise. As far as restore points go, generally speaking I have found that in almost all instinces where I truly needed it, it fails ... miserably. System restore always seems to work when I am just "playing" around. Sigh. My Vista Ultimate will still be giving everyone headaches when they release BlackComb in a short 24 months, as did Xp before Vista, And 200o before that, and 98.... well, you get the drift. Someday, I'll take my doctors advice and buy a mac. But not until I defeat the mighty microsloth. Check out TweakIV for Vista though. If only for the reg cleaner. Cheers.
I am looking at all sorts of registry cleaners and this one isnt the only one..however some other things I need done requires that i back up my system and my profession is housewife..one of the oldest and least paid..believe me..anyway I see here that you say to do these things..now where does one save it to a safe place..do you mean on the computer itself...or on a dvd or cd or what..I am stupid..and need bit by bit instruction..appreciate your help in this ..gratefulmouse...thanks
Backups have become another hotly contested topic. If your not running the space station or somthing equally important, you may as well save only your personal files and re-install operating systems and software. What folks are refering to here is keeping a working original copy of the registry handy, second hard drive, cd/dvd if you wish. The reality is that to back up an entire system these days has become as big job as re-installing everything in most cases. If your system or laptop came with re-install disks all the better. Just save all your personal files, music, docs etc on dvd's for example, run the restore disks, do some updates and you off to the races. Networks and office systems however are another matter. An easy way of keeping all your stuff is to have a second oir third harddrive installed in your system, run RAID utilities, or do a periodic disk copy. everyone has their own way of backing up their stuff. As far as the registry file is concerned, its a particularly nasty little scenario if you bugger it up with utilities or muckling about, a good idea is to have this file ticked away somewhere for easy retrieval. That said, even these files are starting to become large and cumbersome. If your not paranoid, stash some vital files on the oinline virtual drives that msn or yahoo provide. Lots of ways to skin this cat (no offence to the cat lovers) :) Cheers
LOL. Just wanted to ask a dumb question. How do you restore your registry from the export? Reboot in safe mode and? I'm not having any problems but was curious.
It all depends how badly mashed your O/S has been done in, most of the time you'll be able to get as far as regedit again in safe mode, or, possibly use something like BARTPE. Hope this helps!
run regedit - file - import. Browse to the reback file you want import, click open and the backup is imported.
when you say that..avast are you talking about the free antivirus thing that I have loaded on my computer...which is way great by the way..let me know..I have no idea what Im reading on here so if I ask what you think are dumb questions..Im not a tech..just a mom..who maybe later might be taking some computer courses because of the new stuff we are getting or the really technical upgrades..believe me I was here when they started computers coming into the home and all that was used was software you downloaded..I never got into that..and then when they said..."INTERNET"....BANG that caught my attention..I started in my early 40's and now am in my middle 50's..they use to say...computer friendly...you know what that meant..everything was explained on the computer..for people like me...however, since that time..they are not..so its not really oh yea...that is right its not computer friendly its ...USER FRIENDLY.. that indeed its not..you have to get a degree in computers..I have had a problem with mouse freezes..or who knows what it is..all I know is my arrow on my screen stops for a few minutes and I move my mouse for awhile sometimes and it begins to move again and this bell sound happens from the computer to let me know something is wrong..I have an acer aspire..almost new purchased in nov 2006..great machine except for that..did use a logitech express cam on it..older one and there is an issue with it causeing that..mouse or computer freezes who knows..but I unhooked the logitech and undid the software..and its still doing the same thing..it killed the acer mouse and I am using an intellimouse by microsoft..but its doing the same t hing and no matter what usb port I use it does the same thing..i got the machine from circuit city and took out warranty for 2 yrs they will do nothing until the manufact warranty wears out and I cant take it there or send it becuz you cant be sure it wont mess up on its way then I am out a computer..got any ideas and that is why I wanted to do a registry cleaner or something like that...great if you can help..
Hopefully I won't need to recover a registry but without the knowledge it becomes a monumental task.
makes a registry edit program that can be integrated into a PE disk. So even if the computer will not boot, you can use the PE disk to boot, browse the disk, and import the old hives into the registry. I spent maybe 12 hours building the disk (could have downloaded one in 10 min I know) but now I am fairly prepared for most OS/registry corruption.
I have MSN Dial-up and have found that TweakNow RegCleaner disables my email in my MSN Explorer browser. Apparently, during its clean it deletes some crucial DLLs in the Program Files/MSN folder, and disables MSN email. This is quit a big deal, since you have to un-install MSN, then re-install online, which takes a couple of hours with dial-up. I wish that you would, if possible, pass this message along to the TweakNow people, or least warn your readers of this feature of the software. Tom English
it's working fine and detects some depth errors in my registry. however, i personally feel that it's large window design is not very user-friendly. unlike the easy-to-use CCleaner, this one has more than one dialogs and it's sometimes quite confusing to use.
I'm not sure how much more user friendly you'd want the app to be. Standard version has two basic settings, beginner and expert. The difference being that expert runs a more detailed scan. Results are posted in an easy to understand format with options to clean or not. May not be suitable for an enterprise solution but for the basic home user looking for a registry cleaner--this one works just fine. Pro edition has a few more options.
Procedure: Download TweakNow RegCleaner Run Windows update (3rd April '07) Restart Windows XP Pro SP2 Install TweakNow RegCleaner Run it and remove 13 'problems' it finds. Re Run TweakNow: All Clear Run System Mechanic 6 - if TweakNow is any good, System Mechanic should have nothing to do. [System Mechanic finds 11 Invalid Shared Dynamic Link Libraries, 1 invalid Auto Run program, 8 Unused Software Keys and 78 Invalid Folder and Filename References.] Choose System Mechanic's Fix All Button Re Run System Mechanic: All Clear Re Run TweakNow: All clear Uninstall TweakNow Re Run System Mechanic: All Clear Verdict: I'll keep System Mechanic thank you. At least TweakNow uninstalls cleanly :o)
I've tried several registry cleaning tools recently, and noticed the same thing, Snak. One tool seems to find things that another one misses. I guess maybe registry cleaning is an inexact science.
I use Advanced System Optimizer which is a suite of utilities that are very useful - those same things you list happens to me when I use it. Often time it finds a number files in help and support and in other apps or programs that I think nothing is wrong. It is somewhat user-friendly. The Best thing to do is backup the register before using cleaners. oh ASO has a backup apps too. ASO is very useful to me. I chosed ASO over all others because of the reviews and ratings - #1 Reg cleaner from TechRepublic, PC Magazine and other IT sites
I've tried System Mechanic's 'Optimization Tools' but it corrupted my XP. It removed a lot of files including some entries for Windows Startup but did not tell me any details.
Thank you. This is exactly what I was wondering. You saved me an hour or so of playing with Yet Another Poor (and sometimes dangerous) Registry Cleaner. The feedback is what makes a good forum invaluable.
System Mechanic has been my choice for cleaning up the registry for the past year. I'll stick with it also.
"Upgraded" (bad choice of words) to System Mechanic 7.....Prog DESTROYED my OS (WinXP) Had to re-install WinXP and lost mucho!!! Avoid SysMech7 like the plague!!!!!
Go ahead and run their registry compactor and defrag utilities! I followed their steps explicitly and during the third automatic re-boot during the process, Wham!! No more boot-up, even in safe mode. So, good luck to ya!!!
message: The exception unknown software exception (0x0eedfade) occurred in the application at location 0x7c81eb33.
Use the Jv16 Power Tools 2006 its one of the best and user friendly with with auto backup of registry and many other features, one month free trial.
When under XP I had to use three seperate reg cleaners to fully clean the registry, two are listed in the title, the third was Tune-up Utilities. Each would pick up something the other missed. Each could be dangerous if misused. Now I am using Vista and finding that all registry cleaning, if used aggresively, can destroy a system. I have had to re-image my HD 6 times in 2 weeks from backup due to ignorent use of reg cleaning and system suites. This maybe that I am using the 64 bit version of Vista Ultimate or it may be that it is due to most utilites being written for 32 bit OS's, or it may be due to fundamental changes in the reg structure in Vista vs. XP, especially for the 64 bit versions. The hardware is new and is an HP Pavillion dv9225us (tl-60 cpu). Does anyone out there in Cyberland have similar experiences that may be able to share them and the fixes or work-arounds they have found?