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Have I been spammed, scammed, or just conned?

By jardinier ·
I receive emails from with jokes, news in brief and various offers.

Today I took up this offer:

and downloaded the software: "RegistrySmart."

It scanned various areas of my computer and found 3** problems. So I clicked on "Fix Problems" and received a message that in order to fix the problems I would have to register and pay for the software online.

So I paid for the software -- for three computers -- and the whole price was reasonable.

HOWEVER having once paid for the software, the alleged problems miraculously disappeared and a fresh scan revealed no problems. I do not think all those 3** problems could have been fixed in the twinkling of an eye.

So my question is: could all those problems have actually been fixed in a split second, or was I simply conned?

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When it did the fix

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Have I been spammed, scam ...

it should have at least taken a back up of your registry. In fact the thing should have an undo.
A good one will also have a registry file of the changes it made.
If it hasn't done either or both of those two things, it's crap anyway, if it has a bit of checking should reveal the differences (if any).

Personally I'm always really wary of that method of generating sales. Too many scammers like it.

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On closer examination

by jardinier In reply to When it did the fix

it does indeed have a backup with the option to restore from any given backup. I can see from the times that it has apparently made a back-up of each scan I have run, including the initial one.

It shows no problems now so I will leave well-enough alone. Perhaps I will try a scan in a few weeks or so and see if it detects any new errors.

Normally I wouldn't dream of downloading this kind of software, but I have been getting stuff from for a long time without any problems.

A pleasing feature of this program RegistrySmart is that there is only a one-off payment, with live updates which are (hopefully) free.

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If those updates aren't free

by Tig2 In reply to On closer examination

Try CCleaner. It is completely free, has an intuitive GUI, and can be downloaded from

I have used this tool for a number of years and love it because in addition to registry fix, it will clear out any other thing that is fragmented or a cookie. I install it as a matter of course to any pc I configure.

I have to agree with Tony. The sales approach is somewhat suspect. But proves that even IT folk can be taken in. Hopefully, the tool will provide you with what you need.

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IF it's the product from, it's legit and ...

by deepsand In reply to If those updates aren't f ...

widely distributed by a plethora of affilates.

However, it would hardly be my registry tool of 1st choice; I prefer one that gives me more detailed info. re. the "problem," gives more choices as how do deal with each "problem," including my manually editing the Registry, and rates the "problems" re. how safe it is to alter the Registry entries in question.

Registry Smart simply provides a list of "problems," and gives one the choice of doing nothing or trusting it to properly "fix" them. Without it's telling me what it's going to do, e.g. delete the entry, cut the sub-string, change the entry, etc., I'm not about to give it permission to do anything.

Furthermore, I have a strong dislike for any application that tries to install itself in the Startup Registry entry without asking me for permission; Spy Bot Search & Destroy caught Registry Smart trying to do just that!

Bottom line, Registry Smart is a product for "dummies," with no offense intended.

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Thank you

by jardinier In reply to IF it's the product from ...

Message received and understood. There is an uninstall option. Because I am not in front of the particular computer at this moment, I cannot check if it is in Add/Remove programs but will do so later.

I have been hesitant to use any registry fix software and only downloaded RegistrySmart because of my long and happy association with

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Mission accomplished !!

by jardinier In reply to IF it's the product from ...

It was listed in Add/Remove programs and has been removed from my computer except for one shared file. I am always wary about deleting these no-longer-used-by-any-other-application shared files, but would welcome your advice on this.

Thank you.

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I know the doubt that you're having.

by deepsand In reply to Mission accomplished !!

It's been my experience that well behaved, which of course includes being well designed, un-install programs can be trusted to not mis-represent a needed "shared" file as being unneeded.

In the case of programs in which you have insufficient trust, such that you suspect that their intent is nefarious to the point of perhaps deliberately corrupting your system if you attempt to remove them, by tricking you into removing a needed .dll, you can always try the following:

1) Make a note of the name of the .dll in question;
2) Tell the un-install program to not remove it; and
3) After the un-install has completed, search your drive(s) for the location(s) of said .dll.

Now, it is important to note that there are, with respect to un-installs, 2 different usages of "remove." One means to delete the file, while the other means to un-register it, i.e. to remove record of it's existence from the Registry Hive. Unfortunately, un-install progams rarely make that distinction in the massages provided you.

If the "removal" that you declined was the latter kind, then no harm has been done; at worst, the Registry now contains as useless entry.

If the "removal" was the former, then you can, at your pleasure, try renaming the physical file, so that it becomes unaccessible to any application that needs it, and watch for undesirable effects. If you observe one or more applications now consistently failing, particularly if they give an explicit error message relating to the file in question, then you need only rename said file to its original name. Again, if the file is in truth not needed, there is no real harm in having it around; the only cost is the disk space that it occupies.

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by jardinier In reply to I know the doubt that you ...

I will leave them there.

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As for the detritous left behind, ...

by deepsand In reply to I know the doubt that you ...

don't be surprised if, upon using a different Registry tool, it uncovers and removes the entries that you left behind in caution!

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Thanks for the tip

by jardinier In reply to If those updates aren't f ...

I will do just that.

It is nice to have a product with a proven good record by an IT person.

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