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Orphan Registry Entries

By jm ·
We are a small software company that creates custom DLL's for a number of companies. In the course of testing, we occasionally have to register a set of DLLS without unregistering the previous set of DLL's, creating orphan registry entries. Up until this point, we've advocated using a registry clean tool, but last week someone using Registry Mechanic lost their ability to maintain Symantec applications (and we rely on quite a few of these for VPN) due to something done by the registy cleaner. Apparently, MS and Symantec recommend categorically against registry cleaners, because of the potential of service release creating registry entries not properly anticipated by the "cleaner" getting "cleaned" and then causing the system to fail. I looked carefully at Registry Mechanic, and the tool had some bugs even saving the customization settings I tried to configure. I do not think it is trusworthty, desite it's position in the market. Can anyone recommend a way for us to get rid of our orphan registry entries with a minimum amount of intervention to the rest of the registry? What would be ideal is something where we could circulate a settings file that would cause the tool to focus on the one thing we need it for-- orphan entries -- without corrupting anything else.

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by TheChas In reply to Orphan Registry Entries

I myself have not used Registry Mechanic.

However, the other registry cleaners I have used have worked fine without creating new problems.

Win Doctor in Norton System Suite and Fix-It from V-Com have both worked well for me.

I have also used Registry First Aid from Rose City Software.

All 3 of these have settings so you can limit what type of entries they look at.

I continue to recommend and use registry cleaners when the problems with a system indicate the need.

As to your specific situation, do you know, or could you create a list of known orphans?

If you know that specific DLLs are orphaned, and the exact registry keys related to them, you should be able to add code to your installer / uninstaller that would remove just the set of known registry keys.

Its been way to long since the last time I used it, but there are ways to apply patches to add and remove registry keys.

Chas

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by jm In reply to Orphan Registry Entries

Does Norton "Win Doctor" handle this specific problems -- orphaned registry entries caused when registering a DLL on top of another DLL?

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by ziminski In reply to Orphan Registry Entries

XP users can create System Restore points, which back up all data (including the Registry) so you can restore your system to that precise state. You should run System Restore manually before you make major hardware or software changes or try to work with the Registry.

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by jm In reply to Orphan Registry Entries

In our case, however, the system restore points were not working. I think that there are spyware infections that will **** away this feature. You can clean up the spyware, but the system restore functionality remains broken.

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by jm In reply to Orphan Registry Entries

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