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    Nessabelle's Avatar
    Nessabelle Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #1

    Mar 23, 2006, 09:35 PM
    Registry
    How do I manually clean my registry?
    colbtech's Avatar
    colbtech Posts: 746, Reputation: 65
    Senior Member
     
    #2

    Mar 24, 2006, 01:24 AM
    Don't!

    While it may appear that "Just delete that line" will not cause any problem, it opens a whole world of hurt.

    Believe me, I thought "I don't play this game any more, I can delete all occurrences of it"... the words screaming in my head at the time were "NO, don't do it"

    Oh boy I should have listened. A reinstall later and all is now well, I don't know what I deleted that would have caused the computer to go doolally, but after much swearing and having to get a friend to resolve the problems I am now at peace with the world. I love my computer... now!
    NeedKarma's Avatar
    NeedKarma Posts: 10,635, Reputation: 1706
    Uber Member
     
    #3

    Mar 24, 2006, 02:18 AM
    Ccleaner is a good utility that I use --> http://www.ccleaner.com/
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man
     
    #4

    Mar 24, 2006, 04:55 AM
    The short answer is to run REGEDIT. But the Registry was NOT designed for user friendliness. There are too many things that can be easily messed up if you don't know exactly what you are doing.

    I know plenty of very knowledgeable people who won't touch the Registry except as a last resort.
    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,928, Reputation: 674
    Ultra Member
     
    #5

    Mar 24, 2006, 06:13 AM
    Hi, Nessa,
    I know plenty of very knowledgeable people who do use the Registry, to manually clean it; and some who learn by first-hand experience, which is the best teacher. You never know what you can accomplish until you try.

    WARNING! If you Edit the Registry, your computer might not re-start. You are on your own, and if anything happens, will have to figure out how to solve it!
    Here are steps and suggestions to answer your question, which you asked very simply.
    Before using Registry Editing, always shut down your computer. Then, turn it back on. This saves a good copy of the Registry. If you make a mistake in the Registry, you can change it back to the "Last Known Good Configuration" as follows in this link:
    http://support.microsoft.com/default...307852&sd=tech
    Get familiar with finding this selection before you go into the Registry.

    First, go to Start/Run and type in REGEDIT, click on OK.
    Now that you are in the Registry, don't make any changes just yet. Move around some and get use to seeing it.
    Left click on the + sign, to the left of the first heading. This expands the listing.
    Keep scrolling down on the left hand side, looking at all the Folder names, to get an idea of just how much is in the Registry! Keep this up for as long as you like.
    Then, when through looking, Click on File, Exit, at the top.

    Now, if you want to Delete any values from the Registry, go back to the Registry as above. WARNING; If you delete the wrong things, your computer might not reboot!
    You can search for entries, for example RUN. All programs that start up when you boot up the computer are listed under "Run", Run Services", etc. These are the entries listed under Start/Run, then MSCONFIG.
    So, when in the Registry, click on Edit, then Find.
    In the space, type in what you want to find, such as RUN, then at the bottom of that window, left click (put a checkmark by) "Match whole string only". This will stop your searching from stopping at every single sentence with the name ". This will stop your searching from stopping at every single sentence with the name " in it.
    Click on the Find Next button.
    It will stop searching at the first Run word it finds. Left click on the Folder, Run, and look to the right at the values in that folder.
    When finished here, press the F3 key on top of the keypad, to continue searching.
    When finished in the Registry, click on File, Exit, at the top.
    This searching can be used when one uses the Add/Remove Programs, to uninstall a program. Windows does not uninstall all of the Registry values, leaving behind many of them. So, deleting them manually will clear out what the uninstall program did not do.
    When searching, type in something related to what you uninstalled, such as SpyBot, or whatever relates to the program.

    I do wish you the best, and again, be careful. Other answers given so far have also given you Warnings! Good luck.
    phillysteakandcheese's Avatar
    phillysteakandcheese Posts: 973, Reputation: 356
    Senior Member
     
    #6

    Mar 24, 2006, 02:22 PM
    I used a utiltiy called Easy Cleaner.
    http://personal.inet.fi/business/toniarts/ecleane.htm

    It has a few useful features, and doesn't break things when it runs.

    I have found that there are a number of registry cleaners out there that are just too aggressive in what they try to delete... and they break things I don't want broken for the sake of a "slim" registry.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man
     
    #7

    Mar 24, 2006, 02:40 PM
    As an IT professional, I have dealt with a lot of people who make their living supporting computers. Manually editing the Registry is considered a last resort.

    The good piece of advice Fred gave was to reboot first. You might want to check out this article:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756/en-us

    About backing up the Registry.
    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,928, Reputation: 674
    Ultra Member
     
    #8

    Mar 24, 2006, 03:08 PM
    Hi,
    If you will check out the link I gave about keeping a copy of the current, good Registry, it explains what to do, and how to recover it. Best wishes.
    Press2Esc's Avatar
    Press2Esc Posts: 252, Reputation: 10
    Full Member
     
    #9

    Mar 27, 2006, 05:39 AM
    Nessa,

    The real short answer to your questions is you don't.. Only the developer of the application knows the specifics of the registry. The registry is the computers brain. Unless you are very knowledgeable of the registry and its settings, think of cleaning (deleting) your registry equal to performing a lobotomy - without training. :eek:

    The real question is why - not how.

    P2E

    Quote Originally Posted by Nessabelle
    How do I manually clean my registry??
    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,928, Reputation: 674
    Ultra Member
     
    #10

    Mar 27, 2006, 06:24 AM
    HI,
    Why manually clean the Registry?
    When one uses the Add/Remove Programs, under Control Panel, Windows does not clean out everything associated with the program.
    It sometimes leaves the following; which "clutter up" the harddrive:
    1. Folder in Windows Explorer
    2. Program names under Start/Programs
    3. dll files in System and other places.
    4. Registry values, not deleted, associated with the program.
    5. Any shortcut icons placed on the desktop, or in desktop folders.

    Seaching the Registry for items associated with an uninstalled program, then deleting those values, and Folders, are a learning process with a computer, keeping the Registry and the computer, running more smoothly.
    All the above are answers to "Why".
    Curlyben's Avatar
    Curlyben Posts: 18,485, Reputation: 1859
    BossMan
     
    #11

    Mar 27, 2006, 06:35 AM
    With the number of registry cleaners on the market there is absolutly no reason to do this manually.
    As Press2Esc said:
    think of cleaning (deleting) your registry equal to performing a lobotomy - without training
    Even trained professional, like Scott and myself (and others I may of missed), avoid doing this!
    One slip and you're in a world of hurt.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man
     
    #12

    Mar 27, 2006, 06:45 AM
    All Fred's points are valid for why its necessary to clean the Registry, but NONE of them justify MANUALLY cleaning the Registry. There are plenty of good tools (Fred often promotes CCleaner for this purpose).

    Again, manually editing the Registry should only be considered as a last resort.
    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,928, Reputation: 674
    Ultra Member
     
    #13

    Mar 27, 2006, 06:51 AM
    Hi,
    I, and others, promote CCleaner, for cleaning junk files, etc.
    It does NOT do a very good job with the Registry... just wanted to make that clear.
    NeedKarma's Avatar
    NeedKarma Posts: 10,635, Reputation: 1706
    Uber Member
     
    #14

    Mar 27, 2006, 06:56 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by fredg
    Hi,
    I, and others, promote CCleaner, for cleaning junk files, etc.
    It does NOT do a very good job with the Registry.....just wanted to make that clear.
    Actually I believe that it does an adequate job for those who are not familiar with the purpose of each hive of the registry, plus it prompts you to back up the registry before any action.
    Curlyben's Avatar
    Curlyben Posts: 18,485, Reputation: 1859
    BossMan
     
    #15

    Mar 27, 2006, 07:05 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by fredg
    Hi,
    I, and others, promote CCleaner, for cleaning junk files, etc.
    It does NOT do a very good job with the Registry.....just wanted to make that clear.
    Total COBBLERS !!!!
    It does a better job than an untrained and even partly trained operator can do.
    For a piece of freeware it is excellent and possiblely one of the must have apps for any computer.
    Nez's Avatar
    Nez Posts: 557, Reputation: 51
    Senior Member
     
    #16

    Mar 27, 2006, 08:00 AM
    Please,please,please,do not mess with the registry yourself,unless you work in IT full time,or have a complete understanding of the mechanics of machine code.As a lot of excellent answers have already been posted,I thought I'd have to back Curlyben-up on this one,as CrapCleaner is probably the best (in my opinion),and safest way to get rid of junk,and useless files which you don't need,after visiting any web site,or old programs after "normal" uninstall.
    As Scott has said manually cleaning the registry is taboo.As someone who has learned that lesson the hard way over the years,believe me,unless you want to spend hours tearing your hair out,or worse,doing a total re-install.
    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,928, Reputation: 674
    Ultra Member
     
    #17

    Mar 27, 2006, 08:03 AM
    Hi,
    I based my opinion of CCleaner in regards to cleaning the registry, on the other Registry cleaner I use, which is:
    RegCleaner 4.3 Build 78 , by Jouni Vuorio, copyright 1999-2001. It was free at that time, now at:
    http://www.jv16.org/
    Is about $20 US now.
    RegCleaner does so much, much more in cleaning the Registry than CCleaner, cause I can run Ccleaner, than afterwards run RegCleaner, and it still finds at least 20 entries to get rid of.
    I agree that CCleaner is one of the best free programs out there, and that's why I recommend it in answers.
    I do apologize if I have offended anyone, basing my opinion of CCleaner's Registry cleaning ability on comparing with Jouni Vuorio.
    My apologies.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man
     
    #18

    Mar 27, 2006, 08:16 AM
    Where you have "offended" (to use your word) is in your stance that manually editing the Registry is not as big a deal as others do. You notice that several answers, except yours, did not give instructions on how to do it. Rather we recommended using 3rd party tools instead. And we warned against doing it, except as a last resort. I think all the others are people who make their living in IT which I don't believe you have ever done.
    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,928, Reputation: 674
    Ultra Member
     
    #19

    Mar 27, 2006, 08:26 AM
    Hi,
    My opinions are my own, and I have a right to voice my opinions. If they don't coincide with yours, or anyone who is posting in this thead, then so be it. The person asking the question has many good answers on which to base their decision. The final decision on whether to Manually Edit the Registry or not, is up to them. You have a right to disagree, so do I.
    I do agree that using a good Automatic Registry Cleaner is the best idea. However, the question was not about Automatic Registry Cleaners. It was how to edit it manually.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man
     
    #20

    Mar 27, 2006, 08:48 AM
    Yes, Fred, you have the right to voice your opinion, just as I have the right to voice mine.

    And yes, the asker has the choice of which advice to follow. But no, that's not the "important issue" here. The important issue is providing the BEST advice we can for the asker. We want to give the asker good advice not conflicting advice that might confuse them. The point of answering questions and what this forum is all about is to help the asker, not just post answers. And your penchant for posting answers without regard for the quality of those answers has offended many here.

    Now which advice do you think this asker is going to follow when six people say don't do it and one says OK?

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