Fix Registry

How do you fix Registry problems?

From matters of reduced computer efficiency to the horrors of an absolute system failure, every Windows user will do some form of battle with the Windows Registry file. For this reason, we seek easy solutions. We wonder about the effectiveness of Registry cleaners and repair software. Do they, in actual fact, fix Registry problems? Do they help prevent future Registry disasters?

Through a series of tests and comparisons, this article answers that question.

I herein assume the reader to have a working knowledge and understanding of the Windows Registry, and of the purpose it serves within the Windows operating system. A detailed layout and explanation of the Registry can be viewed at the Wikipedia Encyclopedia site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Registry.

Setting the Stage.

Using a purchased version of Advanced SystemCare Pro (ver. 3.1.1), I setup a testing stage by running an initial scan on this laptop. The decision to use SystemCare Pro as a base starting point has nothing to do with any preferred performance capabilities.

The project starts by executing four major system cleanup features:

1. Spyware Removal: Proposes to remove spyware and adware.
2. Registry Fix: Aims to clean up the Registry and improve system performance.
3. Privacy Sweep: Purports to clean up activity history and Internet surfacing traces.
4. Junk Files Cleaner: Claims to cleanup and restore space wasted in temporary file storage and other Windows disk hogging.

SystemCare Pro classifies these functions under a “Maintain Windows” heading. Figure 1 displays the starting scan results for a well-maintained system. Though not revealed through the attached pictures, a secondary SystemCare Pro heading, “Diagnose System”, involves an effort to analyze system performance and security problems. These are classified as:

1. System Optimization: Aims to enhance and repair system configuration issues.
2. Security Defense: Purposed to prevent spyware from being installed on a system.
3. Disk Defrag: Focused upon hard disk performance improvement.
4. Security Analyzer: Scans the system to pinpoint hijacked settings.

Notice my purposeful lack of assertive word usage. I make no assurances as to the effectiveness of the above Registry cleaning functions. In all of the processes, SystemCare Pro reports a successful resolution to the previously identified problems (Fig. 2 and Fig. 3). The stage is now set. With the exceptions of the Security Analyzer process, this system should be clean and free of any Windows Registry complications. You too should leave Security Analyzer to itself.

Each software package that is include in this test, advertises a free Registry scan. Each package also requires a complete download and full component installation. After each package is tested, I uninstall the components. SystemCare Pro is then reinstalled, and executed to the point of the beginning test results.

RegTool: our first challenger.

The initial RegTool report displays, among other items, 902 Registry entries and 14 performance issues (Fig_4). Note also that only 487 privacy items are reported. After running the RegTool repair feature, 471 of the Registry entries are claimed as repaired (Fig_5).

For step two of this test, RegTool was completely uninstalled from the system. This uninstall included a hand removing of a lingering RegTool directory. The software was then reinstalled. The second run instantly reported 471 Registry entries. This was before any scan was completed. When uninstalled, RegTool left my system trashed with its own droppings.

Notice the near instantaneous leap in privacy issues from 487 to 601 (Fig. 5 compared to Fig. 6). Did this so-called privacy issue change by 114 items merely because I repeated a download the RegTool Registry software?

 

RegCure challenger number two.

As a step toward increasing the value of these tests, I performed the following steps:

1. Uninstalled RegTool.
2. Removed the RegTool folder.
3. Installed RegCure.

Note that I did not rerun the SystemCare Pro package. RegCure reports directly behind the RegTool cleanup efforts. Notice the number of proclaimed Registry problems (Fig. 7). The attached screen shots speak a sufficient language.

RegCure does not provide a quick uninstall feature. On a positive side, when uninstalled through the Windows Control Panel, RegCure cleaned up behind itself.

RegDefense: last but not least.

This test begins with the following steps:

1. All traces of other Registry repair software is removed from the system.
2. SystemCare Pro. is installed and executed.
3. SystemCare Pro is removed.
4. RegDefense is installed and executed.

Notice that RegDefense presents the greatest number of errors reported thus far. Consider also that if makes no effort to perform any Registry corrections (Fig_8).

The uninstall routines, though accessed through the program menu, left several small files in a lingering RegDefense directory.

Final Report.

Each Registry cleaner displayed a list of errors. Some proclaimed to have fixed a portion of the identified Registry errors. If seems that there should be a progressive decrease in the quantity of reported system complications and corruptions. It also appears that some “fix” Registry software must perform much better than others. You decide.

As a final point of observation we return to the SystemCare Pro scan (Fig. 9). Four Registry cleaning software programs claim various system corrections. One purchased package declares a clean machine.

What do you think?