How can a Registry scan protect my computer?


Many software providers have used that question as a focal point for product sells. The deep level, electronic components of a computer are complex but dependable. When manipulated correctly (they do require precise instructions), they will perform faultlessly for years. On the other hand, the operating software is susceptible to many intrusions and complications. Though not absolute, there are times when one single trace of misinformed data can bring a computer to an instant standstill.

Face it; the Microsoft Windows operating system has many such faults and vulnerabilities. From basic system security to low level Registry corruption, the dangers surround us. At any given moment, the operating system can fail. For this cause, we practice safe computing through the use of operator awareness training, installed virus prevention software, and Registry scanning programs.

By helping to prevent misinformed data accidents, a Registry scan can help protect your computer.

Registry Comparison Tools.

Most Registry scan tools seek out missing links, unused Keys, shared DLL errors, and other such common Registry irritants. If we were talking automobiles, the Registry cleaners would be guarding against fender benders.

Perhaps Registry Comparison Tools provide a more valuable application of Registry scanning software. The install routines of computer applications make direct edits to your system’s Registry. The Registry is essential to the Windows operating system. The individual components of this database contain vital and non-vital information. From detailed directives involved in the access of system video drivers to the non-essential components of a solitary game pack, the Registry is Windows’ central information database.

Using a known, uncontaminated Registry, comparison tools create a data dump that can be compared to future Registry changes. In essence, they capture the essentials of a perfect Registry. This faultless Registry then becomes a Registry template. This gives the Registry scan tool an ideal Registry comparison starter source.

Through the course of system use, new components are added to the Registry. If proven safe, these changes are incorporated into the template Registry. Now all this is centered upon a certain concept of how a healthy Registry looks. Registry changes and additions are necessary or we could never install new hardware or software. But when the changes fall out of line with the normal, the Registry Comparison Tool begins to squawk.

Here are three programs that monitor changes in the Windows Registry.

SpyMe Tools v. 1.5.

This Registry monitoring and comparison tool can be used to detect malicious Registry activities. Spyware and Adware can be quickly identified, pinpointed, and rectified. This monitoring covers any files installed by any application: dlls, pictures, programs, or other. SpyMe can be downloaded from http://www.lcibrossolutions.com/.

Some of the custom program features include:

· Automatic update
· Real-time Registry monitoring.
· Custom sorting of File and Key Values.
· The ability to encrypt scanned dump files.
· Multiple subkeys and directory snapshots.
· Log files.
· Faster and better snapshot speed.
· Can delete new keys, restore old keys, and undo key deletions.
· Displays progress view for scanning and comparison processes.

On the positive: SpyMe is a Freeware tool.
On the negative: SpyMe does not support Vista or Windows 7.

Process Monitor v2.8.

This advanced monitoring tool shows real-time Registry, file system, and process thread activity. It includes features such as session Ids, user names, full thread stacks, simultaneous logging, and more. Formally the Sysinternals web site was created by Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell. It now belongs to Microsoft. Process Monitor is but one of many great utilities available from this source. Download it now: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896645.aspx.

Here is a limited overview of the software’s capacities:

· Non-destructive filters
· Reliable capture of process details
· The ability to capture the thread stacks of independent operations
· Adjustable filters
· Searches can be cancelled
· It logs boot time operations
· Uses a native log format

Process Monitor is an aggressive, in-depth Registry scanning and more software. This is not for the faint of heart. With this package, you can follow when and which applications are accessing your Registry. You can identify which Registry Keys are being accessed, what Values are being read, and what Keys and Values are being written.

Positive point: This product is feature packed and free.
Negative point: Process Monitor may be more detailed that what the average user needs.

InstallWatch Pro.

This software (http://www.epsilonsquared.com/) is one of most user-friendly Registry comparison packages. The front end is simple to use and easy to set up. Features include:

· Real-time monitoring
· System and Registry snapshots
· Quick on and off “Setup Detect” mode
· Installation relocation, meaning that software can be migrated to a new location
· Text export feature
· Customized print controls
· An inline program tour feature.
· New software installation analysis

InstallWatch Pro monitors and records changes made in your computer. Software Registry modifications, hardware Registry changes, and operating system configurations changes are instantly identified.

Features available through the configuration menu include:

· Establish default program directories
· Configure hard drive and directory monitoring and scanning
· Setup of file patterns that are to be ignored
· Selectively chose which Registry Keys should be monitored
· Control of miscellaneous program startup features

On the positive: InstallWatch Pro is free, menu driven, and quick.
On the negative: It seems unhappy with Vista.