A WORD OF CAUTION
by Kid A - 1/18/06 1:48 PM
In Reply to: Here is one I use. by Larry38
I have used both TweakNow RegCleaner and CCleaner, and would recommend both utilities. However, keep in mind that once you run any software designed to clean the Windows registry, System Restore will probably be unable to restore your computer to restore points created prior to the "cleaning."
Windows XP's System Restore utility essentially takes a snapshot of your registry. If System Restore is unable to find all registry entries of a given restore point while attempting a restoration, the process will stop and you will be informed that your computer was unable to be restored to the date/point in question. You might encounter the same issue when uninstalling software, too.
A good approach is to use a registry cleaner judiciously - say, every few weeks or once a month as opposed to daily or weekly, and never immediately after installing or updating software. Once your registry is "cleaned" and everything seems to work fine, create a new restore point. This would be your safety net in case you need to use System Restore before the next time you run your registry cleaner and/or your PC automatically creates a restore point for you.
You can also play it safe by making sure your cleaner backs up your registry before "cleaning" anything. Then, if you need to restore your computer to an earlier time but System Restore informs you that it is unable to do so, restore the old registry first. This would be more of a work-around than a perfect solution (because you might lose other desirable registry changes resulting from software updates and patches), but it should work. You'd be better off with the approach mentioned in the preceding paragraph, though.
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