(NT) RegSeeker gives you the choice ...
... of deleting ALL registry entries found to be unnecessary or just those that RegSeeker determines are SAFE to delete (that is, that no installed programs, including the operating system, are using the entries). Additionally, RegSeeker creates a backup of the removed entries (if you click the box to do so) so that you can add them back to the registry if an entry was inadvertantly removed.
I use both RegSeeker from Hoverdesk software and System Mechanic from iolo. I've never had a problem with either one in over 2 years.
For those of you who still question the need to clean the Windows registry, perform this simple task:
The next time you delete a program from your computer, reboot the machine to assure that all associated registry entries are removed according to the program's uninstall file. Next, bring up the Registry Editor (Start/Run/regedit/OK), click EDIT on the toolbar, then click FIND. Type in the name of the program you just deleted from your machine, then click FIND NEXT as often as necessary until you are notified that the search is complete. Depending on the size of the program you uninstalled, I guarantee that you will find registry entries for that program still lurking in the hive.
The problem is that each time you install a program, the registry grows - and unstalling the programs often will not delete all the registry entries associated with that program. Windows needs to search through ALL those registry entries to find the ones for the programs you still use. The more junk there is in the registry, the longer it takes Windows to access the other entries. The result? Slower system performance.
The advice given in these forums to create a restore point and make system backups are both very good ideas - not just prior to cleaning the registry, but as a general rule of everyday computing. Numerous things can go wrong (hard drive failure, power outages, a virus, etc.) that can cause data loss and programs to stop functioning.
The fear of cleaning the registry, albeit a valid one to a novice user, should not be cause for concern provided a reliable software program is used to perform the task. My best advice is this: if you don't understand the registry, of if you are uncomfortable with performing a cleaning operation within the registry, don't do it. Leave it to someone who knows what they're doing. We shouldn't invest in the stock market if we don't understand the stock market.
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