Scan Your Registry
Shortly after I began working with Windows systems, I learned of the term "registry".
Most references to the Windows registry were associated with system failure or malfunction. The registry errors were due to obsolete, incorrect or unwanted entries from applications or malware, file corruption, or a simple editing mistake.
My associates talked about their problems with the registry in the same tone that they talked about heart attacks and strokes.
Even the name, "registry", was imposing enough for me never to tamper with it.
However, the other day at DOWNLOAD.COM, I came across some registry repair tools. My curiosity got the best of me, and I downloaded free trial versions of two registry repair programs:
- WinASO Registry Optimizer (version 2.0.5)
- Registry Mechanic (version 188.8.131.52)
September 03, 2010 Update:WinASO Registry Optimizer 4.6.0 - Released: August 24, 2010
Registry Mechanic 10.0.0.126 - Released: August 05, 2010
These programs detect registry errors and, at your option and peril, repair them for you.
I ran both programs on a year old Windows XP machine and found approximately 500 registry errors! I also scanned my old Windows 98 machine (it always ran smoothly), and surprisingly found only 30 errors.
I took the plunge and fixed almost every registry problem.
Now it may only be my imagination, but after the fix, the systems boot faster and run faster too. If nothing else, I feel better using these systems. At least they are still running...
Given my positive experience, I recommend that you scan your Windows registry to assess its health. You will probably find a lot of errors.
However, if you have the slightest doubt about what you are doing, or how you will undo a mistake successfully, take no further action. Leave the repairs to a professional or don't make them at all.
The last thing you want is to damage the operating system beyond repair. You might lose some data, and may need to reformat the disk, reinstall Windows and your applications, restore the backed up data and reenter your system's settings.
I still do not know fully why the registry exists, what it does, and how it does it. But I am glad that I tried to fix it. Perhaps I was just lucky...
In retrospect, I took a big risk.
A Comprehensive List of Books on The Windows Registry