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Thread: Registry questions....




  1. #1
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    Default Registry questions....

    A couple questions that I've been meaning to ask for a couple years & have never gotten around to it. (That's about how important they really are. :) :) )


    1. How much space does the registry take up?? In the past, I've deleted all unnecessary keys & really have never noticed any space-difference on the HD.

    2. By deleteing all unnecessary keys, will I notice much performance difference?? (Not "space" difference. I'm also aware of what damage you can do. I've played with it alot, although I'm not saying that I've never screwed it up.) I'm talking mostly about completely unused keys, such as "Netscape", "BigFix", "Smartcard", "Fax", stuff like that, not keys that are often used but just full of junk. This would obviously increase performance to clean these up.

    But these unused keys, do they kind of present a bottle-neck in the way of the good keys, or does the computer just pretty much ignore them, so it's just as good to leave them alone??

    Thanks in advance.
    You Don't Know Me. I Am Not Here. I Do Not Exist. (Witness Protection)

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Registry questions....

    My responses:

    1. Registry size depends primarily on the number of applications you add to your system, and which type of applications. Something like Norton SystemWorks adds a TON of registry entries, while other applications add none at all on their own, leaving Windows to add whatever it needs. The registry size is on the order of several megabytes, while registry entries are on the order of a few bytes, so no, you won't see a massive decrease in registry size unless you uninstall a mega application or do some *serious* cleaning. I'd say a typical registry size for a system is less than 20 megabytes, but can certainly be more than that for users with major utilities or games.

    2. In my experience, unused keys, if they are allowed to accumulate, *can* affect performance. My preferred method of cleaning the registry is WinDoctor from Norton Utilities, which will actually correct bad keys, if possible, rather than just removing them. I use RegCleaner ver. 4.3 by Jouni Vuorio to remove unnecessary keys after that. In cases where RegCleaner has removed dozens of entries, I'm convinced I've seen noticeable improvement in system response. But as I'm sure you're aware, if you happen to remove a necessary registry key, it can have a negative affect as well, slowing your system or disabling needed functions.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Registry questions....

    There is absolutely no reason at all to "clean up" the registry. Leftover values do nothing at all. More harm than good will be done by these "registry cleaners" as they couldn't possibly do a perfect job of cleaning everybodys registry with the infinate combinations of programs people install. There are some programs out there that actually "repair" the keys to their original values. In some cases this may help with problems that may be related to the registry, but simply cleaning out old entries will do absolutely nothing. There are far more efficient and complete methods to dealing with such problems though.

    Many people also seem to think that if you get rid of unused registry entries it will take less time to find a particular key/entry. This is just wrong. The registry is not read in a linear way. The registry is mapped and if a key is needed it will go directly to it.

    Also Windows XP automatically compacts the registry itself. If it comes a time where the registry is that bad it is definitely time for a reformat anyway.

    Most of the things on the internet that claim to improve performance in Windows XP will do more harm then good. The internet is also filled with stupid "tweaking guides" that provide more false information and poor advice then anything actually usefull.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Registry questions....

    Quote Originally Posted by KoolDrew2
    There is absolutely no reason at all to "clean up" the registry. Leftover values do nothing at all. More harm than good will be done by these "registry cleaners" as they couldn't possibly do a perfect job of cleaning everybodys registry with the infinate combinations of programs people install. There are some programs out there that actually "repair" the keys to their original values. In some cases this may help with problems that may be related to the registry, but simply cleaning out old entries will do absolutely nothing. There are far more efficient and complete methods to dealing with such problems though.

    Many people also seem to think that if you get rid of unused registry entries it will take less time to find a particular key/entry. This is just wrong. The registry is not read in a linear way. The registry is mapped and if a key is needed it will go directly to it.

    Also Windows XP automatically compacts the registry itself. If it comes a time where the registry is that bad it is definitely time for a reformat anyway.

    Most of the things on the internet that claim to improve performance in Windows XP will do more harm then good. The internet is also filled with stupid "tweaking guides" that provide more false information and poor advice then anything actually usefull.
    Not the brightest thing I've heard in a while. Cleaning the registry is indeed worth it and when done on a regular process causes absolutely no harm. There is no reason to keep unused entries in there, and that it where some viruses are started.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Registry questions....

    As I already said leftover entries do nothing at all to hamper performance. You mind actually telling me why you think they do, rather then just saying I am wrong?

    Also, maybe you have not encountered any problems using registry cleaners, but a lot of people have. I have seen problems with WS_FTP and a friend of mines interrnet failed to work.

    There is absolutely no reason to "clean" unused entries.

    ...and that it where some viruses are started.
    Your joking, right?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Registry questions....

    For what it's worth, here are some articles on registry (and other) cleaners from PC guru Fred Langa:
    http://www.langa.com/newsletters/2001/2001-05-21.htm#1
    http://www.langa.com/newsletters/2004/2004-05-27.htm#2
    http://www.langa.com/newsletters/2004/2004-05-27.htm#3
    http://www.langa.com/newsletters/2004/2004-02-12.htm#5

    As Fred has cautioned: "Please note that any Reg cleaner can run amok and delete settings that should be left alone, so use them all with care and caution--- and with backups!"

    More recently, however, I think Fred stated that he doesn't bother much anymore with registry cleaners in Windows XP.

    Most of my experience in registry cleaning has been with Windows 2000, which I've been hacking, tweaking, and optimizing for years. I am on the reckless side when it comes to maintaining my computer, but I know where to take precautions. Anyway, I enjoy keeping things clean and have not yet (knock on wood) caused serious damage to my system with this activity.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Registry questions....

    Quote Originally Posted by KoolDrew2
    There is absolutely no reason to "clean" unused entries.


    ...and that it where some viruses are started.
    Your joking, right?
    Why have things that are unnecessary?? And hell no I am not joking. The MS Blaster worm was in the Registry.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Registry questions....

    I have neither experienced problems from using registry cleaners, nor have I experienced noticable performance increase from using them. IMO the primary reason to use one it to actually fix problems that can be associated with bad keys, though the need to do this is rare. I've mostly seen it needed on system where someone was screwing around with the Registry Editor. If you don't screw around with the registy or install and uninstall lots of programs, a registry cleaner is probably unneeded at best.

    As for viruses, many are indeed based in the registry. However, this is totally irrelevent as they are not unused nor are they bad (in this context; they certainly do bad things, but they aren't bad entries). A registry cleaner will rarely do anything even related to a virus or spyware. Registry entries associated with spyware and viruses generally need to be removed indirectly through a program or the Registry Editor itself.

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