Dear Ashraf/Other Moderators,
Hi!Kindly forgive me if this post comes to you twice.This is my first post in this forum. I am already a happy daily visitor to http://www.dottech.org over the last 2 mths & am grateful to Ashraf, Locutus & Samuel for:-
1) great software reviews
2) great software
3) great knack of simplifying complex software concepts even for non-geeks like me
Query – Could you simplify/demistify Deep Scan Mode Registry Scan in Advanced SysCare Pro please? Unlike other registry cleaners this Pro version neither categorizes nor explains issues found by it
Thanks to http://www.dottech.org I've got Glarys Utilities Pro, Advanced SysCare Pro, WinUtilities Pro, Ashampoo WinOptimizer 2010 Advanced & jv16 Power Tools 2009
Glarys Utilities Pro – catches few issues; categorizes them clearly by type of problem.In terms of no. of issues it seems similar to the non-Pro version
Ashampoo WinOptimizer 1010 Advanced – catches few issues; categorizes them clearly by type of problem
WinUtilities Pro – catches a many more issues than both Glarys & Ashampoo; categorizes them clearly by type of problem & additionally also tells you which of the 5 main registry folders they fall under
jv16 PowerTools 2009 – catches a few more issues than even WinUtilities Pro; categorizes them clearly by type of problem & also tells you which of the 5 main registry folders they fall under. jv16 PowerTools also offers a wider selection of tools by which you can keep your registry in good order. For the present I've chosen not to use its "even more aggressive mode option of registry cleaning" because i am currently focused upon mastering its "basic" mode
Advanced SysCare Pro – Amongst all these apps it points out the maximum number of registry issues IN ITS DEEP SCAN MODE.I am saying Deep Scan because the non-deep-scan mode is available in the pro & non-pro version & I am already familiar with the non-deep mode
I've diligently followed (& benefitted by) Ashraf's advice of a creating a prior restore point before cleaning registry. Therefore I've benefitted by putting to use these powerful apps prudently.I am not swayed one way or the other by the numbers game.I understand that it is more important to find relevant issues rather than more issues.Therefore I'll always go by performance as the core parameter as you always say Ashraf.
In Advanced SysCare Pro Deep Scan mode I've only permitted a few selective types of registry cleanups – MRU visits & cleanups of items missing in C:Documents & SettingsUsersRameshApplication Data. It is easy to do these two.The former relates to traces of what apps you used recently or what places you visited recently. The latter is easy because you can see those files are missing before you allow that to be cleaned.I untick the other findings because I don't understand them yet.
Upto this point I can deduce, clean & benefit.Beyond this I get conceptually roadblocked because in this app the deep scan neither categorizes the issue nor explains the folder of origin in the registry.Sure between categorization & folderization I find categorization more useful & relevant.If both are provided that's great. Please demistify Deep Scan in Advanced SysCare for me
I've provided My Learnings only to tell you what I've tried so far & where I've gotten to
If you ask me, cleaning out the registry too much can be a bad thing. I've read that as of now there's no strong evidence that registry cleaning really speeds up your pc. And you run the risk of messing your pc up and spending more time trying to restore the old registry(while there isn't a huge benefit to doing it in the first place). So what I think you should do is to spend less time on registry cleaning, but don't stop completely. I guess what I'm trying to say is don't worry too much about registry cleaning. Like Ashraf has said many times in his articles before, it is not how many registry errors an app can detect, it depends on whether after cleaning your system remains stable.
I've come to believe that registry cleaning won't significantly improve pc performance most of the time. What do other dottechies think?
I sometimes clean my registry, usually after uninstalling a bunch of unneeded programs, but I never really notice a big difference in speed. It keeps it neat and tidy, but as for speeding up your computer – I don't see how it would do that.
I wouldn't mind hearing what Ashraf thinks, though.
Jyo – Thanks for your views. I would be grateful if you kindly point out the articles which indicate evidence that registry cleaning does not speed up the system. I am open-minded & not mind setted, I'll go through them & revise my views if need be.
Because of caution my system is still stable & all apps are functioning. Rather than speeding up my system I've noticed that because of this my system is not slowing it down.
There is another learning. Before periodic registry cleaning (not at an excessive frequency ) I used to think that after we finish our computing tasks, things automatically clean up. I've learnt that this does not happen. All our actions – open, close, save, edit etc etc continue to be stored as records in your registry even after the job is done.This stuff is now irrelevant – just like old bottles, old newspapers, old polythene bags etc at home – which we dispose off to the dust bin or to the kabadiwallah.In the computer this cannot be done using recycle bin but only by a registry cleaner.
Refpeuk – Thanks for your views. Friend we are sailing in the same boat – I share your habits
We are like 2 car owners both of whom always try to keep their cars in good working condition i.e. always clean, always waxed & always with the engine well tuned.Ironically you can never make out an improvement in working condition if you always try to keep it in great working condition You can make out an improvement if you let the performance deteriorate & delay your maintenance & then again improve it That neither of us would like to do. Before I learned this I was poor at maintenance. After I learnt this the first time the performance noticeably improved. After I continued to practice it the good performance level flattened out and remained at that good level.
At this stage I realized that uninformed greed is unwise since all that I may end up doing is trying to tweak improvements rather than keeping the computer clean. Mindless tweaks can even stress the system & even harm the hardware. Moreover mindless tweaks may turn out to be an unhealthy fetish rather than a good discipline
Like you I am eagerly awaiting Ashraf's views.He makes even complex issues so simple.He also has such mastery on the subject.
Samuel had written a good article on registry cleaning Part 1 in http://www.dottech.org. Samuel did mention that he would continue the series. I do wish he continues to write Part 2, 3, 4… as well
Yes, I understand the majority opinion on how registry cleaners can be important ,for I once fully believed that too. I still use registry cleaners occasionally and do it very discreetly. However, everyone should also take into account the opposing views on registry cleaners, and then form your full opinions. I'm not saying tools like CCleaner or WinUtilities are bad, I learned about them here on dotTech and cherish them!! But don't be fooled by the illusion that constant registry cleaning on a regular basis will boost your pc performance- I've learned that the hard way.
Here are some articles like you requested:
Hi Ramesh: thanks for all the great posts here and in the main blog -- they're all very thoughtful and helpful.
Re your query about the ASC app. I was a longtime user of iObit products but after the debacle over its 360 Security and retreat in the face of the Malwarebytes allegations, I decided I couldn't trust iObit again -- basically, if a producer's reputation is in question, then so is any of its products.
The amount of sheer unashamed bullsh*t iObit churned out in response to Malwarebytes, as well as the wilfully misleading publicity it was giving / may still be giving to its software also prompted the thought that if a company can over-hype itself, then it can also over-hype the effectiveness of components in the products it issues.
"Deep Scan Mode" may well be just that kind of hype.
Anyway! I hope you're able to resolve things to your own satisfaction -- me, I've gone back to jv16PowerTools, which though by no means as glitzy as other utility suites is a mature product from a known developer of established repute.
Yes the IObit issue did cast a shadow
I am eagerly going through Jyo's 3 links regarding Registry cleaning
I entirely agree with you, jv16 PowerTools 2009 is great.I got it from http://www.dottech.org
I do hope Ashraf shares insights on this registry matter with us
Registry cleaning has remained a complex below-the-hood kind of subject. Thanks to this blog family & the links offered by Jyo (thanks!) it was possible to garner some learnings, inferences & a wishlist too.
Summarized Learnings From Some Gurus & Some Readers Comments
1) Cleaning registry anyway calls for some level of tech savviness – whether done manually or through an app. Manual cleaning calls for even higher level of tech savviness than cleaning through an app.
2) Gurus of registry cleaning prefer doing it manually using regedit and/or msconfig rather than using a registry cleaner since they believe that if the registry cleaner app is not “perfectly coded” it can harm your machine due to false positives or a bad tweak. You may then not be able to bootup, some apps may not run, or if they do run then some of their features no longer work etc simply because of the false positive or a bad tweak.
3) Most registry cleaners have earned a bad name because:-
a. They are sponsored by ads etc and/or claim to highlight & solve more registry issues only in order to get higher sales and/or
b. They are sponsored by websites which have affiliate agreements with developers & therefore have a pro developer bias
c. Sadly no registry cleaner has posted performance testing results on internet search engines. So there is no objective data to go by as to which app is better or worse
d. It is a confirmed fact that registry cleaning does not speed up the computer much & saves just a few kilobytes of RAM. Users felt cheated by the media hype which positioned these apps as some kind of magic remedy which makes your computer amazingly faster
e. Its best to use an app whose developer is known to be passionate about his coding & has a desire to serve users rather than one who is only commercial minded. The creators of such apps appear to be pure computing enthusiasts who love what they’re doing, and dream of a safer and cleaner Internet browsing and experience as opposed to only having a commercial objective
4) Certain genres of registry are comparatively safer to clean than others simply because these genres are somewhat better understood – MRU, Clear History, Clear Cookies, Clear Files, Unnecessary, Invalid/Missing entries. Still even these should be done only entry by entry & not on a blind do-them-all basis.
5) Some apps have earned a very good name as compared to others – CCleaner & jv16 Power Tools. Even here the feedback was:-
a. Use CCleaner only to clean junk files but not the registry. Even a stalwart like CCleaner has created problems in registry cleaning on certain occasions for some users.
b. Even stalwarts like jv16 PowerTools has on occasion created problems rather than solving them. Even so jv16 PowerTools is among the better apps since it offers a variety of different tools. http://www.dottech.org offers a link to download this tool free
c. No registry cleaning app has had a permanent foolproof track record.
d. There are users who successfully use several registry apps (because each app finds different issues). These users succeed because they use these apps wisely
6) An app called Registry Cleaner has earned itself a lot of negative feedback
7) Form an opinion as to which app is a good/bad registry cleaner only after 3 to 5 months of using it.
8) I was surprised that other than CCleaner & jv16 PowerTools no other app was rated as great. I feel there are other good apps as well – ones offered by http://www.dottech.org have served me extremely well.
9) Never set the registry cleaner on automatic mode to clean all/fix all/delete all. Always go through item by item & then decide. Do it for that particular item only if you understand that individual entry. Do not do it for that particular item if you don’t understand that individual entry
10) Cleaning registry won’t dramatically increase system speed. System speed may improve at most by just a few single-digit seconds even if a lot of orphan entries get cleaned up. This is because of the nature of the science / concepts.
11) Defragmentation rather than Registry Cleaning speeds up the system. I meant defragmentation of hard drives & not defragmentation of registry.
12) Likewise speeding up bootup is achieved by ensuring that unnecessary apps do not start at start up. Faster bootup may not result due to cleaning the registry.
13) However cleaning registry is definitely required to remove registry conflicts. Registry conflicts can & do slow down the system.
14) Concrete examples of registry conflicts are as under:-
a. While booting up your computer if you receive 1 or more messages during or after complete boot, requesting so-and-so file(s)… whereas such file(s) once belonged to program(s) that was/were “supposedly” un-installed
b. Similar message(s) as per above, due as a result of incorrect and/or incomplete un-installation operation(s). An inexperienced user may make the mistake of using DELETE rather than UnInstall to remove certain program(s)
c. Have program “XYZ, earlier version un-installed, so that one can install an upgrade … say “XYZ, later version. More often than not, some left-over files from the previous and obsolete version- may end up interfering with the interface and operations of the later version
d. Quite often, one may encounter even some executables (i.e. exe, dll, bak etc still “alive-and-well” in the background, although these may not always be visible from the Windows Task Manager. These executables un-necessarily eat up precious memory resources, that results in dramatic slow-down of the computer
e. Do not get complacent just because of a removal of spyware, adware, viruses, Trojans etc. Removal may not necessarily mean complete removal. Sometimes these “left-overs” are capable of completely regenerating themselves, rendering your tedious clean-up work as useless. Same goes for their registry entries too.
f. It is sometimes necessary to clean out registry keys – but you must know what you are doing, and create a backup beforehand. Even if you properly & thoroughly uninstall some antivirus & antispyware apps they may still leave some residues in the registry which create conflicts and/or show messages whenever you start your computer and/or briefly flash that icon in your system tray. The cause of this is left over registry keys. You would be surprised & irritated because your task manager may not show those keys even though there is a residue in the registry. Do not blindly use fix all/ clean all/ delete all to remove such keys. Do it specifically item by item.
g. Only delete registry keys if you're certain that they can be deleted. Disable some services only if you're certain that you don't need them. Set certain policies only if you understand what they do. Otherwise do not do these things at all.
h. It is comparatively better to let orphaned keys remain in the registry, instead of keys/values that were deleted by a registry cleaner, which were not supposed to be deleted in the first place. You run the risk of some Registry Cleaners wrongly listing keys/values as orphaned or unneeded while they are actually needed. A broken registry can lead to a broken Windows. Orphaned keys can cause registry conflict. Still, orphaned keys are lesser devils compared to registry keys which were deleted but which were required!
i. You could end up having problems with Windows updates/Automatic Updates!" because you disabled BITS and/or you disabled Automatic updates, and/or you have set some restrictive policies related with Windows update
j. You could end up with your add/remove programs becoming empty because some Registry Cleaners unfortunately delete the Uninstall key in the registry. Only new programs installed will be in that list (yikes!).
k. It won’t help if you only use registry cleaners but do not use Antivirus, Antispyware & such other security software. Every app has its place & you need to have security apps too. A registry cleaner app is not a man for all seasons.
15) These are things a registry cleaner will do for you –
a. The number of entries that are left behind from installations, removals, driver, moved files or folders, cache for Java and Explorer are immense. After a long time of use, the entries make Windows search more strings to access the programs and thrash the hard drive unnecessarily for objects that are not there. Registry cleaning is therefore required under such circumstances.
b. Some antivirus & antispyware programs do not remove all the entries and files that were associated with those malware even though the malware was removed. Leaving them still causes conflicts with Windows. Registry cleaners come in handy to identify the strings, entries, hidden installation that Windows does not identify as an installation package and even give you the program’s executable (i.e. dll, .bak files) and locations that remain and still link themselves to Windows files that make your system run slow or not as fast as it did and keep the hard drive from searching sectors for files that have been removed
c. Bad apps are known to put back their garbage into the registry even after registry cleaning. So do not install bad apps. If unfortunately you do, then do not remain complacent.
d. There is no need because there is no benefit from over-frequent registry cleaning. In fact over-frequent registry cleaning will slow down the computer simply because it fragments the registry which then makes your computer run slower.
e. If you turn your PC on and off every time you use it, it is good to educate yourself about processes that start up when you start the OS. You can then delete or quarantine the ones you don’t need using msconfig (also included with the OS). Personally regedit & msconfig also call for tech savviness. So it is better to use trusted apps like Anvir Task Manager available on http://www.dottech.org or WinPatrol to do this job. These apps allow you to do 3 things in a very easy-to-understand way. You can set an app to not be a part of startup or be a part of startup or be a part of delayed startup.
f. Also run a good spy bot cleaner because these processes affect your browser significantly. One good app is – Spybot Search & Destroy
g. Users have not commented much on defragmenting the registry (though such tools are available e.g. jv16 PowerTools & Glarys. A guru is required to guide us on merits & demerits of defragmenting the registry. For me it remains an area still to be understood.
h. User experience of registry cleanings varied across platforms. Within Windows it varied across OS versions. Although I’ve read the comments of Mac users & of one who was so fed up that he/she switched to Linux I am not sharing comments on Mac or Linux because there were only 2 comments in all & I could not understand the Linux comment.
i. The sad learning is even gurus have shied away from throwing light on registry cleaning. I wonder why?
j. There is a genre difference even within registry cleaning. The genres fall into 3 categories:-
i. Pre-WinXP operating systems
k. Pre-WinXP –
i. Win 95, 98 & ME – had an allocated ceiling limit as to memory allotted to registry. It became a problem if registry size bloated beyond this. The size and integrity of the registry were indeed an issue in the Windows 9X days, when system resources were limited, memory was relatively scarce, and a badly written app could hose the whole OS. In fact, Microsoft published its own registry cleaner utility made specifically for Windows 98 and Windows Me, and there was a registry backup feature built into the OS.
ii. Windows never published an equivalent tool for Windows XP (or any NT-based OS)
l. WinXP –
i. It is fine if you used 3rd party tools. Users felt that Microsoft own tools did not work as well as 3rd party tools
ii. This was because the built in tool no doubt did many things but did not make it clear as to what it did. So many users felt they were in the dark & felt let down if subsequently something got screwed up
i. Users felt that usage of 3rd party registry cleaning tools did not give good results
ii. Users felt that this was possibly because it clashed with the built-in tools and/or
iii. Users felt that built-in registry cleaning tools were coded well & it was meant that only those built-in tools (& not 3rd party tools) should be used
Inferences & Wishlist
1) There is a need for an app which (if you run immediately after registry cleaning) would tell you which app got disabled fully or partially due to your acting upon a false positive or a bad tweak. This same app should also tell you which aspects of OS got partially disabled. If an algorithm was developed this app could at least scan & report to the user at least about important apps if not all apps. If such an app existed it could be run immediately after registry cleaning & the restore point could be invoked immediately rather than after time elapses. You need not then even wait to discover the horror after the next time you attempt a startup of the computer
2) I’ll clean registry only weekly and/or after installs & uninstalls
3) I wish our gurus in http://www.dottech.org guide/clarify on this deep-scan registry issue. If indeed they do it would be a welcome break from the trend where gurus elsewhere have always shied away from guiding on the matter of registry cleaning. Indeed there are very few insightful blogs on internet search.
4) Obviously if a bad registry clean screws up an app fully or partially it does 1 or more of the following:-
i. It may delete a component of the app code – exe, dll, bak etc. This either inactivates the app or certain functionalities of the app
ii. It may delete a component which belongs to the OS and which allows the OS to share that executable amongst several apps
iii. It may inactivate a script (if the app has a script too) within that app which in turn inactivates some functionalities of the app
iv. It may do worse by deleting a component of the OS itself thereby either disabling the entire OS or certain parts/functionalities of the OS.
5) I would not go blindly overboard & side with those critics who generalize that the effort of cleaning registry is not worth the result or that registry cleaners should be totally avoided. Critics insinuate that many websites & advertisements only have a crass commercial mentality rather than user welfare in mind. Often this is true. Equally often these very critics are either proponents of a particular OS or of a particular antivirus or antispyware. Showing that an OS is so robust that it does not even need a registry cleaner is also an axe to grind isn’t it? By showing that an OS-built-in app outperforms a third party app is yet another axe to grind isn’t it?
6) In the software arena a user ultimately should never relinquish the ability to think for himself/herself.
7) I am grateful to http://www.dottech.org for providing various good registry cleaners. I have found that these apps work without conflicting with each other. They also find issues different from each other.
Ummm, that's a little long. I skimmed a little , and from what I read, it seems you want to know what to do with the deep cleaning feature from reg cleaners. I just have this to say (as a forum member not as a dotTech writer): just be sure to back up your registry! I actually have no formal training in computers, so I don't want to say more…
And just in case you arent already, you should be using ERUNT to back up the registry (http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/). Its a lot better than system restore; its faster and more reliable. I run a backup every time I boot up, which it can do automatically, though not on Win7 yet, I think.
And just in case you arent already, you should be using ERUNT to back up the registry (http://www.larshederer.homepag……de/erunt/). Its a lot better than system restore; its faster and more reliable. I run a backup every time I boot up, which it can do automatically, though not on Win7 yet, I think.
If you run a backup every time you boot up, does this start to accumulate KBs to MBs of info on the OS?
Like the every 1-2 weeks I do full backups, which adds 350 MBS or so. I delete ones from many months ago, just like using the System Restore as a last-resort. I'm working on using the Paragon Backup incremental ones, just not 100% clear about it yet until I do more research on it.
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