> A lot of registry cleaners are out there claiming a lot of things. In
> Windows 98 and in XP they probably helped a lot to optimize and compact
> the registry.
No, they were nothing but snake oil, even then.
> Do we know or have enough information yet about how or if
> Vista handles it's own registry efficiency, and perhaps, not requiring
> any additional 3rd party help? PCWorld touts some effective cleaners
> etc, but I couldn't find much 'on point' in the windows knowledgebase. I
> always crossed my fingers when I used one in '98 and XP even though I
> had backed up the registry. Thanks for any information.
Why do you think you'd ever need to clean your registry? What
specific *problems* are you actually experiencing (not some program's
bogus listing of imaginary problems) that you think can be fixed by
using a registry "cleaner?"
If you do have a problem that is rooted in the registry, it would
be far better to simply edit (after backing up, of course) only the
specific key(s) and/or value(s) that are causing the problem. After
all, why use a chainsaw when a scalpel will do the job? Additionally,
the manually changing of one or two registry entries is far less likely
to have the dire consequences of allowing an automated product to make
multiple changes simultaneously. The only thing needed to safely clean
your registry is knowledge and Regedit.exe.
The registry contains all of the operating system's "knowledge" of
the computer's hardware devices, installed software, the location of the
device drivers, and the computer's configuration. A misstep in the
registry can have severe consequences. One should not even turning
loose a poorly understood automated "cleaner," unless he is fully
confident that he knows *exactly* what is going to happen as a result of
each and every change.
Having repeatedly seen the results of inexperienced people using
automated registry "cleaners," I can only advise all but the most
experienced computer technicians (and/or hobbyists) to avoid them all.
Experience has shown me that such tools simply are not safe in the hands
of the inexperienced user. If you lack the knowledge and experience to
maintain your registry by yourself, then you also lack the knowledge and
experience to safely configure and use any automated registry cleaner,
no matter how safe they claim to be.
More importantly, no one has ever demonstrated that the use of an
automated registry "cleaner," particularly by an untrained,
inexperienced computer user, does any real good, whatsoever. There's
certainly been no empirical evidence offered to demonstrate that the use
of such products to "clean" WinXP's registry improves a computer's
performance or stability. Given the potential for harm, it's just not
worth the risk.
Granted, most registry "cleaners" won't cause problems each and
every time they're used, but the potential for harm is always there.
And, since no registry "cleaner" has ever been demonstrated to do any
good (think of them like treating the flu with chicken soup - there's no
real medicinal value, but it sometimes provides a warming placebo
effect), I always tell people that the risks far out-weigh the
I will concede that a good registry *scanning* tool, in the hands
of an experienced and knowledgeable technician or hobbyist can be a
useful time-saving diagnostic tool, as long as it's not allowed to make
any changes automatically. But I really don't think that there are any
registry "cleaners" that are truly safe for the general public to use.
Experience has proven just the opposite: such tools simply are not safe
in the hands of the inexperienced user.
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safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~Benjamin Franklin
Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do. ~Bertrand Russell
The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has
killed a great many philosophers.
~ Denis Diderot