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Windows 7: how to deal with registry

25 Sep 2012   #1

windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
how to deal with registry

Greetings to all,

First of all, let me say that I am new to windows and more so to windows 7. Please forgive me if my comments don't sound logical or even technically comprehensible for most of you.

I have been trying to understand the registry in windows 7. From what I read, the registry is the foundation of windows. Without those foundations, windows 7 could not work. I have read ebooks and blogs but yet i feel very confused.
How do i keep the registry keep and stable ? I came to the conclusion that it is impossible. Am i correct in saying that keeping the registry clean and stable is an impossible task ? Even more so secure.
I am now using a piece of software that i bought to handle the registry for me. Once a week i run the software and once a week it corrects the errors that need to be corrected. In particular, i always have a lot of "COM/AcitveX/OLE" entries and "Empty Registry Keys". I do get "Empty Registry Keys". There are piece of software there were installed and then erased. When erased, some bits and pieces were left in the registry (something like that). What are COM/ActiveX/OLE ?
Finally, I think WINDOWS is the most complex piece of software i have ever come across. I think it is so complex that an entire eco-system was built around it to make you shell out more cash:i.e. registry cleaner, anti-virus etc...
How do you guys keep the registry stable, and secure ? Is there a magic trick that I need to apply? (becarefull as I dont have any magic wand)

Kind Regards,

zongosaiba

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

25 Sep 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x86 Service Pack 1 - Linux Mint Mate 14 x64
 
 

I wouldn't change things the registry, unless you were very confident and knew exactly what you were doing, if are to going to start changing entries within the Windows Registry, then create a System Image as a backup.

Also, I wouldn't really trust any third-party software which hasn't been approved by an expert, lots of 'Registry Cleaners' can cause more damage and corrupt the whole Windows 7 installation, leading to a complete reinstall of the system.

System Image Tutorial - Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

What is ActiveX?

Hope this helps,

Harry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2012   #3

windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

BlueRobot,
Thank you for your reply and the links you have provided me with.
I am not about to change anything in the registry as I lack the knowledge and understanding. My problem was after a few months of use of windows 7, the system was sluggish and very slow to boot. I started documented myself as far as why these were happening and came to the conclusion that the registry was corrupted. Since i lack the knowledge and the know how, i decided to invest in a third party software to do the job. I use "Regzooka". Now you are saying that I shouldn't trust any third party software if not approved by experts: Point noted, but how do you know that such and such software has been approved or not ? If not using third party software, then I am going back to my initial question; how do i keep registry stable and secure without using third party software ? Even better, how do you do it ?
When i cleaned my registry with "regzooka" my system became a lot more responsive and booted a lot faster.
I have not been able to find any decent docs explaining in laymen's term win 7 registry. If you have such a doc i would not mind having a look at it.
Kind Regards,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


25 Sep 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Sluggishness and slow boot is highly unlikely to be due to registry issues.

CCleaner is far and away the most recommended registry cleaner on this forum, with these caveats:

1: Everyone would tell you to do a registry backup as offered by CCleaner before accepting the cleaning recomendations.

2: Many, probably most, would tell you not to use even CCleaner. The registry is relatively small and a modern CPU can blaze through it in milliseconds, ignoring any so-called errors. You will be hard pressed to document faster operation after a cleaning, but there are occasional reports of a cleaning helping an otherwise disabled PC.

The best way to keep the registry stable is to stay out of it and use good PC practices regarding installation and uninstallation of programs.

The "cleaner" portion of CCleaner works quite well, but is NOT to be confused with the "registry" portion.

You will be implored to avoid cleaning the registry "unless you know what you are doing", but the fact is that the registry is so complex and cryptic that not one person in a thousand reading this fully understands it.

So, I'd simply avoid fiddling with it, although doing so can relieve anxiety--and the placebo effect is satisfying.

If you are having PC issues, chances are strong there is some other solution than altering the registry.

Registry cleaners find errors immediately after a clean install. What does that tell you?

Registry cleaner A and registry cleaner B will find a different number of errors. What does that tell you?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2012   #5

windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

ignatzatsonic, thank you for your reply
I think, and as you put it in your post, windows=complexity: registry=more complexity. I am staying away from the registry. Like you said, there might be other issues with my laptop. I did run a chkdsk following a tutorial on this website and made things a lot better for my laptop: A lot less sluggish and booting even faster.
Thank you all for your time

Kind Regards
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2012   #6

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zongosaiba View Post
........Finally, I think WINDOWS is the most complex piece of software i have ever come across. I think it is so complex that an entire eco-system was built around it to make you shell out more cash:i.e. registry cleaner, anti-virus etc...
Welcome to the Seven Forums.

I think that you are seeing an eco-system of marketing/advertizing. People are perfectly willing to sell you software that you don't need. As has been mentioned, no registry cleaners are needed for Windows 7 most of the time. And if needed, there are free ones to do a conservative job showing you things to investigate.

And consider what ignatzatsonic mentioned about how different so called registry cleaners find different so called errors. A certain level of differences is to be expected, but some of these bogus products find thousands of things "wrong" - while other ones only find a few hundred things "wrong". The product that finds the most things "wrong" must be the better one to buy - right? See the problem here?

You asked a really good question:
Now you are saying that I shouldn't trust any third party software if not approved by experts: Point noted, but how do you know that such and such software has been approved or not ?

The only way that I know to do this is to start with a good understanding of how Windows works. But like you said, the information out there is confusing.

People write stuff (even lies) in order to sell you products that you do not need. You might want to be cautious when reading websites that are selling stuff. Sadly, some companies buy multiple domains and publish their lies in ways that are hard to trace back to their origins. Some of the worst companies hire people to create blogs and forum posts slanting the "facts" their way.

Be wary of blogs where the comment section is closed. While there are good reasons to close comments on older blog entries, those running scams create blogs (complete with fake comments) and then close the comments so that the blog's "logic" cannot be refuted/disputed.

Like ignatzatsonic said:
You will be hard pressed to document faster operation after a cleaning, but there are occasional reports of a cleaning helping an otherwise disabled PC.
This is the best logic for avoiding automatic registry cleaners.

As you noted, the Windows operating system is complicated. This complexity is also an argument against using automated tools to clean the registry. It is one thing to automatically search for possible problems - but it is dangerous to automatically "fix" them. For instance, registry cleaners love to point to a registry key that have no value set. You will see these "errors" as "empty key" or some such phrase. The registry cleaner wants you to let it delete these empty keys. But the key may very well be there for a reason. Software can check for the existence of a key and make choices based on that alone. No value needs to be set.

The same goes for automated tools that clean the hard drive - an empty folder might be there for a reason and having it there really is not hurting your computer's performance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2012   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Best way to deal with the registry is to leave it alone. Any registry manipulation can get you into a lot of trouble.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2012   #8

windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks for all your reply UsernameIssues & whs
Messages received loud and clear I am staying away from the registry.
Its just overwhelming and confusing when at first you are confronted to the windows platform with all docs out there being there for marketing purposes and whatnot
will continue and my learning curve...
Thanks to all

Kind Regards

PS: I am amazed a the number of posts and ebooks that are quick to point out a corrupted registry when comp goes side-ways
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2012   #9

Win7 Home Premium 64x
 
 

If you are becoming a PC tech or just interested in the subject, having some background info on why and how the registry is used, then I would suggest looking through this Wiki, has tons of information

Windows Registry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 how to deal with registry




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