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Windows 7: Using Regedit to Search for Orphan Entries - Can it Be Done Safely?

26 Aug 2016   #1

Win 7 Pro 64
Using Regedit to Search for Orphan Entries - Can it Be Done Safely?

I have an issue with Crucial's Storage Executive software. I made the mistake of first installing it on a usb thumb drive. It is no longer there, but I cannot run their install wizard because it finds a previous installation. I've found 4 *.lnk files, but I am suspicious that there are 'orphan' registry entries that the wizard finds.

Is it 'safe' to search the registry using Regedit as long as I close it without saving any changes, or is it way to easy to 'make a mistake' and mess it up royally even with the best of intentions?

Are there alternative explanations to my Catch 22?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2016   #2

win 8 32 bit

This will do reg, files, folders

Please download SystemLook from one of the links below and save it to your Desktop.
Download Mirror #1
Download Mirror #2

Double-click SystemLook.exe to run it.
Copy the content of the following codebox into the main textfield:





Click the Look button to start the scan.
When finished, a notepad window will open with the results of the scan.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2016   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

To answer the question directly, just by searching there is no way of messing up anything, plain and simple. Just looking around doesn't changes anything, so it's imposible to make any mistake at all. Of course, the same applies to looking around in the file system, or pretty much any kind of "just observing". The real chance of doing something wrong is when you begin editing things.

Even then, don't buy all the myths about the registry too fast. Contrary to popular beliefs (largely unfounded), it's really difficult to brick a computer just by changing a registry settings. While it's true that it's contains many undocumented locations, many keys are widely known and explained, and changes there are well understood. Unless one is really careless or deliberately destructive, chances of doing something wrong are slim.

For your particular case, without knowing anything about that software and doing a blind shot, I would start looking in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\<company or program name>. Another worty search is the path of the original installation, or the software name.

A more "safe" option is, have you tried uninstalling the program? Did it work or just aborts without doing anything?
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Using Regedit to Search for Orphan Entries - Can it Be Done Safely?

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