February 18th, 2009 03:32 am | by Ed |
The Windows registry is one of the most important parts of the system. It stores important settings information for the operating system itself and very nearly every program that runs on the system.
It's also prone to accumulating errors and invalid entries that can adversely affect the system's operation. The registry also has a tendency to grow. Almost everything you install is going to create new entries, sometimes hundreds or even thousands of them. Many programs do not remove those entries when you uninstall them. This has the effect of leaving large portions of the registry that contain useless information.
Program crashes, power failures, even something simple like hitting the power switch instead of taking the time to shut the system down properly, along with other things cause errors to accumulate in the registry's database.
Fixing these Windows Registry errors as they occur is the one thing that can greatly increase the performance of Windows by stabilizing the growth of its Registry. Unfortunately computers these days very seldom, if ever, come with textbooks or manuals of any kind that give the user an understanding of how to do this or even that it's necessary.
One excellent (not to mention free) utility for this is RegSeeker. Not only does it do an excellent job of finding and deleting these invalid registry entries, it makes a backup of entries being deleted so that if removing them should break something, it's possible to restore the deleted entries.
RegSeeker can also be used to tweak many system settings that you'd have a hard time finding in the system's control panel.
It's one of those utilities that I think every Windows user should have and use on a regular basis.
Once RegSeeker has found and deleted invalid and obsolete entries, the next step is to defragment the registry. For that task, there's another freeware utility, Quicksys RegDefrag, that optimizes and compacts the registry by removing gaps, fragments and wasted space. This can have the effect of not only making the registry files smaller and thus easier for the operating system to deal with, but also faster to load in the first place.