registry problems

Harry Nicholson
7th July 2008, 16:57
This XP machine is 3 years old and beginning to do odd things, forgetting passwords, forgetting the desktop layout etc. getting slower.
I believe there are programmes that cleanup or heal broken links, one that is advertised is Reg Cure. Do any of you chaps have experience of such software... does it work... is it a hazard? Any recommendations?
regards
Harry

K urgess
7th July 2008, 17:19
I've got RegCure, Harry.
It works quite well if you use it carefully.
Have you done a disk defragment recently?
A scan of the disk for bad sectors, a defrag, a scan with an advert remover like Ad-Aware or SpyBot, works wonders.
Cheers
Kris

hawkey01
7th July 2008, 18:13
Harry,

As Kris has said there are several ways to speed up the Box of tricks. You can delete all kinds of old files and rubbish using disc clean found on your Control Panel option and also clean rubbish using your internet connestions option - Defrag is also a must. I would also suggest using a good security system which will get rid of a lot of stuff before it even finds a way into the PC. I use one called F-Secure but it is on a yearly license and costs. There are lots of free ones about as well. Some of course much better than others. I have been using F-Secure because the last free one I had let in a nasty bug which eat my hard drive and destroyed walls within it which eventually caused it to be terminal!. Still use XP, I think it is far superior to VISTA.

Hawkey01

Bob Preston
7th July 2008, 18:17
I swear by " Wincleaner One Click " You can get a months free trial Tucows or other download site. I like it so much I have paid for a year of it !!

Bob

senior pilot
7th July 2008, 18:20
try a magazine called computer active its a very good mag for non computer folk allso plenty of free programs at there web site www.computeractive .com alex

unsteadyken
7th July 2008, 18:23
Hello Harry. Yes these reg cleaners do work and you should notice an improvement in speed after using one.
I currently use a combination of 3 regularly, which keeps my 9 yr old 933mHz heap running quite well. All the following are free

1. A good; comprehensive and easy to use program for non technical users is Glary Utilities available free to download and use from:
http://glaryutilities.com/gu.html.
Only one thing to note. This will clean up your cookies which means you would have to log back into your favourites sites such as SN after use. Not a great problem but you can modify this behaviour in "Track eraser options" if you decide to give it a try.

2. For the more technically minded a particular favourite of mine is Easy cleaner which I've been using for several years now without any problems:
http://personal.inet.fi/business/toniarts/
Easy Cleaner has a few more options and tricks up its sleeve and is well worth a look.

3. For disc defragmenting I would recommend AusLogic disc defrag:
http://www.auslogics.com/en/software/disk-defrag
This works well and is faster and prettier than the windoes effort.
Auslogic also offers other free system utilities but I have not tried them so can't comment.

4. For more free system utilities and good computer info then I wholeheartedly recommend Gizmo's site at
http://www.techsupportalert.com/
Lots of reliable links to good Free stuff to keep your computer trouble free there.

Best wishes Ken

BA204259
7th July 2008, 19:01
Have you run chkdsk to see if there are any bad sectors on your HDD? If you go to Run and type:-

chkdsk C: /r

it will attempt to recover any such bad sectors. Had them occasionally on my old (6 yrs plus) desktop. The above command assumes your System drive is C, if not change to suit. That's the first thing to do followed by a disk cleanup and a defrag. That may eliminate some problems before you go on to a reg cleaner.

My own choice is RegSupreme from Macecraft ($12.95). Used it for years and unlike some it's not too aggressive. Use it on my old XP and Vista laptop very successfully. Another one I use is CCleaner. The price is right (free) and it is very highly thought of by the "geek" community. The amount of dross that will clear out is amazing! I particularly like this as there is a portable version that doesn't need installing and I run it off a thumb drive. Very convenient.

Eventually, however, the day may come when the only answer is a reinstall of Windoze, assuming the HDD lasts that long.

Hugh MacLean
7th July 2008, 19:03
(Thumb) There are loads of registry cleaners out there: some good and some not so. The good ones should indicate that the keys are safe to delete but some of the others can allow you to delete keys that are required by other programs. The registry is at the heart of your P.C. if you make changes that you don't understand then you can quite easily be left with a machine that won't boot.

Before you make any changes advised by your particular cleaner; please make sure you make a back up just in case it all goes wrong.

Regards

BA204259
7th July 2008, 20:01
Harry

Let me add a little extra info to the above...

If you run chkdsk /f it will look for and repair file errors.
If you run chkdsk /r it will look for and repair bad sectors (if repairable).

You can run them both together as chkdsk /f /r

In my post above (#7) I mentioned putting C: between chkdsk and /r. That is a necessary step for me as I've got two HDD's with 5 partitions on each one. If you only have C drive it won't be necessary.


Try 'em both as a first step. Can't hurt and may do a power of good.

BobClay
7th July 2008, 20:54
All of the above advice is good.
You should do a disk check at least once a week. Either select it from within Windows (My computer, right click hard drive, select properties. Do a disk clean up then select Tools and diskcheck. If you haven't done it for a while select a full scan, which will occur on the next boot up). After the reboot you can view the Application Event Viewer for a report on what the diskcheck found.

Disk Defrag doesn't need once a week, unless you are installing a lot of software or downloading a lot. Personally I'd do it once a month. Always do a disck check/defrag before installing new software.

EasyCleaner provides a number of good utilities, as does SpyBot. If you have two disks, or two or more partitions, you may want to think about relocating your page file, at least for the defrags, after which you can return it to where-ever you want it. A fragmented page file that is used a lot will slow XP down mightily.

If you have problems with disk checking, and have an XP Installation disk, you can boot up on that and go into the recovery console and run chkdsk without worrying about the problematic state of the C drive. This will often cure even a blue screen crash scenario.

Also make sure your C drive has plenty of space, don't let it fall much below 30% free space, or Windows defrag will not perform well. The registry in windows gets larger and larger as time goes by, no regcleaner will stop that. There are some who bite the bullet and just re-install Windows from scratch, but that means hard times in the case of updates and re-installing software. For me that's a last stand measure. However, I use imaging software like Norton Ghost or Symantec Drive Image which image your drive and allow you to return to that state within an hour or less. But that is a disaster recovery option.

I'm only posting this because I look after computers in a school so I'm doing this stuff all day long. You would be surprised at how many teachers bring in their laptops with problems and when I ask them when they last did a checkdisk or defrag, they answer ... "What's that ?".

Harry Nicholson
8th July 2008, 00:37
I'm quite overwhelmed at that rush of generous advice from so many of you. Thank you chaps... this is the best place on the internet.
I've read through all that and am going to file it away. I'm sure lots of us will have our eyes widened by all these responses. Your knowledge base is gold dust.

I've been doing an OU writing course for the past year and have not defragged or done a cleanup in that time, I've just been hammering at the word processor and got out of touch with things. I do back up daily onto a stick and every few days onto a seperate hard drive that I fitted after reading your discussions about backing up.

I will now systematically go through all this advice, starting with chkdsk and defrag. I gave it a spybot and CC sweep yesterday, there were not too many wierd things to clean out... recently I paid for the full AVG after using it free for three years (began to feel I owed them) and it seems to keep out most trash, and spam has gone down to a dribble of three a day from about thirty.

Anyway thank you all... what a splendid crew!

Harry Nicholson
8th July 2008, 20:12
My thanks again to the eight of you who replied to my plea for advice.

I uninstalled redundant progs, then did a defrag and a disc clean, carefully following your instructions ( I did some jobs in the workshop whilst it churned away for 90mins). That released 25 Gb of disc space. The pc was then noticeably brisker.
Then I took the free download of Glary Utilities, as Ken advised, and let it sweep the machine. It claims to have found 569 registry errors amongst other bits and pieces and says it has fixed them. Certainly the pc is now not labouring like an overfed labrador but nips around like a whippet.

Everything seems fine except that I hoped I would get rid of the Microsoft warning: 'Windows cannot find: http//... etc' everytime I go to a desktop shortcut to take me to a site like this. Despite saying it can't find it -- it promptly comes up with the target. I suspect it objects to me using Mozilla instead of Internet Explorer... I'll have to put up with that I suppose.

BobClay
8th July 2008, 20:41
Harry. If you use a shortcut on your desktop to go to a particular website in Mozilla, then just create, or copy a shortcut to Mozilla onto the desktop, then open properties and add the website onto the end of the target entry...

"C:\Program Files\MozillaFirefox\firefox.exe"
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/index.php

... this is what's on mine (I'm assuming the path is the same, but you don't touch the path so that doesn't matter).
leave the path in quotes, then add the website on the end with a space in between. That ensures the mozilla browser is used.

Harry Nicholson
8th July 2008, 23:23
Hello Bob,
I tried that... but had some 'finger trouble', it added to the target ok but I was then told it was invalid.
I've now put the webpages I use onto the Mozilla bookmark toolbar and get in that way. Does that amount to the same thing as what you suggested?

You knew where you were with a beam tetrode...



Harry. If you use a shortcut on your desktop to go to a particular website in Mozilla, then just create, or copy a shortcut to Mozilla onto the desktop, then open properties and add the website onto the end of the target entry...

"C:\Program Files\MozillaFirefox\firefox.exe"
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/index.php

... this is what's on mine (I'm assuming the path is the same, but you don't touch the path so that doesn't matter).
leave the path in quotes, then add the website on the end with a space in between. That ensures the mozilla browser is used.

BA204259
8th July 2008, 23:23
Harry

Now that does sound more like something has been flagged/unflagged in registry or removed. The only thing I can suggest is...... does the Glary Utility programme allow you to back up what it removes from registry? If it does, did you? If so can you do a restore of the removed reg keys from Glary.

I don't know this app. All I know about this sort of thing is that when I get my RegSupreme to scan the registry, on completion it will present me with a list of all the entries it has removed and ask me if I want to save them within RegSupreme. I always say yes and leave them stored for a week or two. I've never needed to restore them as RS is very safe (less aggressive than most) but that option is there for me.

I notice you have an external hard drive for backing up. Do you mean that you back up your personal things, eg photos, course work etc or do you have an imaging programme and make full backups of the drive, OS and everything? If not a full image have you got a recent system restore point then you could go back, repeat the cleaning up procedure and try and find out when the glitch occurs, but that would be a bit tiresome, I know. But something you did caused this glitch to happen (I assume it wasn't there before?). Feel it's not a Mozilla problem, I've been using Firefox for 5 years now, currently on version 3...my first was Firebird 0.6.1. and I have never had the slightest problem.

After you'd cleaned up, did you try the PC on the internet before using Glary? Just wondering if it's possible to pin down where exactly in the procedure the glitch occurred. Running chkdsk and defrag won't cause problems like that. Either it was a previously existing condition or your reg cleaner had possibly cleared something it shouldn't.

I'm sorry I can't be of more help!

Edit: Obviously I didn't read your last post properly the first time.... it was a pre-existing condition so Glary can be ruled out.

kottemann
8th July 2008, 23:31
Go to this link http://www.filehippo.com/download_ccleaner/ and in the top right corner and click download latest version, It is one of the best free registry cleaners available and very fast too.

Harry Nicholson
9th July 2008, 09:58
Harry

Edit: Obviously I didn't read your last post properly the first time.... it was a pre-existing condition so Glary can be ruled out.

Morning, 259. Thanks for the detailed response. True -Glary is innocent, this minor niggle has been going on for perhaps 12 months but I've always just worked around it. This registry issue came up only when I noticed how slow the pc had become. But now I've done all those defrag and cleanups as suggested, it is much leaner and very sprightly again... which is more than can be said for my thumb joint which I knackered again in the workshop yesterday.
I'm now training myself to access SN etc via the Mozilla toolbar, and that is much better than the laborious approach I was using... so the little problem is no longer an issue... whatever its cause.
Thanks for the interest though.
Harry

Harry Nicholson
9th July 2008, 10:01
Go to this link http://www.filehippo.com/download_ccleaner/ and in the top right corner and click download latest version, It is one of the best free registry cleaners available and very fast too.

Hello Robbie,
Yes, thanks. I got it a few days ago and it works well. I've just used it again ...and, as you say, it is fast.
How did life get so complicated? My father went to war on a horse!
Harry.

BA204259
9th July 2008, 14:07
OK Harry - pleased you're happy....25 Gigs is worth having.

BobClay
9th July 2008, 14:25
The way I showed it might be confusing Harry because the forum wont let me put the whole thing on one line (since the second part is a link).

It should look something like this:

"C:\program files\MozillaFirefox\firefox.exe" Blah Blah Blah

where blah blah is the url. That bit should not be in quotes, or inside the quotes. The bit inside quotes is the path, and this must be right or you will get an 'invalid' message because Windows can't find the exe file. However, having your sites in bookmarks is just as good.

25Gigs is worth having. I remember taking a ZX81 to sea, 1kb of RAM, but there was a 16 kb ram pack that fitted onto the back (shades of a HAL9000!).
Alas ships vibrations and 16kb rampacks don't mix well.

Harry Nicholson
9th July 2008, 18:05
The way I showed it might be confusing Harry because the forum wont let me put the whole thing on one line (since the second part is a link).

It should look something like this:

"C:\program files\MozillaFirefox\firefox.exe" Blah Blah Blah

where blah blah is the url. That bit should not be in quotes, or inside the quotes. The bit inside quotes is the path, and this must be right or you will get an 'invalid' message because Windows can't find the exe file. However, having your sites in bookmarks is just as good.

25Gigs is worth having. I remember taking a ZX81 to sea, 1kb of RAM, but there was a 16 kb ram pack that fitted onto the back (shades of a HAL9000!).
Alas ships vibrations and 16kb rampacks don't mix well.

Thanks Bob,
This time I read your earlier message more carefully:
...
"leave the path in quotes, then add the website on the end with a space in between. That ensures the mozilla browser is used."

Previously I'd not used the space! I've just set up several Mozilla shortcuts on desktop following your advice... and they work brilliantly!
I suppose all this learning of new tricks, whilst it produces clouds of burning wood smoke to erupt from my ears, might keep my circuitry from getting dry joints.
Great stuff. Cheers
Harry

BobClay
9th July 2008, 19:36
clouds of burning wood smoke to erupt from my ears, might keep my circuitry from getting dry joints.


I know the feeling. I have to work on machines that have been subjected to the most destructive force on the planet, nope, not a nuclear blast, or an electromagnetic pulse...something much worse ...... the 'schoolkid'.

Eddie Wallace
9th July 2008, 20:47
A good programme to have a look at is Major Geek it will come up with lots of downloads most are free ,I have had some good stuff from it .give it a whirrl .