Tag Archives: registry

Keep Your Computer in Tip-Top Shape


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The folks at PC PitStop have been a tremendous help to our community during the time we’ve been doing live streaming. We contribute videos to their newsletters as often as possible, and they contribute to all of you via excellent and exclusive deals on their software!

Optimize 3.0 is a program that I would recommend even if these folks weren’t a part of our team. It’s honestly that good. Optimize 3.0 is a powerful tool that does a lot to boost the speed, stability and security of your computer.

You can schedule Optimize remotely to run on any computer in the World that you have access to. Use it to kill unneeded processes that eat up memory and CPU cycles, which in turn speeds up your boot times! Optimize automatically gets rid of junk files for you, to reduce excessive hard drive clutter.

PC Pitstop has now introduced a new (and still free!) product that is going to blow away previous offerings they’ve had. PC Matic is a single piece of software that combines FIVE of their other programs into one nice scanning bundle!

PC Matic includes Optimize 3.0, Disk MD, Driver Alert, Exterminate and OverDrive!! By running a simple scan using PC Matic, you’ll receive easy-to-understand reports about your computer, including:

  • High and Low Threat Security
  • Fragmentation Analysis
  • Drivers
  • Junk Files
  • System Specs
  • Internet Tweaks
  • World Rank
  • Registry Tests

One other awesome feature to point out is that all of the scan and clean results are stored on the PC PitStop servers. They can be viewed from any computer, not just the computer on which the functions were performed. The results can also be sent to you via email, in order to easily manage all of your computers from one place.

The bottom line is that we couldn’t continue doing what we do without the help of our partners, such as PC PitStop. We appreciate each and every one of you, and the support you give to our community as a whole.

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Are Registry Cleaners Safe to Use?

People ask me all of the time if registry cleaning software is safe to use, and which one I would recommend. The truth of the matter is I don’t recommend using any of them! I did a video about this last year, with the help of some very knowledgeable people.

As most of you know, my assistant Kat is considered an expert in the field of malware removal and Windows security in general. In fact, she has been awarded the prestigious Microsoft MVP award four years in a row now. She’s been removing malware on huge sites like GeeksToGo for more than six years, and is a site administrator there. She also teaches malware removal in its free training program.

Over the years, Kat has helped literally thousands of people online to clean and fix up their computers. It’s something she has a lot of passion for, and is very good at. She answers questions like this every day, and recently posted a blog on Geeks about this very question. The information she posted is gleaned from her own experience with users, as well as many of the other experts she works with. I asked her permission to copy it here, so that more of you might be able to read her advice, and even add to the discussion.

Programs like CCleaner can be very dangerous to your computer. No registry “cleaner” is completely safe. There is also no hard evidence that “cleaning” out the registry has any effect on the overall speed of a machine. It will speed up searches within the registry itself, but has no effect on overall performance.

There are a few misunderstandings about the registry. People seem to think that “cleaning” the registry will make it smaller and easier to manage. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. What you are doing is creating mini gaps in the registry’s file. These gaps will be reused by new data that inserts itself into your registry. The end result is that the registry becomes fragmented. Searching the data in a fragmented file is way slower than it is within an optimized file. In short, the only way to speed up the handling of the registry is by completely rewriting the file(s)… and even that is marginal at best.

Registry cleaning will not improve your system speed. Even though there are a lot of orphaned keys and/or values present, you won’t notice a difference in your system speed. The only difference you’ll notice is when actually searching your registry. Do you even ever do that? I know I don’t.

To be quite frank, if you “clean” your registry often enough, it will become fragmented. That will result in slower system performance… quite the opposite of what you were trying to accomplish in the first place. I think I’d rather have orphaned keys in my registry instead of deleting something by a so-called “cleaner” that should have never been touched.

That’s the problem with programs like these. They will miss entries that are “bad,” and mark good entries for removal. I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times over the years. A novice or “normal” computer user hoses their system completely, simply by deleting everything a program such as CCleaner told them to.

If you must do something with your registry, do it manually. If you don’t know how, leave it alone! You honestly never need to do anything in there. If you have a case of malware that attacks your registry, I urge you to seek help from someone trained to know how to properly remove it. Also, even if you consider yourself to be an expert on the registry, I beg you to take a few extra minutes to make a backup before you begin. I promise you’ll thank me later.

Last, I know there will be people who argue with me. There will be those who swear up and down that CCleaner is a wonderful program. They’ve never had a problem with it! Maybe you’re a tech who uses it in your line of work. Good for you! I’m glad you’ve never had a problem — yet. Even when you know exactly what you’re doing, programs like this still occasionally can and will completely hose a system. I sincerely hope it never happens to you.

credit to Sari and Bobbi_Flekman for some of the wording of this writing.

Kat makes excellent points in the above writing. I hope everyone will take the time to ponder what she’s written, and even add your own thoughts to the mix. If you’re using something like CCleaner to clean out your temporary files, stop it now. There are some excellent free alternatives that are much safer for your machine, such as ATF Cleaner or even TFC. Both are very safe, and very effective.

Registry Cleaner Software

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I know many of you out there feel that registry cleaners will help speed up your computer. The truth of the matter is that they will NOT. In fact… using one can end up rendering your system useless if you don’t use it properly. I don’t recommend using them… EVER.

Programs like CCleaner are very powerful. If you run one on a brand-new computer, with a completely clean Windows install… they will still show “bad” registry entries, and try to remove them. To a non power-user who doesn’t know everything that should be in the registry… that can spell disaster. Remove the wrong key(s), and you could quickly kill your entire computer. As with any changes to the core of the Windows operating system, proceed with caution.

IF you feel you have to clean your registry, make a backup. ALWAYS take the time to export the registry, and back that sucker up. Also… why not educate yourself on the Windows registry? Learn what is in the registry, and why Windows may or may not need it. Then, remove any bad registry keys manually. You’ll be much safer in the long run by having a complete understanding of what’s happening with your computer, instead of simply trusting software to guide your decision.

TuneUp360 automatically cleans your registry and fixes a number of other Windows errors. Order with coupon code GEEKS to save 25% now.

Download the video to learn more about cleaning the Windows registry.

Our Wedding Registry at Amazon

Well, we’ve officially put our wedding registry online at Amazon. Ponzi picked everything, as most of it is what she knows we need. I can’t believe we’ve lived this long without a covered cake pan. Hell, I didn’t even know they made covered cake pans! Oddly enough, she didn’t select any bedding, bath, or decor items. Guess that means we’re going to be living out of our kitchen. I hear Calphalon is quite comfortable, actually.

Setting up a home means different things to different people. Are you homebodies who love to curl up on the couch with a Hepburn and Stewart classic? Or are you always on the go, heading off to soccer practice or serving up a round of badminton in your backyard? Or maybe you can’t wait to mix up cocktails in your swank newlywed pad. From electronics to sports gear to barware, your registry should be all about who you are as a couple, how you like to spend your free time, and what your passions are.

Yeah, but I already have a copy of Joe Dirt on DVD…

Exclusive Registry Booster Coupon

I twisted Gordon’s arm to get it, but here’s an exclusive coupons to get Registry Booster for only $19.95:

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Residual files, unused and undeleted drivers, and corrupt or bad entries in registry settings will quickly litter even the newest of computers. The result? Frequent error messages, slow start-ups, declining and poor performance and registry integrity, unstable and frequent application errors and crashes, and, at times, even an inability to start Windows.

If you’re looking for something that’s 100% effective in cleaning the Windows registry, you’re likely looking going to spend about $129. On what? Mac OS X.