A clean registry equals a quick and happy
I am sure that you and most everybody you know that has a computer has gotten
errors. That error that you see on startup or when you are doing just about
anything else is most likely caused by a registry problem. Even though you do
all of your uninstalling, virus checks and regular spyware / adware removal by
the book that still doesn't mean those problems still are not effecting your
computer. Often times when something gets uninstalled or removed from your computer
it leaves old registry entries behind.
These old entries that are hanging around in your registry can effect your
computer in many ways. Not only can they cause errors. This garbage in your
registry can also slow it down considerably. So much in fact that it can cause
your computer to crash or reboot frequently. As you probably know this can
become anything from a major pain in the butt to a complete disaster. But if you
can tell what the error you are receiving really means you can fix the problem.
Usually when an error pops up it will say that X program caused X error. If
you write that program name down you just might be able to find the piece of the
registry that is causing this problem for you. Usually the left over registry
entry will have the name of the program or the name of the programs maker in it.
You may even find that it will refer to a certain file usually ending in .exe.
If you see this make sure that it is nothing windows related before messing with
it. I will show you how to get rid of these problems below but I must state that
I am not responsible for anything you do as the registry is very sensitive. If
you make sure to backup though you should be completely fine.
The registry is very fragile. It can be looked at like the spinal cord of
your operating system and is basically the nerve center of your PC. If one
little letter is messed up it can cause big problems. Before ever messing around
with your registry you must make sure you have a current backup. This backup
should be kept off of your computer and on a floppy disk or cd. One easy tool
you can use to make the backup process easier for you is ERUNT which stand for
The Emergency Recovery Utility NT. This program can be found at
http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/ and can be
used on Windows NT / 2000 / 2003 / XP. Once you have this program you can easily
make a backup of your registry files to a bootable disk in just a few clicks.
Now that you have a current copy of your registry on backup just in case
something happens we can get down to business. To browse your registry go to
START and click on RUN. Now type "regedit" in the box and click on OK or hit
enter. A window should open that says Registry Editor in the title bar and there
should be a tree type directory structure with +'s next to a bunch of hkey
entries. This is where your operating system is told to find and do basically
everything it does. So be extra careful not to accidentally change or delete
anything without knowing what it actually does.
We are not really going to worry about looking around and what each hkey
does. We just want to do a basic search and delete a few leftover things that
are causing some problems. The first thing we want to do is click on "Edit" at
the top of the window. It should drop down a menu and now you want to choose
"Find". This should open up a small window that says Find at the top. In the
space provided type in the information you gathered from the error. Make sure
that Keys, Values, and Data are all checked, you may also want to check "Match
Whole String Only" your first time thought the search. This will insure that you
only get an exact match and will reduce the chance of messing something up.
Now that you have done all of the above click "Find Next". A little window
that says searching the registry should come up. It may take a little while to
find what you are looking for so don't get impatient and close everything down.
Just give it a little bit and it should bring you to the place it found an entry
at. The entry should be highlighted. If you see that it refers to a place on
your hard drive (C:/windows/ or something like that.) it just may be your
problem. But don't delete it yet. If you look over on the left you should be
able to tell what directory it is in. Does it look like it belongs to the
program the error is referring to?
If the entry found looks like it does in fact belong to the program the error
refers to go ahead and delete it. To do this simply right click on the entry and
choose delete. This may of just fixed the problem but lets not stop here. Lets
get rid of anything in there pertaining to that program. Go ahead and choose
"Edit" and "Find" again. Now go ahead and choose find next and determine if the
next entry is related to the program. If it is delete it. Keep doing this until
you get a message that says "Finished Searching Through The Registry".
Now that we have finished that go ahead and restart your computer and see if
you still get the error. Most likely it should be gone. If you do however still
get the error you may just need to use a program that will do all of this for
you. A registry cleaner will take care of all of these registry problems for
you. There are usually close to a hundred registry problems on any given
computer. These problems are effecting your computer in one way or another
without you even knowing about them. If you are having a problem that the above
did not fix or if you are scared of messing your computer up I suggest you use a
software utility to do this for you.
For this I have to recommend Error Nuker, since it has features that most
others do not offer. There is a link in the author bio at the end of this
article to scan your computer for free. It is one of the only registry cleaners
that I know of that cleans your system registry completely safely. This great
utility uses a certified windows registry map to make sure that it does not
alter anything that is linked to your operating system. Error Nuker also
automatically creates a backup of your systems registry before making a single
alteration. This way you can rest assure that if there is a problem it can be
easily and automatically fixed.
About the author: Terry Brazil. This article originally posted on this
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