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Important registry cleaner question

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I use CCleaner and find it to be very good. Recently I was curious about Registry Mechanic (from PC Tools) and decided to download it on a trial basis. After cleaning my registry with CCleaner, I scanned my registry with Registry Mechanic and it found 376 additional erros. That seems like a lot to me. So my question is...is Registry Mechanic way too sensitive to issues (i.e. the issues it found are very irrevelant and do not need to be addressed) -- OR -- is CCleaner simply not sensitive enough to registry issues that need to be addressed?

 

NOTE...this is certainly not meant to be a frown upon CCleaner, because like I said, I really like the program and I think Piriform makes great products. I just want to know your opinion because 376 additional registry problems naturally worries me.

 

Any imformation is greatly appreciated.

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CCleaner is a good, safe Registry Cleaner, but with any reg cleaner, make sure you use the backup registry feature before fixing.

 

Registry Mechanic is also a good reg cleaner, but needs a bit more care and attention as it picks up a lot of missing or invalid shortcuts from System Volume Information (System Restore), which CCleaner doesn't scan for.

 

It's long been a debatable point as to the wisdom of removing these items, so you need to know what you are looking at.

 

Just as an example, I've just scanned and picked up 1 file extension error and 17 invalid shortcuts from System Volume Information with Registry Mechanic, and with CCleaner, only 2 file extension errors.

 

With me, that's usually the difference between the two.

 

376 additional errors isn't a lot compared to others we see on here, and if it's mainly System Volume information errors, then some people delete them, others leave them alone. Either way, take care and backup.

 

Hope that helps.

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it picks up a lot of missing or invalid shortcuts from System Volume Information (System Restore)

That's why an exclusion needs to be made for those folder locations, i.e.;

c:\system volume information

 

if there's another partition or hard disk:

d:\system volume information

 

...and so forth. Nothing should be left to mess with the System Restore files!

 

Another worrying factor with aggressive registry cleaners is them finding:

User Shell Folders, and Shell Folders - I've come to the conclusion those should never be messed with!

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That's why an exclusion needs to be made for those folder locations, i.e.;

c:\system volume information

 

if there's another partition or hard disk:

d:\system volume information

 

...and so forth. Nothing should be left to mess with the System Restore files!

 

Another worrying factor with aggressive registry cleaners is them finding:

User Shell Folders, and Shell Folders - I've come to the conclusion those should never be messed with!

I've ripped Shell Temp folders left and right and in between and have never had a problem. Are you using Vista?

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That's why an exclusion needs to be made for those folder locations, i.e.;

 

c:\system volume information

How do you manually add this folder to Registry Mechanic? -- can't quite figure it out.

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With entries you are unsure, you should always do some research. What is? Most registry cleaners offers an option to "open with Regedit". So right click that entry, select "Regedit" and check what is the deal there. Also, if the entry is referring to some file, you should check if that file exists on your system or not. If it does exist, don't remove the entry.

 

Don't remove empty keys, if the program its referring to, is installed on your system. Like mentioned, don't remove Shell Folder entries. Don't remove "Extension not used" and "Filetype not used" entries (atleast with RegSeeker), if the program(s) they are referring to, is installed on your system. They are not critical to remove anyway.

 

Edit: When i scan with RegSeeker, there's now 92 "invalid" entries, that i leave alone.

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I've ripped Shell Temp folders left and right and in between and have never had a problem. Are you using Vista?

I'm on XP and every registry cleaner with the only exceptions being CCleaner's and EasyCleaner's finds shell folders, and I never allow them to touch those registry settings and those are even excluded in that now old RegSeeker customized exclude.ini file I used to do.

 

I've noticed regularly when using Total Uninstall to track installations that either Windows itself, or the setup programs (I don't know which is doing it) are auto-magically changing those values in the registry. What this details I haven't a clue but on one occasion:

I had to manually fix a value in the registry to point to my "User Profile\Local Settings\Temp" folder when an installation failed to install because the Temp value was missing, although some installers are smart enough to just make their own Temp folder in "User Profile\Temp" to negate that issue.

 

How do you manually add this folder to Registry Mechanic? -- can't quite figure it out.

I'm not using RegMech but Desktop Maestro and in it you go into (I don't remember if this is the same in RegMech or not):

Settings->Ignore Lists->Values

then you just input:

c:\system volume information

 

Other options:

  • When c:\system volume information is listed as invalid after a scan exclude it - but for some reason RegMech and newer, don't always allow your exclusions so:
  • Open the exData.txt file located in one of the RegMech folders in "C:\Program Files", and input the path:
    c:\system volume information

 

For the Windows registry Shell Folders:

You'd open the exKeys.txt file located in one of the RegMech folders in "C:\Program Files", and input the following registry areas to ignore (these I know it will commonly not auto-exclude when you tell it to during a scan):

hkey_current_user\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\explorer\shell folders
hkey_current_user\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\explorer\user shell folders
hkey_local_machine\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\explorer\user shell folders

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With entries you are unsure, you should always do some research. What is? Most registry cleaners offers an option to "open with Regedit". So right click that entry, select "Regedit" and check what is the deal there. Also, if the entry is referring to some file, you should check if that file exists on your system or not. If it does exist, don't remove the entry.

 

Don't remove empty keys, if the program its referring to, is installed on your system. Like mentioned, don't remove Shell Folder entries. Don't remove "Extension not used" and "Filetype not used" entries (atleast with RegSeeker), if the program(s) they are referring to, is installed on your system. They are not critical to remove anyway.

 

Edit: When i scan with RegSeeker, there's now 92 "invalid" entries, that i leave alone.

That's exactly what I do also CeeCee! ;)

 

And it's one reason I totally got sick of RegSeeker always having to spend a ton of time finding damn near everything it was listing.

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In Registry Mechanic, you can go to "Settings\Scanning Paths" and simply uncheck C: Sysytem Volume Information.

 

99% of System Volume Information errors I get are from my partition, D: drive, where I'm forever saving program installers, images, music etc, and them binning them.

 

No program installations at all, so after methodically checking each item, I save the backup, and delete them.

 

This is my personal choice however and not a suggestion that it can or should be done, and I also have the entire registry backed up every day with Erunt running once per day at first boot.

 

Erunt:

 

I'm not sure, but the same "uncheck" option may be available in Desktop Maestro, with it also being PCTools.

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RegSeeker 'greenlists' everything it deems safe to remove. It lists but doesn't touch unused file extensions, etc.

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It lists but doesn't touch unused file extensions, etc.

What harm is there in getting rid of unused file extensions. If needed, aren't they re-created anyway?

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What harm is there in getting rid of unused file extensions. If needed, aren't they re-created anyway?

Don't know why RegSeeker list them as unused, since they are registered with applications. Here's some examples:

 

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.amc]
@="QuickTime.amc"
"Content Type"="application/x-mpeg"
"QuickTime.bak"=""

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.amc\OpenWithList]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.amc\OpenWithList\QuickTimePlayer.exe]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.amc\OpenWithProgIds]
"QuickTime.amc"=""

 

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.aif]
"PerceivedType"="audio"
"Content Type"="audio/aiff"
@="QuickTime.aif"
"MP2.Last"="Custom"
"Winamp_Back"="QuickTime.aif"
"QuickTime.bak"="Winamp.File"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.aif\OpenWithList]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.aif\OpenWithList\QuickTimePlayer.exe]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.aif\OpenWithList\wmplayer.exe]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.aif\OpenWithProgIds]
"AIFFFile"=""
"QuickTime.aif"=""

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Thank you all for your help. I decided not to go with Registry Mechanic as an extra registry cleaner. I downloaded Eusing Free Registry Cleaner which came highly recommended on another forum and it seems very good to use combined with using CCleaner.

 

Any comments regarding Eusing Free Registry Cleaner?

 

Thank you for your time.

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Quite a timely thread as I used RegSeeker (on a Windows XP computer) yesterday and immediately had problems with my desktop icons - I have them organised the way I want them but when I was restarting the computer they were changing position. I'd move them back, then restart - changed position again. I changed them back. Restart. Nothing I tried would get them to stay where I wanted and I googled extensively for hints on what to do (using suggestions such as unclick "Show Desktop Icons", then reclick and restart, click / unclick auto arrange, click / unclick Align To Grid, restart etc etc. Everytime I restarted the Auto Arrange was unticked and the icons were back in some sort of default order). I then tried to restore the backups RegSeeker had created but I kept getting a message that there was an "error accesing the registry" and the backups weren't merged into the registry. Not very useful! I should have used ERUNT to back up the registry beforehand. Eventually I had to give up and use System Restore - result: everything is working normal again, icons are in the order I want them and not in the order that the computer seems to think they should be when the computer restarts. Another problem after running RegSeeker was that my Quick Launch tool bar disappeared at startup and I had to keep reticking it on the task bar. Then the icon order on that was changed too. Again, after System Restore it is now perfectly fine after a computer restart

 

I don't know what the problem was but I'm not running RegSeeker again. I did see posts at review sites where other people had this icon / quick launch tool bar problem after running regseeker and had to do a System Restore.

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answering my own post here: it must be some settings I used as the History file for RegSeeker has this for the latest version:

 

Version 1.55

 

- Introducing Vista support (you will need to elevate UAC) !

- Improved backup/restore functions (double-click for opening in regedit)

- Integrated Exclusion list editor with Import option

- Fix issue with StreamMRU cleaning (quicklaunch/desktop icons reorganization)]

- Safer registry cleaning results

- some crashes fixed

 

though it was this version I used but I did tick the "Clean StreamMRU/Streams keys" option in the Auto Clean option in Clean The Registry. Does anyone know why ticking this option would constantly affect icon positioning / quick launch toolbars if RegSeeker was only ran once?

 

(apologies for going slightly off-topic here)

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I don't use it often, but so far I've had good luck with RegSeeker. I read everything it finds. If I delete, I only delete the green marked items. It's gotten to the point that most stuff that shows up now are just regenerations of stuff I've deleted before so like I said, I don't use it much anymore. Same thing with Eusing Regcleaner, but I really look at all it finds with a fine-tooth comb since it doesn't have a "clean safe" mode like RegSeeker. I'm no programmer or coder. I'm a novice in PC stuff, basically, XP. But I've scoured through enough files and extensions and dlls and junk over the years to half-recognize whether an item should be left alone or trashed. As always, I err on the safe side. More importantly, I use ERUNT. And there's System Restore.

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CCleaner had good reg cleaner...and realy fast :lol:

(a registry cleaner is not about how many errors it find instead how they find ONLY that can cause problems)

:unsure::unsure:

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Any comments regarding Eusing Free Registry Cleaner?

It's a piece of s**t, I can't be more blunt than that! It has many false positives and will get you into a butt load of trouble.

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It has many false positives

I agree. It's pretty much the same thing with RegScrubXP. Comes up with same false positives = mostly "active" empty keys and Shell Folder entries.

 

What i mean by "active" empty keys, is that those keys are referring to programs you have currently installed on your system. Even though they are empty keys, it's not recommened, and totally safe to delete them.

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I'm not using RegMech but Desktop Maestro

Andavari, is this the Desktop Maestro from PC Tools? What do you specifically like about that app?

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Andavari, is this the Desktop Maestro from PC Tools? What do you specifically like about that app?

It's from PC Tools. There really isn't a whole lot of difference from RegMech other than it cleans up junk files and that's about it.

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Andavari, have you tried System TuneUp ?

For me (on Vista 64 bit), it is the only other app I need together with CCleaner.

The reg clean function is also very careful and does not show unsafe entries. Also the app gives you complete freedom to delete\not delete what you want!

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