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Ishi

Are empty registry keys safe to fix or delete?...

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Since this is a place where people are concerned about topics related to the Windows Registry, I believe this is the right place to as this question.

 

There are supposedly "empty" registry keys in the registry. The question is, are they really safe to fix??? Or should I leave them as they are anyway??? I always have a backup for the whole registry though.

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Ishi quite a few of your posts are about Wise Registry Cleaner.

 

The one above would be better dealt with by Wise Registry Cleaner support.

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OK but as far as I am concerned, its not the only one that is gonna suggest something like that. I will edit my post above.

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You shouldnt just delete any key regardless if it's empty or not.

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You shouldnt just delete any key regardless if it's empty or not.

That's why I had backups.

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That's why I had backups.

How long are you going to keep those backups? I ask because messing around in the registry may not have obvious results immediately, but later on perhaps months down the road you realize there's a major issue and by that time it's been long forgotten what you've deleted.

 

Sure the registry has lots of "empty keys" however you'll quickly find yourself formatting if you think you can delete all of them without any consequences. "empty keys" is quoted because the registry can have one key in one location that references a completely different key or keys.

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Well I was keeping a backup for the entire registry before I even made any registry cleaning with CCleaner or any other registry cleaner I tried and so far I haven't yet seen any consequences. My system is very stable. Its been close to 3 months.

 

 

But there was actually one time when I restored only the CLSID section that I ended up having to format the computer back when I was still using Vista. It was unexplainable, my system startup won't even get to the log on screen. I tried running in safe mode but it was no use.

 

 

I am very strict in terms of maintenance though. I am now using Windows 7. There was this program that can supposedly "fix" them rather than delete them cause deleting and fixing are different right???

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"fixing" registry problems usually results in programs cutting the string at a certain substring in my experience

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I don't know why people are obsessed with cleaning their system registry 99% of the time it's not really needed and certain doesn't make your machine any faster.

In my opinion registry cleaners should only be used when apps are failing to run or you're encountering system errors that cannot be fixed.

In a worse case scenario you could always use the repair option in Windows and keep all your existing documents and media files untouched.

 

Richard S.

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"fixing" registry problems usually results in programs cutting the string at a certain substring in my experience

You mean disassociating programs, functions and such??

 

 

I don't know why people are obsessed with cleaning their system registry 99% of the time it's not really needed and certain doesn't make your machine any faster.

 

 

In a worse case scenario you could always use the repair option in Windows and keep all your existing documents and media files untouched.

 

Well in my own experience, it did speed the system to some degree. Even if no apps are crashing that much and even if you did all the tweaking Microsoft would suggest, the PC still doesn't retain its working condition when it was new so the problem is most likely to be the vast number of invalid registry entries. It would lag on occasion with unknown reasons.

 

The purpose of this topic right here is also to educate people about registry cleaning and what to commit in doing it. We can see what are the pros and the cons that's why I am a bit obsessed and curious.

 

And to answer your suggestion on the Repair option in Windows, people who had bought PCs or laptops, preinstalled with OS that don't have the Windows Installation CD will find this impossible. The system goes corrupt eventually even if there are no hardware problems. But if there was an innovative solution that can bring the PC to its good working condition again, then it should be a huge relief.

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My opinion, FWIW:

 

I had to laugh when I saw redhawk's post ... I very nearly added something very similar to this thread then changed my mind because I've said it all before. And I completely agree.

 

(Ishi this comment isn't directed at you). There are many people who feel that unless the registry is 'like new' it's not working to it's optimum. Please excuse the lousy analogy (I'm a sucker for 'em) but it's like believing your car will drive discernibly more quickly when it's clean and polished than when it's dirty.

 

By all means tidy the registry (not that it substantially needs it) but don't go overboard about it and more importantly don't get hung up that your PC is going to be so much the worse for wear unless you do it.

 

As redhawk says, if you have a problem that's a different matter; but that's not what threads like these are about.

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In a worse case scenario you could always use the repair option in Windows and keep all your existing documents and media files untouched.

Such a routine isn't even needed anymore with good disk imaging software like Macrium Reflect Free Edition, or whatever other disk imaging software that's good. I used Macrium Reflect Free Edition as the example because it's fast and I know first hand it works.

 

Just make a known good backup image of the hard disk(s) when the system is in a good running state and hasn't had umpteen "tweaks" applied or the registry mucked around with, and the dreaded format and reinstall everything will be a long forgotten chore.

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the PC still doesn't retain its working condition when it was new so the problem is most likely to be the vast number of invalid registry entries

And why is that most likely, what are you basing this assumption on? Personally I'd say the most likely cause is wear on hardware and components, followed by the increasing amount of stuff that gets installed on a computer over time and a long way down that list being a few empty reg entries (somewhere just below breathing on your computer the wrong way).

 

Apologies if I'm being facetious but I really think you are placing far too much importance, and wasting far too much time, on this :unsure:

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Just make a known good backup image of the hard disk(s) when the system is in a good running state and hasn't had umpteen "tweaks" applied or the registry mucked around with, and the dreaded format and reinstall everything will be a long forgotten chore.

 

Well Windows 7 has that advanced backup feature they call "system image" that basically copies your whole system itself along with your files to an external hard drive. So far, I don't think that Vista and XP has this advanced backup feature.

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So far, I don't think that Vista and XP has this advanced backup feature.

XP has a backup called Microsoft Backup which is more-or-less useless to be honest since it can't restore the system without a working Windows. Third-party disk imaging software such as Macrium Reflect Free Edition make a Rescue CD to boot from that can, and also allows spanning multiple discs to restore a system.

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Third-party disk imaging software such as Macrium Reflect Free Edition make a Rescue CD to boot from that can, and also allows spanning multiple discs to restore a system.
Well how do I use this Macrium Reflect Free Edition you are saying?? Can this make a backup of your whole system much like the system image on Windows 7??? Or can it make you some bootable CD or disk from which to restore the system.

 

 

Windows 7 also has another advanced backup feature which is create a bootable system repair disk from which to restore the system. I made one months ago and I always leave at least 1 or 2 restore points in my main hard disk. So far, I think its fair to say that Windows 7 has by far the best backup and restore ability than any other Windows OS.

 

This topic makes me review the backup and restore thing again which is slowly flying off my head at the moment, honestly.

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Check out the site Ishi ... http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp ... many people here including myself use it and highly recommend it.

Thanks a bunch, but can it make make a complete system image and save that on a CD that is bootable to restore the system even on the free edition???According to the comparison columns there, the free edition doesnt have the Windows boot menu support.

 

 

I need a little more info about this.

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I'm pretty certain it's the same as the paid-for version in this respect (though I haven't tried with the free version); you can create a rescue CD and restore the system from a Reflect image on an external USB drive - that's certainly how I've used it before.

 

The 'Windows boot menu option' is simply an extension to your F8 boot menu.

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I'm pretty certain it's the same as the paid-for version in this respect (though I haven't tried with the free version); you can create a rescue CD and restore the system from a Reflect image on an external USB drive - that's certainly how I've used it before.

 

 

I didn't know that an external USB is compatible for this "Reflect image" you are saying. Windows 7 does have this "system image" form of backup and when I tried to use that to my external USB, it says that that its not compatible but would be if it was an external hard drive, not an external USB.

 

Are you saying that this "Reflect image" is a backup feature of this wonder tool, Macrium Reflect Free Edition that is in a sense different from the "system image" form of backup in Windows and is compatible with external USBs???

 

Thanks....

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I didn't know that an external USB is compatible for this "Reflect image" you are saying. Windows 7 does have this "system image" form of backup and when I tried to use that to my external USB, it says that that its not compatible but would be if it was an external hard drive, not an external USB.

 

Are you saying that this "Reflect image" is a backup feature of this wonder tool, Macrium Reflect Free Edition that is in a sense different from the "system image" form of backup in Windows and is compatible with external USBs???

 

Thanks....

The Reflect image is just a file in Macrium's propriety format. You can store it wherever you like! You create an image that is split over a number of files ... for example if you want to burn it to disc.

 

I don't know, but I would presume it is not compatible with any Windows generated image. I don't know what W7 gives you in that respect.

 

Read up some more on the Reflect site, have a look at their forums and just download it and try it! That will tell you more than I can and you won't lose anything by doing that!

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I've never tried Macrium Reflect with a USB flash drive which I'd actually be rather captious of using since the backup could be easily deleted. What I've did is made the rescue CDs, and burned the backup image onto multiple DVD discs. I also have that same backup image on a second hard drive which is going to be much faster to restore from and is less likely to have read issues like read errors when compared to optical media like CDs/DVDs.

 

Personally I wouldn't backup to CDs since I've seen them become unreadable in 2-5 years whereas with DVDs I haven't ever had one fail.

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... you can create a rescue CD and restore the system from a Reflect image on an external USB drive - that's certainly how I've used it before.

That's hard drive; not flash memory stick.

 

I don't back up to disc media either; multiple copies across external USB drives.

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