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Old 07-23-07, 07:14 PM   #1
CyLowe97
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Foo Computer Gurus... Registry cleanup advice request

Hey Foo Computer geniuses...

I think I need to clean up the registry on my PC. I'm getting a DLL error when logging on. What's the best/cheapest way to do a registry cleanup? Do I need to spend $$ on software? If so, which one do you use?
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Old 07-23-07, 07:22 PM   #2
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Yeah, that's over my head.
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Old 07-23-07, 07:22 PM   #3
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I am not good with words, so I am going to illustrate the proper cleanup method

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Old 07-23-07, 07:27 PM   #4
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If its still around, Jv16 was a good free one.

If not, I know of a couple of decent ones, you could get trial on (System Mechanic and Tune-up Utilities).
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Old 07-23-07, 07:37 PM   #5
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I am not good with words, so I am going to illustrate the proper cleanup method

"Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta...."

Don't think I hadn't thought of that method already.
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Old 07-23-07, 07:37 PM   #6
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Save a copy of the registry to the desktop>Command>Regedit>expand all files>clean out all files that have no filepath

If you deleted a file that you needed, you still have a copy of your registry to fall back on.
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Old 07-23-07, 08:18 PM   #7
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Well... by the time you have to clean the registry, it's already too late. But RegistryMechanic does a pretty good job.
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Old 07-23-07, 08:30 PM   #8
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If you're missing a system .dll file, just run the second Repair option on the OS install CD (assuming you have it). Don't run the first Repair option because the it'll replace everything in your Windows directory (including links to installed programs, etc). Just select Install, even though it looks like you're going to reinstall the OS, select the SECOND Repair option when you see it offered again, and eventually it'll get to a point where it'll find the previously installed Windows directory, tell you that it exists, and ask you if you want to reinstall into the same directory. Answer yes and let the system copy the files back in. If you still get the .dll error afterwards, then you're missing a program .dll file, in which case you're on your own since we don't know what you have installed.

If this didn't make sense, seek professional help, and I mean that in a nice way.
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Old 07-23-07, 08:51 PM   #9
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Which Windows is it? What is the error? Have you installed or de-installed something recently?
Have you run scandisk recently with the "scan disk for bad sectors" option?
If you have Windows XP, and nothing changed recently, you may have been infected by spyware or adware.
Some of those can be very insidious and nearly impossible to remove.
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Old 07-24-07, 02:52 AM   #10
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Try these two commands before reinstalling (assuming you have an OS CD):

1: chkdsk /f c: (then reboot)
2: sfc /scannow

sfc.exe will ask for install media, then will check for any corrupted OS files, and copy them from the CD.
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Old 07-24-07, 03:46 AM   #11
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Run > MSCONFIG > Startup > uncheck what ever is calling the missing dll > Reboot.
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Old 07-24-07, 05:13 AM   #12
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A wipe & reload is the cowards way out. Any dolt can slide a CD in and a with a couple of keystrokes have a functioning computer. But what about the data, programs, bookmarks and other 'personalizations' that people have on their computer?

There are darn few machines that can't be fixed with an application of skill and time. We do it all the time in the shop.
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Old 07-24-07, 11:14 AM   #13
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A wipe & reload is the cowards way out. Any dolt can slide a CD in and a with a couple of keystrokes have a functioning computer. But what about the data, programs, bookmarks and other 'personalizations' that people have on their computer?

There are darn few machines that can't be fixed with an application of skill and time. We do it all the time in the shop.
+1 big time

I come from a UNIX background, and pretty much the only reason that I would ever advocate a reinstall is if a machine had physical hard disk failure, or if a machine is so totally compromised, the reinstall is the best thing for security reasons. Even reboots are a cop-out, as the only two real reasons one should ever reboot a UNIX machine is to have kernel-level patches take effect, or due to hung hard NFS mount that has jammed the system.

Even with Windows, usually the only time I have to do a true reinstall is when I'm upgrading the OS. For example when I upgraded a PC to Vista, I backed up the whole machine, zeroed out the drive (dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda after booting a Knoppix CD), installed Vista, then restored my files. Upgrading an OS from one major rev to another (and this goes for ANY OS, be it AIX, Solaris, Linux, BSD, MacOS, Windows, or Minix), almost always leaves cruft behind which causes trouble later, so the only real way to do it is to save the data and config stuff off, and install 100% from scratch rather than taking chances with upgrade scripts.

The only time I've advocated reinstalls for RL friends is when spyware has scrozzled up the Registry so badly, the only thing to do is install clean, and that can usually be done with a repair install.

The main reason people advocate reinstalls is that they do solve the problem, but IMHO, except for the above exceptions (security, new OS upgrade, or failed hard disk), a reinstall is very unprofessional.
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Old 07-24-07, 11:16 AM   #14
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I use ccleaner, works pretty well, google it

Not only does it clean up trash files, it'll look through your registry for crap data
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Old 07-24-07, 11:18 AM   #15
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..
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BERLIN (Reuters) - A German man who startled his neighbours when he hurled his computer out of the window in the middle of the night, was let off for disturbing the peace by police who sympathised with his technical frustrations.


Police in the northern city of Hanover said they would not press charges after responding to calls made by residents in an apartment block who were woken by a loud crash in the early hours of Saturday.

Officers found the street and pavement covered in electronic parts and discovered who the culprit was.

Asked what had driven him to the night-time outburst, the 51-year-old man said he had simply got annoyed with his computer.

"Who hasn't felt like doing that?" said a police spokesman.

While escaping any official sanction the man was made to clear up the debris.

Elsewhere on the Web
CNN.com
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Old 07-24-07, 11:22 AM   #16
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I use ccleaner, works pretty well, google it

Not only does it clean up trash files, it'll look through your registry for crap data
Another +1 there. You can check under the "other builds" link for a small download without the ask.com toolbar. Its one of the few utilities that cleans out the tracking objects that Flash-based websites use.
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Old 07-24-07, 11:46 AM   #17
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regcleaner is pretty good too. I run it along with chkdisk, defrag, and spybot search & destroy once or twice a month. Never once have i felt like i needed an OS reinstallation. Then again i'm pretty anal about keeping my files in order and what gets installed into the startup list... (there's absolutely nothing in my startup list. if i want something to start, i'll start it myself!)
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Old 07-24-07, 12:31 PM   #18
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Even with Windows, usually the only time I have to do a true reinstall is when I'm upgrading the OS. For example when I upgraded a PC to Vista, I backed up the whole machine, zeroed out the drive (dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda after booting a Knoppix CD), installed Vista, then restored my files. Upgrading an OS from one major rev to another (and this goes for ANY OS, be it AIX, Solaris, Linux, BSD, MacOS, Windows, or Minix), almost always leaves cruft behind which causes trouble later, so the only real way to do it is to save the data and config stuff off, and install 100% from scratch rather than taking chances with upgrade scripts.
I work in IT, and if an issue with a computer isn't easily solvable (as in less than a half hour), I'll reload the OS (employees aren't "supposed" to save information on their personal computers, anyway... they're supposed to save it on the network). Saves the company a lot of time, and I can work on more important things. I agree with BIMT... a fresh OS every now and then is a great way to clean up a computer.
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Old 07-24-07, 12:38 PM   #19
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another +1 for ccleaner, just run it in safe mode
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Old 07-24-07, 01:39 PM   #20
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I'm one of the 'reinstall' people. I just keep all documents and import files organized and backed up.

Its easier for me, but I know its not easier for others. I guess it depends on what you got on your machine. And I like starting over, keeps everything clean and wipes out any spyware/viruses that may or may not be sending data about me to somewhere in russia
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Old 07-24-07, 04:16 PM   #21
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Lately, I've been keeping my work "build" as a VMWare VM and save my data to a separate drive.
I take a backup of the VM image file every once in while and can revert back to that in case of emergency.
VMWare Player is free and creating a VM image is pretty easy too.
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Old 07-24-07, 05:07 PM   #22
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Lately, I've been keeping my work "build" as a VMWare VM and save my data to a separate drive.
I take a backup of the VM image file every once in while and can revert back to that in case of emergency.
VMWare Player is free and creating a VM image is pretty easy too.
Yeah, that's what we'll be doing with all the machines here in the next year or so... much easier to recover from uh... user mishaps.
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Old 07-24-07, 05:23 PM   #23
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what's a registry????

Mac User....
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Old 07-24-07, 05:59 PM   #24
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what's a registry????

Mac User....
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Old 07-25-07, 02:01 PM   #25
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what's a registry????

Mac User....
Macs have a "registry" too. Its called NetInfo. However, you can dump its contents to various text files using nidump, and load the contents from textfiles with niload.

And, yes, NetInfo can get corrupted too, although the stories about corrupted NetInfo databases are not as common as Windows. And, if the corruption is bad enough, you have to do the same thing that Windows users do -- save all files to another hard disk, and reinstall.
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