TUCOWS ARTICLE

A roundup of tools to help you with the Window's Registry and improving your computer's performance

I've been getting quite a few emails with questions about the Windows Registry. And I know it can be a scary thing to fiddle with.
Published: Jun 1, 2005
Author: Michael E, Callahan
I've been getting quite a few emails with questions about the Windows Registry. And I know it can be a scary thing to fiddle with. So, I decided that this week I'll do a Dr. File Finder's Picks Roundup! of programs that are Registry-related. To give you some different perspectives I'm going to review two programs that just work with the Registry and two programs that work with the Registry and more. I hope you'll find the reviews beneficial. If you're ready, just sit back, relax, and lets take a look.Registry Mechanic by PC Tools, is designed to be used to repair and clean the Windows Registry. Why does the Registry need to be cleaned? Well, primarily because every item on your computer - every program, every driver, every shortcut, and more, places entries in the Registry. And as you use your computer and change things - add a different printer, remove software, and so on, remnants of entries remain in the Registry. Those useless entries slow down your computer and can even cause system crashes. Registry Mechanic scans your computers Registry and looks for "dead" entries, shortcuts that go nowhere, old drivers, and more. It seeks out all the junk that slows down you computer and then safely removes it. Slick! Registry Mechanic works quickly and with just a few mouse clicks. The interface is very intuitive and the program is easy-to-use. To me, that makes it perfect for both new and experienced users. The Registry is large and complex and the program scans it thoroughly to find all the useless stuff that gets left behind. Another neat feature is that the program will backup so that if you should need to restore any changes that are made, you can. My system is fairly complex and I was impressed with how fast the program scanned my entire registry. When it finishes, it shows you a listing of the problems its found. If you like you can just clean or repair certain problems or you can elect to fix them all, which is the option I chose. If you use the program on a regular basis you're going to notice a difference in your system performance and that's important! Registry Mechanic, by PC Tools, is a nicely done utility for keeping your Windows Registry lean and fast. The program scans the Registry quickly, and safely, to find all of the junk that builds up with just normal use. It gives you the option of making a backup and then removes all of the dead Registry entries that can slow down your computer and even make it crash. The program is fast and efficient and so very easy-to-use. So, if you'd like to make your computer run faster, give this program a try. I think you'll like it!
Registry First Aid, by Rose City Software is a cool tool for clearing all the junk out of the Windows Registry! And if you don't think there's junk in there, think again! Lots of programs simply don't do a good job of cleaning up after themselves. And all that excess baggage comes back to haunt you by slowing your machine down, or making it freeze up. Registry First Aid solves that problem by finding all the leftover junk and letting you remove it! Registry First Aid scans registry and looks for entries that point to programs that are no longer there. It looks for orphan folders and files and can remove these as well. And it works really quickly. When it finishes a scan it clearly displays everything it found. Then you can tell the program to eliminate everything OR select just specific things. The program also creates an "undo" file so if you wanted to you could restore the registry. Pretty slick! Registry First Aid, by Rose City Software, is a really handy utility that will help keep your registry clean and efficient. It's both safe and easy-to-use. I use it about once a week just to keep all the junk out of my registry. And, it creates an undo file, so if needed you can restore. To keep your computer running fast and problem-free, give Registry First Aid a try. I think you'll like it!
Hx - In the early days of computers, users had to know more basic things about their machines. In the early days of DOS a simple computer cost $5,000 or more. You had to know how to write "batch" files, communication scripts, and you had to take care of your investment. My first hard disk, all 10 megabytes of it, cost over $800.00. Now I have a "keychain" drive that holds 256MB that I paid only $80 for. So, you learned to defragment your drives and to take care of them. While todays computers are much more advanced and much cheaper, they still need to be taken care of. When friends ask me to come fix computer problems I find that most often the problems stem from them not using anti-virus software, not defragmenting their hard drives, not taking care of the Registry, and not doing backups of their data. So, while users of today may not have to know as much about how your computers work, you still need to take time to care for them. My, how things have changed -- -- Doc
TuneUp Utilities 2004, by TuneUp Software GmbH is perhaps one of the neatest programs I've seen all year. It offers a suite of high-powered tools that you won't want to be without. I've looked at a lot of similar programs, but this one really impressed me. The user interface is not only pleasing, but also intuitive. And, it offers a range of features that everyone can use to make their system faster and their life easier. The "DiskCleaner" module will eliminate all the junk files that slow your computer down. There's also a neat "MemOptimizer" feature that helps manage your system memory. It also has a RegistryCleaner that does an impressive job of really scrubbing all the useless junk from the registry. And a trimmed down Windows Registry will make your system run better. TuneUp Utilities goes even further with its SystemControl module. This option lets you modify security settings, use of animation, the appearance of menus, and lots more. There's also an "Icon Engineer" that lets you change just about any Windows icon. Very slick. And if all this weren't enough, there's still more. How about a StartUp Manager to let you manage all the things that are started by Windows automatically. Also a System Information module that tells you everything you'd want to know about your computer -- from the brand of your CPU, your screen resolution, and who made your graphics card. You also have a way to undelete files as well as a way to "shred" them so they can't be recovered. And, last but not least, there's also a Process Manger, for dealing with running program and a nice System Optimizer that lets you do basic maintenance with just a click. Very cool. TuneUp Utilities, by TuneUp Software GmbH, is really a powerful set of utilities. These utilities keep your computer in top shape, let you alter settings, modify icons, and even improve your connection to the Internet. You can clean the system Registry, remove unwanted files, check information on your computer, and plenty more. The program is perfect for both new and experienced users, and quite impressive. So, if you're looking for an all-around tool to take care of things on your computer, you have to take a look at this. One of the best programs I've seen in a long time. Try it!
Ashampoo WinOptimizer Platinum Suite 2, by ashampoo GmbH & Co. KG is a collection of tools that help to keep your computer clean and running very smoothly. If you don't know it by now, I'm here to tell you that your computer collects junk. Useless stuff in the Windows Registry, duplicate copies of the same DLL all over your machine, lot of those so-called "temporary" files, and lots more. Well, with WinOptimizer Suite, you can really clean up! To start with, it has an "Internet Cleaner" that helps you to remove all of those temporary files. Keep in mind that the temporary files are only temporary if you remove them. The Internet Cleaner lets you decide exactly what you want to get rid of. And, when it comes to the infamous "cookies" it also lets you decide which ones you'd like to keep. That's a very slick option to have. WinOptimizer Suite doesn't stop with just the junk you pick up on the Internet. Its "Registry Cleaner" will go through and eliminate all of the unwanted rubbish that gets stranded in your Registry when you uninstall programs. Getting rid of the junk helps your computer to run faster and boot quicker. And if all this weren't enough, it also has a "DLL Cleaner" that will go through and find duplicate DLL files on your machine. The programs "Drive Cleaner" will go around your hard disk and help to get rid of duplicate files of other types. On top of that the program has a "Startup Tuner" that lets you keep track of what program are loading when Windows starts. And, to complete the package there's a "File Wiper" that will totally delete a file so that it's unrecoverable and an "Internet Tuner" that optimizes your Internet connection. Excellent!WinOptimizer Suite, by ashampoo GmbH & Co. KG, is a complete package for optimizing both your computer and your connection to the Internet. It removes duplicate files, duplicate DLLs, cleans the Windows Registry, and removes all kind of temporary and useless files. When needed it can wipe files and folders so they can't be recovered, while also letting you monitor programs that load when Windows starts. So, if you're looking for a package that will keep your computer not only clean, but running smoothly, take a good look at WinOptimizer Suite. Loaded with configurable options. I recommend it.
Dr. File Finder Quick Picks
Dr. File Finder Quick Pickb>FeedForAll is a nifty tool that makes it easy to create, publish, and even edit RSS news feeds. Those are the things that are commonly called blogs which is short for "Weblogs". A neat feature is that the program can actually 'repair' RSS feeds that were created with something else. And, the feeds created by FeedForAll conform to the RSS 2.0 specifications. This is a great, new product from a first-rate company. I've been using it myself and as soon as I can find some spare time I may publish my own blog. So, if you're also interested in perhaps participating in the "Weblog" phenomenon, check this out! I'll get to the full review as soon as possible.
Dr. File Finder Quick PickAshampoo PowerUp XP Platinum is a neat tool Windows XP, 2000, and NT that lets you "tune" Windows the way you want it. The cool thing about the program is that it lets you fiddle with things in Windows that you wouldn't normally have easy access to. It can make changes in the Registry and you don't have to worry about messing anything up in the process. The program makes it easy to make changes so that Windows works more the way you want it to. Check it out. I'll review it in full down the road.
That's it for this week. I hope you enjoyed reading about these Picks as much as I enjoyed writing about them. These are all excellent products for working with the Windows Registry and well worth your time. And tell your friends and family about this Dr. File Finder's Picks Roundup! of programs that are Registry-related - I'm sure they'll find it interesting. I'm going to be heading out for now, but I'll be back again next week, with more Picks and Quick Picks to tell you about. I really hope you'll join me then. Until then, be kind to people, surf safely, and happy downloading.


About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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