Monday, July 25, 2005

The Registry

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One of the scariest parts of Windows is the “Registry”. Why? Well, you can reduce your Windows computer into a low wattage heater with a single keystroke if you start playing around in it. This thing is the one area that MUST be approached with care. No, I’m not kidding!

The registry is important for the smooth and efficient operation of the computer. It tells Windows where, how, what, and when to run. It’s cryptic and complicated, and the smallest thing can cause problems so don’t mess with it without knowing what you’re doing. But, sometimes you have to. If you don't fix registry problems when they arise or try and prevent them from even happening at all, then you may soon find yourself faced with sudden crashes, system stalls, or a severe degradation in operating speed. Working to fix registry issues and prevent system crashes should be a top priority whether you use your computer for business or pleasure, and you'll find a greatly enhanced computing experience by doing so.
Fortunately, there is a safe way to handle the beast. Reg Clean is a freeware utility from Microsoft that helps to repair a number of registry problems that are somewhat common to Microsoft products. While Reg Clean isn't nearly as thorough or useful as some proprietary solutions such as Registry Mechanic, it does serve the needs of millions of low-risk users.

Registry Mechanic goes further down the road than Reg Clean, and is intended for the more adventuresome users. Like me! I suggest getting both. Reg Clean for day-to-day use and Mechanic for really heavy duty use.

If, like the elephant child, you have a bad case of ‘satiable curiosity, go to for a really good start. You’ll find a number of tools there but be careful, you won’t need some of them for a while. Just get the Mechanic and read to your hearts content, because this is THE place for information. When you get to the site, you’ll see some downloads listed first. Go ahead an get Registry Mechanic, but skip over the other packages for now. Below the software are the information icons. These Guides and Forums cover just about everything you wanted to know, and maybe a lot you don’t. When you get through all that ‘stuff’, you’ll be knowledgeable about windows. So treat yourself to a few hours of learning and surprise your friends. You’ll be glad you did.

And, as always, HAVE FUN!