The registry is a very special database within your Windows based computer. When you install or remove programs, or drivers for hardware items, preferences in Windows and other programs, and when you do a variety of other things, this database gets updated. In other words, it’s a sort of constantly updated database that keeps a record of exactly what software and hardware is installed on the PC. Normally it works extremely well, but sometimes it can get errors. When it does, you’re going to need a special clean up program.How Do Problems Start?When you think about all that this special database is supposed to keep track of, it’s no wonder it can wander off track a little from time to time. Consider, each time you load up or uninstall a program, add a password to something, change a password to something, change a feature in Windows or any installed program, add a driver, remove some hardware, even visit a website – entries to the Registry are either added, removed or modified. As time goes on, more and more entries are added, and the Registry can become huge.Problems can start when things don’t quite go as planned. For example, when you decide you no longer want a program, you may decide to remove it from your computer, if only to reclaim the disk space it occupied on your hard drive. Most programs come with a correct ‘uninstall’ procedure. Typically you’d do something like this. Click on… START > ALL PROGRAMS > YOUR PROGRAM > OPTIONSNormally, an option would be to Uninstall ‘Your Program’. But often, people don’t do this, or it doesn’t work properly. So they complete the task by going to the Program Files folder, and deleting the Your Program folder from there. This does delete pretty much all the program files for that program, but it doesn’t undo all the changes that were made to the Registry when Your Program was originally installed.When you boot your PC in circumstances like this, your Registry, being a boot file, will still contain settings and preferences for that program. Except that the files don’t exist anymore. From this, you can easily see how the computer could end up being confused for a while during this stage of it’s boot-up.This is how your registry can become corrupted. And over months and years, it can become an absolute minefield of references to software, drivers, settings and preferences, unnecessary files and obsolete applications that are no longer on the computer. So much so that it may just slow the computer down a whole lot as it tries to make sense of all these obsolete instructions. Or if things are really bad, it may just go straight to the blue screen of death. When it does this, your computer is, if not dead, then usually unusable. And a good clean up program is the fall back guy!Can My PC Be Repaired?The short answer is – probably. But the best way by far is really to try to prevent these problems in the first place. Get a tried and trusted Registry clean up program, and run it regularly. For those that feel at home messing about with files and attributes and stuff, it can be done manually. But be aware that even one little slip can leave the computer unusable, possibly for good.Better by far to rely on a program to do it for you. They don’t cost a lot of money for what you get. Especially when you consider the alternative – yikes!So my advice would be to bite the bullet, and spend the few measly bucks to get a reliable repair and cleaner program. And then use it on a regular basis to optimize and clean your computer as you go along!What Actually Are Registry Clean Up Programs?Well, quite simply, they are excellent little programs that scan your Registry and system specifically to look for things that shouldn’t be there. This means all the unwanted references to programs, drivers, preferences and settings that we no longer need. With your Registry database reduced to a bare uncluttered minimum, your computer’s operating system finds it much easier to access this database for the information it needs and expects to see there. An optimized database will greatly help in ensuring your PC operates at the speed it did when it was new. In fact, this is such an important part of your computer’s ‘heart’ that it really can’t be overstated in it’s importance.Put simply, with an optimized Registry, your PC will work faster, smoother and more efficiently than ever before.Clearly, for a task as important as this, you want the best repair and cleaner product available.What Features Should I Look For?A lot of the features you’ll need are supposed to be common to all products, while others aren’t necessarily.Here are some of the features you should look for…
Backup & Restore: A good cleaner program will automatically create a ‘Restore Point’ prior to taking any action at all. This means that if something should go wrong, you can set you computer back to how it was before you started. You’ll also want it to be able to do a backup of the Registry for the same reasonAuto or Manual Repair: A good product will allow the user to go through the routine manually if they wish, or on auto too if desired. The manual path usually comes with a degree of guidance so that you can make informed choices along the way. On auto, clearly it will be happy to do a great job without your help.Registry Entry Concerns: Good software should be capable of checking and fixing invalid paths, empty or invalid keys, orphaned references, spyware, corrupt files and remnants of uninstalled software, as well as several other types of possible harmful content.Remove Invalid Shell Extensions and Class Keys: Your program will need to hunt down and remove invalid shell extensions and non-functioning class keys that are a major factor in causing a noticeable slowing of your computer.Delete Program Shortcuts: It must be able to detect and eliminate incorrect program shortcuts that can easily cause applications to take longer to launch.A Built-In Scheduler: It should be able to be programmed to perform a scan of the Registry as desired. Weekly, monthly or whenever the system starts up. It’s your choice.Organize Windows Startup Items: A great feature is for it to be able to locate and delete obsolete startup programs that get launched each time your computer is turned on. Unchecked, they then continue running in the background, using up valuable CPU and memory resources, resulting in a dramatic loss of speed and performance. The best programs will detect these and remove them, giving you back that lost speed and performance.Can I See How Far it is Into The Scan?An Interface That Shows Scan Progress: The good programs incorporate an easily visible progress bar so that you can easily see how long there is to go.