Worth Repeating – Top Tech Tip #2*
Some time ago I was asked by a reader what my one piece of advice for a non-techie was (Click here to read my reply). That was a good question. A challenging question. Limiting myself to one answer was what I found so difficult.
So today I am going to offer you, Dear Reader, my “Probably The Second Most Important Piece Of Geek Advice For Non-Techies“.
* Leave Registry “Cleaners” Alone *
What happens is this: older computers get slower, and so the owner enters “slow PC” (or, “my computer is slow”, or sumsuch) or “slow internet” into a search engine — where they get sold a computer “optimizer”. What this is – usually – is a “Registry Cleaner”, which promises to “find errors” and fix them.
Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Here’s the real deal — there are two cases (IMHO) when you actually need a reliable Registry cleaner:
1) You’re an experimental sort and you un–install a lot of 3rd-party (non-Microsoft) programs; like.. you try every new program that comes along. (And you forgot to use Revo to uninstall them when you’re done.)
2) You have just completed a manual malware removal.
That doesn’t describe you? Leave the Registry “cleaner” alone!
Now, my regular readers will remember my mentioning this before, but for the rest of you, here’s why you want to avoid messing with the Registry: and this happens a lot actually, it can kill your machine.
Yup. Read the user forums. The odds of this increase if you have more than one User Account on your system. Ask yourself this: do you know what the Windows Registry is? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_registry)
Even if a “cleaning” does not kill your machine, no one can convince me that any Registry cleaner – and they have been many over the years – has ever actually sped up their PC. And I am certainly not alone in this opinion.
So what should you do to speed up a machine that has slowed down over time? Well, you already have the tools you need to “optimize” and rejuvenate your PC. Please read Four Vital Tools You Already Have… But Might Not Know About. There you will find the answers! And, guess what? They’re free. (Probably why they’re not advertised, eh?)
… and if you’re the type who is not going to click the link and actually read more, and are just itching to download something, well, the safe and effective Registry cleaner CCleaner will do this for you for free. As will the free Glary Utilities, or the free Advanced Windows Care, and you won’t find user forums filled with complains of wrecked systems, if you should use one of those.
[Note: BEFORE making any changes to the Registry, please read (and follow) this Microsoft article: How to back up and restore the registry in Windows]
* Orig post: 08/19/09
Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix
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