Friday, February 18, 2011



The Windows registry is a database of the hardware and software installed on your computer. Your
operating system uses instructions stored in the registry to determine how installed software and hardware
should function. Normally, software you purchase will include a standard Windows installer that writes to
the registry during installation. If you’re asked to restart your computer after installing software, you can be
reasonably sure the registry has been modified.

The physical files that make up the registry are stored differently depending on your version of Windows; under Windows 95 & 98 it is contained in two hidden files in your Windows directory, called USER.DAT
and SYSTEM.DAT, for Windows me there is an additional CLASSES.DAT file, while under Windows
NT/2000 the files are contained separately in the %SystemRoot%\System32\Config directory. You can not
edit these files directly, you must use a tool commonly known as a "Registry Editor" to make any changes.


There are five main branches, each containing a specific portion of the information stored in the Registry.
They are as follows:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT - This branch contains all of your file association mappings to support the
drag-and-drop feature, OLE information, Windows shortcuts, and core aspects of the Windows user interface.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER - This branch links to the section of HKEY_USERS appropriate for the user
currently logged onto the PC and contains information such as logon names, desktop settings, and Start menu

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE - This branch contains computer specific information about the type of
hardware, software, and other preferences on a given PC, this information is used for all users who log onto
this computer.

HKEY_USERS - This branch contains individual preferences for each user of the computer, each user is represented by a SID sub-key located under the main branch.

HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG - This branch links to the section of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE appropriate for the current hardware configuration.

Backing Up Your Registry and Files

Remember to back up your registry before attempting to fix PC registry problems. If you are using a registry
cleaner, this is done automatically. You can backup your entire registry by clicking "Start" and "Run" and
type: ntbackup.exe, Click OK. Follow the instructions. However to copy individual registry keys follow the
instructions below: 

1. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. In the Command Line, type regedit, and then click OK.
3. Find and then click the subkey that contains the value that you want to edit.
4. Under the File menu, click Export.
5. In the Save in box, select a location where you want to save the Registration Entries (.reg) file, type a file
name in the File name box, and then click Save.

By backing up all your files using ntbackup.exe. You will also save errors and unwanted software into the
backup log file. If you are trying to delete individual software and not tweaks setting or make sweeping
changes to the registry, use the export registry option.

Common Registry Errors
  •   Unwanted browser objects.
  •   Corrupt Active X/COM Objects.
  •   Unused, obsolete Start Menu items.
  •   Software locations including missing,
  •   abandoned, broken or bad application/Windows paths, and links.
  •   Redundant Startup applications and uninstalled application schedulers.
  •   Orphaned shortcuts, temporary (.tmp) files and Scandisk or Checkdisk fragment (.chk) files.
  •   Missing or corrupt application IDs.
  •   Obsolete shared DLLs and folders.
  •   Unused help file references.
  •   Residual and unused files.
  •   Uninstalled software remnants.
  •   Unused and unwanted drivers.
  •   File extensions and associations.
  •   Unnecessary fonts and recent files list.

How to Fix Errors

Some of these problems can be fixed, but some cannot. For instance, OCX errors are very difficult to fix by hand. These require you to analyze a handful of other settings in order to find out the correct value of several keys, scattered all around the Windows Registry. DLL errors are similarly difficult to fix. How would you go about fixing an error you know nothing about?

This is exactly why you need a registry cleaning program. Powerful registry cleaners like RegCure or ErrorSmart use highly advanced algorithms which can analyze thousands of registry keys every second, and find the relevant fixes very quickly. Such a program can not only save your system, but it also saves you a lot of time.

Registry cleaning programs are even more efficient if you use them regularly. Doing so ensures that your system remains clean and error-free, guaranteeing maximum performance output from your system.

To read reviews on the best registry cleaners available visit

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