NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, August 2011
Registry First Aid
Reviewed by Herb Goldstein, Editor,
Sarasota PCUG, Florida
April 2011 issue, The Monitor
pcugedit (at) verizon.net (click to email author)

Solving the Registry Cleaning Dilemma
Nothing much happens in Windows without control by that mysterious architecture known as the Registry. It is a humongous database repository of instructions, commands and framework for the software, hardware and just about every other kind of ware that functions in Windows. You can also think of it as the Windows brain, and fooling with it is about as welcome as brain surgery self-taught.

Unfortunately and as unwelcome as it may be, the Registry does require some basic manipulation by users from time to time. Add or remove software or change the locations of its components, make routine changes in Windows, and a whole host of other functions in everyday computer usage result in changes in the Registry. In time it can easily become bogged down with errors that can dramatically hinder the normal or optimal functioning of your computer. Itís little wonder why keeping the registry clean and error free is so important, yet so avoided. Itís even less wonder why the average computer user either shuns necessary Registry housekeeping altogether or winds up employing tools that do considerably more harm than good.

A clean, error-free Registry is vital in keeping your computer working properly, but finding and fixing Registry errors indeed poses a dilemma. There is no shortage of utilities that promise to make your computer function like new by taking out your Registry garbage. Unfortunately, you are most often better off living with an error-laden Registry than one whose key functions have been impaired by incompetent fixers.

With all these caveats in mind, I spent considerable effort, investigation and experimentation years ago to find the Registry cleaning utility that would do an honest, safe and effective job. Through several versions of Windows and most recently with Windows 7, I have been using Registry First Aid (RFA). It is a well-known, popular, easy to use and remarkably competent Registry utility that will find, fix, and prevent Registry errors and malfunctions safely and effectively. It is the only one I trust to do the job! Hereís what it will do:

1. RFA will search the Registry for errors. Your first search will undoubtedly come up with an amazing number of errors. It will present a color coded list of them. Those in green can be safely eliminated or fixed. For each error, you will be provided with a reason for its problem and an indication of what is needed to either delete or fix it. If, for example, a software reference is not valid because it is sitting in the wrong place, RFA will discover where it rightfully belongs and offers to put it there. If no fix is possible, it offers to delete it.

Those errors that require caution in fixing are listed in yellow, along with reasons and recommendations. The choice will be yours. Those listed in red are also explained and high caution warned.

In any event, each and every error will be explained, recommendation made, and the choice for action will be up to you. No changes are automatic. You are in complete control!

2. Registry backup and restore. Before making any changes, you might want to back up your current Registry configuration. RFA stores the backup and you can at any later time restore the Registry to exactly the way it was before you modified it. Great safety feature!

3. Registry search. If you need to find anything in the Registry, RFA will do a lightning fast keyword search for you. A great feature in finding and eliminating references to software you have gotten rid of.

4. Registry management. Set up the Registry in your own parameters to function according to your preferences..

5. Defragment and compress the Registry. While most Registry utilities offer to make your computer work faster and better by cleaning the Registry, they offer no information as to what they are doing or why. Itís a blind faith and trust scenario. On the other hand, RFA bends over backwards in every step along the way to keep you safe and informed.

RFA is the recipient of numerous awards as the safest and most effective Registry cleaner available. They are well deserved. It has long ago solved the Registry cleaning dilemma for me. It is compatible with all current versions of Windows including XP, Vista and Windows 7. RFA is published by and available from Rose City Software (rosecitysoftware.com) for $27.95.

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