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Tech, Ed Lathrop

How Do I Fix Registry Problems on My PC?

By Ed Lathrop

All Windows Operating systems are made up of registry files. These files are stored in directories in a way commonly know to Windows users as a tree structure. In other words, your operating system's contents are saved to your hard drive the way as your word documents are, with one main directory having other directories and files stored in it.

The main registry directories are known as hives. In the older operating systems, there were six main directories contained in these hives. Windows XP has five main directories. Vista is a little different in the way these directories are named, but that is, for all intents and purposes, the only way which they are different.

For the record, the names of the five main Windows XP directories are: Hkey_current_confg, Hkey_current_user, Hkey_local_machine, Hkey_users and Hkey_classes_root.

Registry problems are common

Registry problems are a very common in Windows Operating Systems. Sometimes during a computer crash, the registry file will be named in the error message. However, be careful here because many times a virus will give you a bogus error message. This message will try to lead you to a website that can repair the error. This is how they scam you to get you to buy something from them.

Typically, real registry problems come on slowly and steadily. They manifest themselves in continual slowdowns. This happens because the registry becomes corrupted over time, even if the computer is not used rigorously. Corruption is natural because anything that changes in your computer, such as deleting a text file or jpg, actually corrupts the registry.

Corrupted registry means slow computer

So, as your registry becomes corrupted, the operating system has more obstacles to work through as it performs its normal routines. So, it becomes slow.

It is true, a registry can become out of whack and make the computer's performance suffer greatly and even become inoperable, but mostly, at least in early stages of corruption, the computer will just become slower. Of course, if a registry is left to become more and more corrupted, over time it will die all together.

Don't open the registry

The short answer to the question, "How do I fix registry problems on my computer" is you don't. Never open up your registry files. No good can become of it! When you work directly with the registry, it's one false move and you're, or your computer is, dead!

Even people who are studying to take the test for Comp TIA's A+ certification in computer repair are warned not to alter registry files. Only real heavy-duty Microsoft folks are allowed in there.

So, what do I do with my corrupted registry?

So, what do you do when your PC's crawling along, barely letting you creep the Net, let alone surf it? You know you have no viruses. You've removed all spyware and you certainly know you have enough RAM. What do you do to get your registry, literally, up to speed?

It is only appropriate to use the best commercial registry repair program you can find. This program is sometimes referred to as a registry fixer or cleaner, as well as repair programs. I know, it is another expense, but it is a programs necessary one to keep today's complex systems of registry files optimized. Really, in retrospect it is not so expensive when think of the trouble it will save you in the long run.

The wise old computer adage asks, "What is the most expensive part of your computer?" The answer; the information on it. Anything else on a computer can be replaced for, probably less than a hundred dollars. Sometimes the information on it is invaluable!

How do you know which registry cleaner you should get? As usual, word of mouth is a good way to find out. Try to find somebody who has used one and see what he or she has to say about it. If you can't find such a person, look around at the advertisements, I'm sure you can tell quality from cheesy. Also, make sure if you have Vista, you get a registry cleaner that works on Vista; not all of them do.

In conclusion, the most important thing to remember is, don't mess with the registry. Keep out of there. I know, it's getting monotonous, but don't fool around with the registry by hand! There just isn't any reason to.


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