Question about HP Compaq d530 PC Desktop
Hi there, whiteox. I do not generally support changing registry entries unless there is a really good reason for doing so - in other words, a real problem in the operation of your system. This is primarily because, as I think you have likely come to see with me, I usually only speak to issues or programs with which I have a solid (or at least fairly good) understanding and level of familiarity, and have researched thoroughly.
The registry is one of those programs that I can not profess to be an expert with, as it is extremely complex, and a change of a sort that may seem minor or innocuous could end up being completely inappropriate and making your system inoperable. I also would most likely then not have the expertise to immediately tell you how to correct an issue, so I don't recommend changes.
This is obviously a "philosophical" stance, with which I am sure you would find many who would tell you I am dead wrong. The market is loaded with companies telling you that you need to run their programs to maintain the registry and keep your system running properly. There is a point to this obviously, as the registry can become filled with irrelevant or unnecessary items that could slow down the system (but only if it is permitted to do so – see below). However, as I am not expert in management of the registry, I tend to stay away from "solutions" that tell me to alter the registry (even when they are direct from Microsoft) - and a big part of this is from seeing the huge number of users who have encountered severe issues because of seemingly minor changes to their registries. I also have not used any specific registry cleaning program, so I can't make a specific recommendation for a cleaner (as I don't recommend things I have no experience with).
Having said all this, there is one free solution I have had good experience with, and I will briefly explain that. The Spybot program (at http://spybot.com/en/index.html) is primarily geared toward spyware, but also includes a resident program that runs called "Tea Timer.” I have had nothing but good experience with installing and using this program. The spyware piece should present no conflicts with your current solutions (ESET/Zone Alarm), and should not have a negative impact. (Spyware prevention is NOT like antivirus, where more than one antivirus being installed simultaneously is a prescription for disaster. You can theoretically run as many spyware programs as you like - but of course they all take system resources.)
One of my favorite features of Spybot, and Tea Timer specifically, is that it stays in the background, but lets you know any time there is any attempt to change your registry - and allows you to decide whether to permit the change or not. So, if you have just installed a program, for instance, you tell Tea Timer to allow the change; but if some anonymous program from the internet or other program of which you are unaware attempts a change, or a known program wants to make a change that you aren’t comfortable with, you simply say NO! While this will not go back through your existing registry entries and serve the full same purpose as a cleaner, it will keep you from having your registry filled with items without your knowledge and consent on a going-forward basis. Along this same line, Spybot has several other products listed on the home page indicated above, which could very well address your needs. Specifically, I would suggest taking a look at RegAlyzer and RunAlyzer, as I believe one or both could assist in making sure your system runs as effectively and efficiently as possible. (I haven’t used these, but am considering it, and will likely do so in the near future. I have confidence in the Spybot line of products.)
Finally, one word of caution. Because Spybot has become such a popular product, as often happens, there are a number of “imitators” out there who are riding the name, and end up being impersonators. Make sure to use the link I have given you. I ran across a situation where I (even knowing the program, the page, etc.) was misled by a typical search engine to the wrong page. This was created to look almost exactly like the real Spybot page, and so it was not until after I had installed it that I discovered I had been duped. The program was “Spywarebot” and it placed malware on the machine, which I of course recognized – especially when it immediately began to cause popup windows telling me there was some system problem and urging me to purchase their software – and then eliminated. (That does NOT happen with Spybot.) However, it was a brand new machine and easily eradicated – so beware of impersonators!
I hope this hasn’t been too lengthy a response, and taken too much of your time unnecessarily. I simply wanted to explain my position as best possible, and why there wasn’t just a “one-word” type of suggestion from me in this particular area. If I do decide to move forward with a registry cleaner at some point, it will only be after I have done more thorough research, and I will be happy to share that with you at that time. I feel like you and I have quickly developed a trusted relationship, which I appreciate, and I wouldn’t recommend something to you that I would not do myself! Thank you for using and rating FixYa!
Posted on May 30, 2008
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