A recent survey concluded that nine out of ten computers suffer from registry errors at any given point of time. These figures indicate the seriousness of registry errors for a common computer user. It is therefore recommended that every computer user has a basic understanding of the Windows registry. This would help them prevent and fix registry errors themselves.
What is the Registry?
The registry is similar to a cabinet in your office that keeps important files required for normal functioning. In Windows, the registry is basically a database containing vital information about software, hardware and the operating system and is responsible for optimal functioning of your PC. This vital information includes preferences, settings as well as permissions.
The registry is responsible for informing the Windows operating system, software and hardware about the exact location of the resource that will help it execute a specific action. Every time a new software or application is installed, a new entry is added to the registry. Similarly, whenever any application is deleted, related entries are removed from the registry.
What causes Registry Errors?
Your computer keeps referring to the registry as it works. This extensive usage of registry results in its vulnerability to errors associated with it. The most commonly noticed cause of registry errors is related to the un-installation of applications and software. Often these are not uninstalled completely and tend to leave a lot of unnecessary information in the registry. These leftover pieces of redundant information may conflict with the normal functioning of other applications and cause errors.
A lot of malicious software like Trojans and spyware have the potential of adding embedded entries in your registry that not only cause serious computer problems, but may also be tough to remove.
What are the symptoms of Registry Problems?
Some of the common symptoms that you may encounter if you have registry related problems are:
What are the steps to troubleshoot registry errors?
First you should make sure that the errors are related to the registry. This can be done by eliminating other sources of errors like viruses or an unclean hard disk.
To be able to correct registry related problems, you need to get rid of all invalid or useless information residing in your registry. There are two ways to do this.
The first method is to edit your registry by using the Registry Editor utility provided with your operating system. This however requires a complete knowhow and familiarity with the registry structure as well as expertise in locating erroneous registry entries. You also need to take utmost care to ensure that no other registry entry is touched as it may have serious consequences on the working of your PC.
The second method is to use the services of one of the many reliable registry cleaners that are available online. This method is preferred because:
Before making any changes to the registry, you must remember to make a backup. To do this, you may use the Registry Editor or the System Restore Vista tool. You can also use your third-party registry tool to make the backup.
Labels: registry cleaners, registry scan