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Cleaning up your Windows Registry

Submitted by jroos on Sun, 10/15/2000 - 12:00

Background

The Windows registry is the place for the operating system to keep information it needs to function. It also where programs store their data. Basically the intent is to do away with some of the .ini files that were abundant with older versions of Windows.

Warning

Any time you make changes to the registry you're risking rendering your system useless. That would be very rare but the chance still exists. [ad#adpost]

Solution

Before you make any changes to your registry you should always back up the registry. To do this click Start -> Run and type scanregw.exe in the text box. One way to clean up and repair the Windows registry is to run RegClean.exe, a handy utility available from Microsoft for free. You can find somtimes on the install CD or you can download it directly from Microsoft. Just run the program and it'll pretty much do the rest. The only thing you'll have to do is tell it to fix it. Another way to clean and repair the registry is with scanreg.exe, included with a standard Windows installation. You need to reboot to DOS and all you have to do is type scanreg /fix at the command prompt. This might take some time depending on your registry's size and your computers speed. Using either or both of these steps will usually decrease your registry size. How much will depend on how much garbage there is to clean out of your registry. Modified 2000-12-07

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