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Software Utility Advice

Posted on 2011-02-12
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I was in a computer superstore yesterday and went crazy buying things, I spent way to much money for my budget, and I now I am looking to bring some things back. On the top of the list are two software utilities one is Driver Genius I don't know what version I have (it has no version number on box) cause I refuse to open the box due to my anticipated refund, but they are up to version 10 now http://www.avanqueststore.com/driver-genius-professional.html but after further looking at there revision history here http://www.driver-soft.com/download.html I  question this product and I think I am just going to return it.

Next there is Registry Mechanic 2011, now this I know the version of, my question is are these utilities any good and worth keeping?
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Question by:Vast41
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by:garycase
ID: 34880147
I'd return them both.    

I'm definitely not a fan of Driver Genius -- while it can indeed help find updated drivers;  it also sometimes recommends incorrect drivers that can really "hose" a system.    It's far better to find the drivers you need online at the manufacturer's site and/or with help from a reputable help site [such as Experts Exchange :-) ].

As for Registry Mechanic -- you really don't need a registry modification/cleaning tool ... and if you DO want one there are better choices.
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by:Vast41
ID: 34880222
Ok thanks, but can you explain why i don't need one? The registry is the most important part of the OS isn't it?
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by:bz43
ID: 34880333
I would stay away from all registry cleaners.  They can do more harm than good.  Even the very light ones like CCleaner.  I use the "Cleaner" application in CCleaner to delete temporary files but I don't use the "Registry" cleaner in CCleaner to clean the registry.

CCleaner seems to be a "light" registry cleaner but due to the nature of the registry itself even a "light" cleaning can cause problems.  CCleaner is a product from Piriform and is availabe at http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner

In 2005, Fred Langa wrote an aritcle called "Testing 10 Windows 'Registry Cleaning' Software Packs" at http://bit.ly/6VmECH

For XP I use a free Microsoft utility named PageDefrag.  It's not a registry cleaner.  It defragments paging files and Registry hives: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897426
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by:bz43
ID: 34880351
Only because you mentioned "Driver Genius" in your question I want to let you know of a free utility that lets you back up the drivers already in your system. It's named, "Double Driver" and it's at http://www.boozet.org/dd.htm
It won't help you locate missing drivers online but at least you'll be able to save and backup the drivers you already have.
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by:edbedb
ID: 34880499
Another vote for returning them both.

That type of software is way more likely to do more harm than good. If your computer isn't broke, DON'T FIX IT.
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by:Vast41
ID: 34880696
<<I would stay away from all registry cleaners.  They can do more harm than good.  Even the very light ones like CCleaner.  I use the "Cleaner" application in CCleaner to delete temporary files but I don't use the "Registry" cleaner in CCleaner to clean the registry.

CCleaner seems to be a "light" registry cleaner but due to the nature of the registry itself even a "light" cleaning can cause problems.  CCleaner is a product from Piriform and is availabe at http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner

In 2005, Fred Langa wrote an aritcle called "Testing 10 Windows 'Registry Cleaning' Software Packs" at http://bit.ly/6VmECH

For XP I use a free Microsoft utility named PageDefrag.  It's not a registry cleaner.  It defragments paging files and Registry hives: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897426>>

Bz43 I have been ruinning CCleaner for years,did you read Fred Langa's article?
=======================================================
<<Another vote for returning them both.

That type of software is way more likely to do more harm than good. If your computer isn't broke, DON'T FIX IT.>>

Thanks Edbedb
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by:bz43
ID: 34880787
Yes, I read it and from the article I tried the "jv16 PowerTools".  I've used CCleaner for a long time, too.  But, not to clean the registry.  Just to clean some temp files.

Here's a link that talks about driver update programs:
http://windowssecrets.com/2008/07/31/03-Dont-get-burned-by-driver-update-scams
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by:Vast41
ID: 34880799
Being that you read it what do you think of EasyCleaner based on what Fred said about it?
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by:bz43
ID: 34881053
Langa recommended EasyCleaner because he noted that after each successive run it found less errors.  He said it first found about 100 errors and then it found only a couple of errors after he rebooted and re-ran the program.  I don't remember if I ever used it though.  The author of EasyCleaner is definitely not out to scam you or anyone.  And seems very sincere.

From his article I would only try JV16 or EasyCleaner.  I would avoid Registry Mechanic,  Registry Repair, Registry First Aid, RegistryMedic, The Registry Drill, RegistryFix, or CleanMyPC.  I would avoid all of them even the ones he said worked OK.

For the record, I just ran CCleaner on a Windows 7 machine and ran its registry cleaner.  It found 55 errors and I fixed them.  Then I rebooted.  I ran it again and it found zero errors.  So, the only registry cleaners I would try would be CCleaner, JV16 or EasyCleaner.

The problem is that any mistake that that software makes can hose your system.  So back up the registry first.  Then use the tool.  But, be aware that things can and do break.  For example, if you were to run a registry tool and then lose access to your CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drives that would be a problem.  And, I've seen that happen.  And finding drivers for a CD-ROM that is suppose to have driver support within the OS was and would be problematic; as far as I know.

Also, I never upgrade a Microsoft OS.  I always do a clean install.  So, I and the places I work where no upgrades are done have less issues then people who "upgrade".

Since you're running XP I would recommend installing ERUNT & NTREGOPT at http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/
ERUNT backs up your registry and NTREGOPT optimizes it.  On all my personal XP boxes I use ERUNT, NTREGOPT and PageDefrag.  Only on my XP boxes.  I don't use those three utilites on Vista or 7.  On XP ERUNT runs at startup and backs up your registry.  You can also run it manually.  NTREGOPT I run it only right before I shut down the system.  PageDefrag, you can setup to run automatically at each boot.  I've used those programs for years.  Only occasionally I've had an annoyance with NTREGOPT where it doesn't finish running and I have to shut off the PC manually.  But, I have never had a problem with those 3 pieces of software.
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by:Vast41
ID: 34881369
I think i will just use CCleaner for now. I think if ERUNT & NTREGOPT were important you would have mentioned them in one of your first posts. Thanks for staying with me tonight. I will leave this open for a bit then award you the points. Thanks!
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garycase earned 200 total points
ID: 34881413
As I noted above, I'd return both of the packages you bought.   If you feel the need to use a Registry Cleaner, use the latest version of JV16 Power Tools [http://www.macecraft.com/ ] ==> these were not only Fred Langa's favorites, but have always been in the top tier of registry cleaning utility reviews.    It's the ONLY package I'd use.
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by:Vast41
ID: 34881445
I think in the article he used JV16 Power Tools for commercial use.
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by:Vast41
ID: 34881450
Qoute from Langa's article  "Several years ago, when the old freeware versions of JV16 PowerTools went commercial, EasyCleaner became the de facto leading freeware Registry cleaner. It's still free today, although the author accepts (and deserves) donations."
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by:garycase
ID: 34881454
No, he clearly likes prefers JV16 over the others -- EasyCleaner is a good 2nd, and has the advantage of being free ... but Fred is a strong proponent of the Macecraft utilities -- he continues to recommend them in his Windows Secrets columns (the newsletter that absorbed Langa List).        Even in the very dated article referenced above (from 1995 -- almost six years old !!),  he notes that "... EasyCleaner became the de factor leading freeware Registry cleaner."    Note the emphasis on "free".     He clearly prefers JV16 -- it's just not free.    Indeed, he notes that EasyCleaner is "... on rough par with the old version of JV16 PowerTools."     As he noted, "... you sure can't beat the price!"  (free) ... but you can clearly beat the performance with JV16.


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by:garycase
ID: 34881464
Note that in "The best of LangaList Plus - 2010", published in a Windows Secrets newsletter two months ago, Fred's top recommendation is the free Macecraft Power Tools Lite -- a free version of the latest JV16 Power Tools.   [http://www.macecraft.com/ptlite/ ]

This is two months ago -- NOT six years ago :-)

... and if you read the full article in Windows Secrets, you'll see that he still considers the full version of JV16 the best utility in this category.  [http://www.macecraft.com/ ]
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Author Comment

by:Vast41
ID: 34881488
Thanks Garycase, no link for "The best of LangaList Plus - 2010"?
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by:Vast41
ID: 34881489
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by:bz43
ID: 34883098
Hi Vast41, You wrote, "then award you the points".  I would award the points to garycase because your question was "my question is are these utilities any good and worth keeping?".  And, he was the first to respond and say return them.  

I simply added my two cents on registry cleaners and some utilities for XP.  But garycase answered the question you asked.

And, since I like adding my two cents I would recommend trying ERUNT & NTREGOPT at some point on a Windows XP machine.  Good luck with everything!
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by:Vast41
ID: 34883588
ok
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by:Vast41
ID: 34884059
I downloaded PageDefrag http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897426.aspx from the link i posted just above. Its seems kind of old, should i just delete it, cause i downlowed the trial version of the lastest full version of JV16 Power Tools i think it has everything i need?
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by:bz43
ID: 34884305
That's the current version; PageDefrag v2.32.  It's OK that it's old.  It still works on 2000/XP (not Vista. not 7).  If JV16 Power Tools has the capability to defragment paging files, Registry hives, event log files and hibernation files then there is no reason to use PageDefrag also.
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by:Vast41
ID: 34884322
I think JV16 Power Tools does thanks
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by:bz43
ID: 34884572
you're welcome :)
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