What is the best way to clean the registry on my PC?

It appears that my Registry needs to be cleaned. My GMAIL is running VERY SLOW when I type and sometimes letters appear in the wrong line.
Wanda MarstonCreative DirectorAsked:
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TribusCommented:
I like to use TuneUp Utilities.  It has quite a few great tools including a registry cleaner.  They have a 15 day trial version that is fully functional.  So you can see if you like it or not before you are asked to buy it.  I use it personally and I like it quite a bit.

http://www.tune-up.com
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
I never recommend 'registry cleaners', they can be dangerous.  And there is no logical connection between the registry and your typing problem.  It is more likely that you have too many programs open and too many background processes running.  Close all the programs and browser windows you can and still do your work.  My 'fastest' computers for browsing are the ones that have almost nothing installed and running on them but the browser.

Start by getting rid of ALL toolbars in your browsers.  They take up CPU time and report on you to their owners.  That includes the Google toolbar, just get rid of it.
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TribusCommented:
Tune up utilities also will remove start up programs and lots of other system tools that are of great use.
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Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
Ccleaner (http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download) is a free (for personal use) utility that will primarily delete temp/garbage files from your system, give you the option of preventing programs from starting up with Windows.

It also has a registry cleaner utility that I found is less aggressive than other registry cleaners and can be used safely.

That being said, DaveBaldwin is right. No registry cleaner will solve your problem. But try using CCleaner weekly. It will keep your system reasonably clean.

HTH,
Dan
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nobusCommented:
is this problem recent?
then uninstall the latest updates, or installed software - or just do a system restore.

and - unless you know what you are doing - don't use registry cleaners !

why do you even think it is the registry???
it's probably something else; you can check what process is using the cpu, or disk in task manager
select performance tab, then clikc resource monitor, and select cpu .. disk..as needed
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younghvCommented:
As noted above, the best way to clean your registry is to NOT clean it.

Mark Russinovich is considered by Bill Gates the most knowledgeable Windows OS guy on the planet, and if he says don't do it - don't.

All the details you need are in this EE Article:
Registry-Cleaners-Good-or-harmful-to-your-PC
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aadihCommented:
Repeating what DaveBaldwin and younghv said: "Do not use Registry cleaners."

[Note: If you will do it nevertheless, use CCleaner.  If still not satisfied and will use a bigger hammer, use Wise Registry Cleaner.]
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drfrank319Commented:
You shouldn't need to clean the registry.
The ultimate and best solution for a slowing PC, assuming you have adequate RAM etc,  is a clean install of the operating system. You can minimize future 'pain' of this by taking a snapshot (image) of your OS drive after it is all setup (AV & OS updated, etc). Recommended to use a program such as Acronis True Image Home and store the images on a separate 1TB or 2TB drive. Don't forget to schedule weekly or biweekly backups!
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TribusCommented:
I disagree completely with the "Never clean your registry" comments and here is why.

Every time you install or uninstall a program it creates entries in your registry.  In the case of a virus it could have been cleaned and the registry entry would also still be in there.

When you uninstall a program or driver the registry entries usually always stay intact as well.  Cleaning the registry will remove these entries and allow the registry to be smaller.  Since the registry is loaded first thing at Windows start up, this can become a problem.

And the reason I suggest Tune-Up Utilities over ccleaner is because it will safely remove all of the broken registry entries as well as defrag your registry.  There is also a full suite of other utilities such as Startup program manager, HDD Defrag, Duplicate file finder, secure data removal/recovery, program deactivator, turbo mode, economy mode for mobile computers, etc, etc.

Direct from Tune-Up's website: Registry Cleaner Details

"Symptoms: When working at your PC, you get countless error messages, performance is unusually low and there are constant delays.

Cause: Over the course of a computer’s lifetime, hundreds of entries are left over in the registry database of Windows®. These so-called values and keys refer to files, file types, applications, folders, or startup programs that no longer exist.

Solution: TuneUp Registry Cleaner solves these problems by detecting and fixing registry errors such as:

Startup entries that a 3rd party application forgot to delete, which could lead to problems during startup.
Invalid file type pointers, which could lead to problems while opening files.
Orphaned entries within the list of installed applications, which could lead to trouble when installing or uninstalling."
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Wanda MarstonCreative DirectorAuthor Commented:
Okay, thank your for all your comments. Since posting I have checked around on the net and I would agree that there probably is not connection between the Registry and the typing problems. So, why would GMAIL be so affected by open programs and background processes.

I probably DO have too many programs open etc. What is meant by background processes?
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aadihCommented:
A background process is a computer process that runs "behind the scenes" (i.e. in the background) and without user intervention. Typical tasks for these processes include logging, system monitoring, scheduling, and user notification.

Reference: < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Background_process >
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Gmail and all Google sites have a lot of javascript that runs continuously in your browser while you are on their sites.  This has to compete with all the other open programs and background processes for CPU time.  The fewer programs and processes you are running, the more time that is available for the code on the page.

And by the way, it's not that the 'registry cleaners' are inherently bad, the problem is that you can cripple your computer if you use them wrong.
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nobusCommented:
you can reduce your startup programs for testing :
run msconfig - selct startup tab- then click disable all
you can do the same in services tab - first click there "hide MS services" then click disable all
reboot and test
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younghvCommented:
<<I disagree completely with the "Never clean your registry" comments and here is why.>>

The beginning of wisdom is to learn what you don't know.

Quoting the website that sells a product would not seem to be prudent justification for taking actions distinctly rejected by a Technical Fellow at Microsoft.

Read about Mark Russinovich here: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Russinovich) and then read the EE Article by rpggamergirl referenced above.
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TribusCommented:
Note the point in the article that says
Is it necessary to clean the registry?

In my opinion, no

You know what they say about opinions...I have one too...

What if there is an entry in the registry from a removed virus or any type of malware and it's function is to sit there and consistently re-download itself.  Would it be necessary to delete that entry after the virus or malware was removed...I would think so.

And since we are now referencing famous genius's here, look this one up and see how he has been proven wrong over time:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein
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aadihCommented:
< The beginning of wisdom is to learn what you don't know. >

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”   ~ Socrates  :-)
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Tribus, you expressed your opinion and then you made a post that looked like an advertisement which irritated several of us.  In addition, I don't believe that registry cleaners are generally effective against an actual virus.  For that you need specialized tools like ComboFix and Malwarebytes which will find and remove registry entries like that.
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drfrank319Commented:
@wchirnside,
Create another user account on your PC and log in with it. Is Gmail still slow?

Anti-malwarebytes from malwarebytes.org is highly regarded and used by many IT departments. Download the free version and run a deep scan with it--find anything other than cookies?.
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TribusCommented:
Sorry if it irritated anyone.  I own a computer service company and I am a reseller for TuneUp, but only because I personally use it and find it very effective.

It was not meant to be an advertisement.
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aadihCommented:
DaveBaldwin's point (rephrased):  An opinion is welcome. Advertisement, often times, causes irritation. :-)
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IT JediIT Dept. ManagerCommented:
Don't do it...

now that was said... If you feel deep in your soul that you must use a registery cleaner then use the reccommended  CCleaner. Plus it prompts you to backup the registry before it makes changes, and includes a number of other useful tools.
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Wanda MarstonCreative DirectorAuthor Commented:
Okay I reread everything and value everyone's opinion.

Before I posted to E-E I googled - on another computer - "slow gmail - gmail problems" as it SEEMED it was just a gmail problem but I suppose then everyone else in the world would be having the same problem. However, what I was seeing many posts that people were suggesting that other people should clean their registry.

This is a fairly recent problem and now it is highlighting when I haven't purposely highlighted and deleting characters when I am not deleting.

I do not want to go on the machine and spend HOURS doing fixing things that don't need to be fixed or cause another problem SO I am trying to figure this out as best I can before I get started.

SO, I am now thinking that I should do a thorough virus scan and do the usual things like clean the cookies, temp files which I usually do anyway.

I usually have three browsers open at one time - IE, Chrome (which is awful) and Firefox.
Using Windows 7 on a computer that is about 6 years old.

I have also heard that one should not have to do a complete reinstall of one's operating system.

When you say to get rid of the toolbars I am assuming that you mean to just hide them?

I will also check to see which processes are running.

I will not be able to do all these things, however, until tomorrow - meaning Monday.

WC
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Just because you 'can' run all these things at once doesn't mean there won't be consequences to doing it.  All computers have a limited amount of CPU time and RAM.  As each program and process uses more, the slower overall your computer gets.

When you say to get rid of the toolbars I am assuming that you mean to just hide them?
No, Remove them completely from your computer.  I remove them from all of my client's computers.  As long as they are installed they are using up your computer resources.  They track everywhere you go on the internet and report it back to their owners.  Yes, Google too.  They are about the biggest advertising company on the planet now.
I usually have three browsers open at one time - IE, Chrome (which is awful) and Firefox.
I usually have only one browser open and Chrome is always the fastest, IE the slowest.  Windows XP.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
And your first test should be to see how your Gmail works when it is the only program and browser window open, preferably with all toolbars disabled.  If it works fine then you probably have too much going on.  If it does not, then you have other problems.  Never hurts to do a virus and malware scan.
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Wanda MarstonCreative DirectorAuthor Commented:
If you remove all your client's toolbars from their computers then how do they "tool"? In other words, don't people need those at some point in time?

WC
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McKnifeCommented:
Let me draw a sketch of a troubleshooting process:
Do some tests within the surroundings of the error:
-try a different user profile
-try another browser
-try the same in windows safe mode with networking
-monitor the system load (CPU and RAM) while the error shows
->you will pretty soon get an idea about what's going on or at least what is part of the problem.

Sure, shooting at your registry can be fun, why not make a backup and then try it? (I wouldn't as we have nothing pointing to it).
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
I mean the add-on toolbars like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.  The others like About and especially Conduit and Babylon Search are really spyware, even more than the major search engines.  Another source of add-on problems is the anti-virus ones like McAfee and others that pretend to be protecting you while you are web surfing.  Since they scan everything, they slow down everything and I don't think they provide any additional protection.
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nobusCommented:
did you try msconfig yet?
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Wanda MarstonCreative DirectorAuthor Commented:
Haven't done the msconfig yet. I am just at the computer now.

So far have just disabled the McAffee add on in IE. Do not see where to remove it completely - so far. DO not see any other addons in Chrome or Firefox although I suspect that they are there.

It seems the only virus protection I have is McAfee. I have not got Malwarebytes, or Combofix.

Am in the process of bookmarking some of my pages.

Previously I stated that I had Windows 7. I have Windows Vista Home Premium Service Pack 2 HP Model p6110f
6.00 GB
64-bit

wc
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Wanda MarstonCreative DirectorAuthor Commented:
We have a lot of games on our computer and NEVER touch them. Is there any reason to delete these and WOULD removing these games cause any other problems to open up.

WC
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Wanda MarstonCreative DirectorAuthor Commented:
Should I get rid of FAT32
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nobusCommented:
why don't you try the soltions that were offered?  instead of trying other things?
eg : disable startup programs and tell us iff it helps - or not
that's the best way to proceed
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Wanda MarstonCreative DirectorAuthor Commented:
Yes you are right. I am going to do those things I will let you know.

WC
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Where do you see FAT32?  That is an older disk format that Windows used to use.  Although I wouldn't suggest changing it at this point, NTFS is the disk format that Windows has used since about windows 2000.

All the HP games don't matter if you have never used them.
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Wanda MarstonCreative DirectorAuthor Commented:
The Thumbdrive that is attached to the computer is saying that it uses FAT32 technology.

I am still working on the machine - doing some scans now.

WC
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
That is normal for thumbdrives, just leave it.
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Wanda MarstonCreative DirectorAuthor Commented:
Okay I have done almost everything that has been suggested.

I entered MSCONFIG and came up with a list of 12 items all of which appeared as those they would be needed by the computer.

There were a lot of windows update to load. I had too many pages open and too many browsers.

I am going to see how this works before I attempt anything like reinstalling the hard drive.

Will give a update in a few hours.
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Wanda MarstonCreative DirectorAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for your comments and responding so quickly.
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nobusCommented:
>>  came up with a list of 12 items all of which appeared as those they would be needed by the computer.    <<  did you test with all of them disabled?

it does not mean you can't use them, just that they don't start at startup
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Wanda MarstonCreative DirectorAuthor Commented:
No I did not test them disabled. I am keeping it in mind but want to see how the computer is going to run over the next few days.

I am thinking that things like the OS and IE are now getting too old and I will be forced to get a new computer if things keep going the way they are now.

When we are in gmail in IE the compose window bounces around and the IE browser in general is going off the top of the screen where one cannot see the minimize, maximize and close button which I realize would be another question for E-E.

WC
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nobusCommented:
keep in mind : that you can always re-enable the disabled ones  -so no problems for testing it
talking about it does not help  -testing does tell you things

and if the system is old, i recommend a fresh install - after backing up all your data

what system is it?  ram cpu disk?
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Wanda MarstonCreative DirectorAuthor Commented:
Yes, you are right I will test it but not today anyway.

I do not believe that we have any disks, so I would have to investigate this idea - maybe another version of Windows? How high can I go on this older computer?

Windows Vista Home Premium
Service Pack 2
HP - model p6110f
Processor - Pentium(R) Dual-Core CPU ES300 2.600 GMZ 2.60 GHZ
Memory (RAM): 6.00 GB
System type:  64-bit Operating System

WC
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nobusCommented:
from your specs, i would say you can easily run W7 or W8; you have more than enough Ram.
if you want to REALLY speed it up, replace the disk by an SSD -they cost about 3-6 x as much as a normal drive, but are the best way to speed up any pc
pick your choice for an INTEL one :  http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/solid-state-drives/solid-state-drives-ssd.html?iid=subhdr+products_flash
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Wanda MarstonCreative DirectorAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your help. I will investigate these options.

WC
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