registry cleanup options?

I have a win 7 desktop that has slowed down.  rather than do a nuke and pave, I am trying something else - I uninstalled most apps I can reinstall easily, then manually compared the files / folder from a new / clean install against this used install and deleted files that I know aren't needed.

I can go into the registry and see loads of entries for intuit, quickbooks, quicken, Silverlight, etc even though I uninstalled those and other apps.

I've run ccleaner and free registry cleaner.  They don't seem to get those.  Like loads of things like these:

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\Assemblies\C:|Program Files (x86)|Microsoft Silverlight|5.1.20125.0|

I can manually delete each of these keys, but it's delete, confirm then search again for Silverlight.

Is there a way to automate that / better registry cleaner?
BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAsked:
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QlemoBatchelor, Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
Of course you can use batch files to search the registry to get an overview, optionally with confirmation prompt to remove all or single entries. For example using PowerShell (a very simple approach) and searching for all Adobe and Java related keys:
dir HKLM:\Software -recurse -include 'Adobe*','*Java*' |
  % {
    if ('y' -eq ($yn = read-host "Remove $_.Name?")) { remove-item $_.PsPath -recurse -whatif  }
  }

Open in new window

This will not delete anything because of -whatif, which only shows what would happen.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
Most registry cleaners do more harm than good and it really doesn't speed things up.
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nobusCommented:
stay a way from registry cleaners

what i would do is
-have a backup first
-do a factory restore of the pc, and reinstall your needed software + updates

or do a fresh install
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QlemoBatchelor, Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
Yes, I forgot to say that. There isn't a significant effect by removing left-over registry entries. You would have to remove say 10% of keys.
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Danny ChildIT ManagerCommented:
firstly, I'm not sure that a "large" registry = slow PC, but by all means go for it!

I'd recommend Revo Uninstaller to clean things up.  This will also search for old DLLs, etc, as well as cleaning the Registry.
30 day free trial:
http://www.revouninstaller.com/revo_uninstaller_free_download.html

I'd also use Belarc Free to get a good inventory - including some serial numbers:
http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html

I take it you've got a good backup already - any messing with the registry can kill your PC if it goes horrifically wrong.

You may also want to consider dual booting if there's only 1 or 2 apps you can't re-install.  Just boot to the "legacy" installation if you need them, and use a fresh install for everything else.  You'd still be able to share data between the 2 installs as the disks would be visible.
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nobusCommented:
if you want to learn how to use registry cleaners, by all means , go for it
but keep in mind  - on auto setting - you don't know what they delete

if you want to solve quickly your problem, backup + install is the solution
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jcimarronCommented:
BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelp --
I fully agree with the advice not to use Registry Cleaners.  In any event, old keys in the Registry are rarely the reason for a slow down.

Running Disk Cleanup is one of the best ways of cleaning up old and unnecessary system and non-system files.
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/818-disk-cleanup-open-use.html

The reduction in space used on your hard disk should speed things up.  I assume you have run antivirus and antimalware scans.
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nobusCommented:
also - you can have lots of other causes :
corrupt OS :
-run a chkdsk
-run sfc  - or a repair
bad hardware : run diags
overheating : install speddfan

etc...
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Danny ChildIT ManagerCommented:
thanks for the points.
Did any of the options above prove of particular benefit?  Always good to get feedback...
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BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
after trying most things here with no / minimal improvement, creating a new user profile dramatically solved the slowness.
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nobusCommented:
then it seems my comment was the closest :  
also - you can have lots of other causes :
 corrupt OS :
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