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Old 23. Mar 2013, 09:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Joe A.TT View Post

As a side note, IMHO, the various ideas coming from different persons about the exact role of the Registry is interesting from the standpoint of just how much mystery the Registry is shrouded in. I don't think there's any rocket-science to it. For me, it just means I have to do more researching and learning to clear-up all the myths and misconceptions someday .
I try to make the Registry less mysterious in my articles What Everybody Should Know About the Windows Registry and Learn How to Use the Windows Registry Editor (Regedit) in One Easy Lesson
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Old 23. Mar 2013, 09:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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like was mentioned, registry is fairly important since windows uses it instead of .ini files

Anyways it doesn't have to "run" at startup, but a lot of programs tie into other ones that might query for something that you deleted. Drivers have this problem when you remove them. So do some scanners.

Say for example you had something scanning doc files, you uninstall the program and deleted the folder, if the uninstaller didn't unhook it from doc file registry settings, it might still look for it each time you open a doc file.

Sure most uninstallers do a good job removing what they add but there's no guaranty that it got everything, especially if you had other things tied into it.

one could always use ccleaner's registry scanner, just scan and look at what it find. Don't have it clean things up if you don't feel comfortable, but just seeing what is left and what it does is good to know. Sure most of them are going to be extensions that the computer no longer recognize and leaving them there is fine but if you load window's list of extensions for some reason there, it might have to sort through 100 extra lines, fractions of a second longer, but it is still taking time to look through things.

Basically the registry is like a card catalog of window settings, if you don't use it it sits there, but windows scrolls through the registry to find what it needs to run programs. Having more cards in the catalog means it has to shift through them before getting to the program card it wants. Not sure how accurate this analogy is, but it's how I view it :S.
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Old 23. Mar 2013, 09:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Actually, eyeb, the Registry is in pretty constant use. It does run at startup and a corrupt Registry can even keep Windows from booting.
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Old 23. Mar 2013, 11:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I didn't say it wasn't constantly being used or I didn't mean for it to come that way

I use mostly portable apps so the settings are in ini files so aside from main windows OS/MS office, most of my registry is fairly slim.

what I meant with the card catalog is if the program links in the registry aren't being used, they are just sitting there. until the OS queries for something related to it and looks for what it points to. My goal was to say it is like cards to books you no longer possess. So when you look something up in card catalog, you'll end up looking for content in a nonexistent book so it waste time as you have to look for the next book.
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Old 23. Mar 2013, 11:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks for chiming in with the links to the articles Vic. Actually, I did read them some time ago, but I guess I have to go over them a few more times to make things stick. (Duh, I'm a slow learner ).

@eyeb, both you and Vic are talking a bit over my head at the moment about the registry. When I don't know about something, I prefer to just "listen", so I hope you don't mind . Hopefully I'll learn something .
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Old 24. Mar 2013, 12:20 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Sorry if I misunderstood you. eyeb. Now I get what you were saying.
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Old 24. Mar 2013, 12:44 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I recommend waiting at least a week or so. If no ill affects are found, then I would delete the files from the recycle bin.

If you are at all a little paranoid, feel free to make a system restore point just to be safe.
very good advice this is what I do
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Old 24. Mar 2013, 01:08 AM   #18 (permalink)
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@Joe, not sure if it's been mentioned/or you knew but from the leftover locations you mentioned
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C:\Program Files
C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\
C:\Users\AppData\LocalLow\
C:\Program Files (x86)\
C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\
the ones from the AppData locations are normally just settings that the programs use, mostly xml/ini files or other such ones. These are generally okay to delete, even without uninstalling the program, they get remade when you reopen the program since it thinks it's the first time the programs been ran.

The ones in the program files folder are also leftover files that can be discarded but do so after you run the uninstaller. If you delete them before uninstalling, it could cause problems. A registry cleaner could fix this in most cases but I wouldn't count on it unless there was no other choice.

But yeah, I like to clean up a lot too. I use voidtools' everything to find old program files. I just go through the AppData folders from time to time and manually clean up too. I do same with registry for things under the software key but I wouldn't mess with this unless you had a backup. I've messed up my OS enough times to learn what breaks, and I still get unlucky sometimes and have to restore a backup
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Old 24. Mar 2013, 04:19 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info and advice eyeb.

I didn't know what the AppData was, so you've added to my learning and I always welcome that .

...and no, I won't touch the folders in the Program Files unless I've uninstalled the program first. One thing about that: It surprises me that running the proprietary uninstaller for a program still leaves these leftovers. It just tells me how much some software developers care about leaving junk folders on your computer after an uninstall. After all, these folders were created by their software as a routine. Don't you think they should be aware of that? That's sloppy IMHO .

I may not know much about the registry, but I know enough to ensure I back it up if I'm ever tempted to dabble there .
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