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Windows System Registry - Critical To Optimal PC Performance

Jan 30, 2008
The Windows System Registry is one of the most critical aspects of any Windows operating system. It is basically a database that holds important system information needed to run applications as well as other computer related tasks.

When you install any Windows program, drivers, or other hardware components, information gets written to the system registry for later retrieval. Unless you are an advanced user it is best not to try and repair any issues that may arise without the help of a professional, or a third-party software program.

Registry Structure

The basic layout of the registry is similar to a tree-like structure. It contains basically two elements: keys and values. The registry keys can also contain subkeys within subkeys.

Keys are referenced through different levels of hierarchy and follow a structure similar to the Windows path names using a backslash.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINEHARDWAREDESCRIPTION is an example of a registry key entry. The registry values are stored within the keys in a name/data pair.

How Programs Access The Registry

Many software programs will utilize the system registry in a variety of ways. Applications will add data to the registry keys, either user-specific or computer-specific data.

Computer data may include driver information, hardware configuration and other system data that is needed to run various peripherals. User data may include user profiles, desktop settings and other information pertaining to a specific user.

Software applications may also load specific data into a file that is then loaded into the registry. This is common practice if the programs contains large amounts of data and is also used to improve performance.

Registry Problems

Overtime many users will experience computer issues such as slowness, pop-up error messages, system crashes and more. Many of these issues may be caused by a corrupt system registry. Common causes of registry errors include missing or invalid keys that usually start to appear after installing or uninstalling programs and hardware on your PC.

If you are in the habit of periodically adding and removing programs, changing hardware and drivers, or install programs that contain spyware, then you may experience problems with your system registry.

Manual Register Editing

Trying to fix your system registry on your own can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. Microsoft Windows does provide a way to allow you to edit your registry. You can run the regedit.exe program that will display the entire tree structure of your registry from which you can then delete invalid entries or add new ones.

Careless registry editing can result in serious damage to your PC and may even leave your computer inoperable. If one is to manually edit their registry then a total backup of the registry is highly recommended.

Registry Cleaner And Repair Programs

There are a number of third party software programs that can really help in repairing your windows registry. These utilities provide a host of excellent features that make cleaning and restoring the registry in no time at all. Some key features of these utilities include:

-ability to scan your registry for invalid information left behind by incorrect uninstall processes

-scan and remove invalid COM/ActiveX object entries within the system registry

-automatic scans of your registry

-ability to backup and restore you current registry settings

-scheduler to allow you to perform periodic scans on your registry

-fixed shared dll problems

Some of the top registry repair tools include: RegCure, Registry Fix, Error Nuker and RegSweep.
About the Author
David Anthony is a professional computer technician who provides excellent tips on how to keep your PC running optimize at http://www.quickregistryrepair.com . Find the best registry cleaners and learn how to get a free windows registry scan.
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