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About the Windows XP Registry
The Windows XP system registry is a list of keys and values that are created whenever you install software or hardware on your computer. As you use your computer, you'll probably remove some of the software and hardware you had previously installed. The registry entries for these programs and devices aren't necessarily removed whenever you uninstall them. Instead, they may remain, causing errors and slowing down your computer. While removing erroneous registry entries can help to speed up your computer, deleting entries improperly can cause serious problems with your computer and may even require that you reinstall Windows XP. Before trying any of these registry cleaners, create a restore point in System Restore and export the registry using the Windows XP registry editor.
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Registry First Aid
Registry First Aid registry repair software for Windows XP typically ranks high both with editors and users. A free limited trial version of this registry cleaner is available for download from the RoseCitySoftware.com website. Registry First Aid's scan searches for registry errors such as invalid paths, invalid file associations, invalid ActiveX/Com references, invalid fonts, obsolete start menu items, invalid application paths, invalid help files, shared DLLs, auto-start programs and unused software entries.
Registry First Aid seems like a good program at first glance. It has a simple yet sleek interface. It offers to create a backup prior to each scan. The limited version of Registry First Aid only removes a small portion of the invalid registry entries it finds. To remove the rest, you have to purchase the program.
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A free trial version of Registry Mechanic's registry repair software for Windows XP is available for download on the PCTools.com website. Registry Mechanic starts scanning the Windows XP registry the moment it's installed. Registry Mechanic scans for errors in startup programs, registry integrity, software locations, Windows fonts, help and resources, shared DLLs, add/remove programs, virtual devices, file extensions, temp files and shortcuts and custom controls. Then Registry Mechanic shows a list of the errors along with their priority and the reason the registry entry is invalid. Like Registry First Aid, the trial version of Registry Mechanic only repairs a few of the errors it finds. However, unlike Registry First Aid, this registry cleaner doesn't offer to make a backup prior to making its fixes to the registry.
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Easy Cleaner is a simple, free registry cleaner for Windows XP with a basic interface. The program is very light on system resources and is highly customizable. You can download this registry cleaner and utility program from ToniArts at the Inet.fi website. Easy Cleaner sometimes takes a long time to scan for registry errors. Then it gives the option to delete individual registry errors or to delete them all at once. You can also print out the list of registry errors or save them as a file. However, it doesn't offer to back up the registry entries before deleting them and doesn't offer any information as to why it thinks that a registry entry is erroneous. If you plan to use this registry cleaner, you should definitely create a system restore point and back up your registry in Windows XP just beforehand.
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jv16 PowerTools registry repair software for Windows XP is available for download at the Macecraft.com website. The free trial is a fully functional version which lasts for 30 days. The settings in jv16 PowerTools' registry cleaner allow you to emphasize safety over scan speed and the number of errors found, or emphasize the number of errors found and the speed over safety and accuracy. It also provides details on the registry errors such as the error description, the current registry key, the current registry entry, the current registry value and the current file reference. When the scan of the Windows XP registry is complete, it displays a pie chart showing the types of registry errors it found. The severity of the errors is also listed. You can select one, several, or all of the registry entries to fix or delete. jv16 PowerTools' registry cleaner makes a backup of each separate fix or delete operation. If the registry repair causes problems, you can restore these backups one at a time until the problem is fixed.
Used properly, these registry cleaners can help you to speed up your computer. Always remember, though, that no registry cleaner is perfect. The best registry cleaner is one that leaves you in complete control and helps you to understand how to edit the registry. For more information about the Windows registry, visit the Microsoft website.
Rose City Software: "Registry First Aid." http://www.rosecitysoftware.com/reg1aid/
PC Tools: "Registry Mechanic" http://www.pctools.com/registry-mechanic/
ToniArts: "Easy Cleaner" http://personal.inet.fi/business/toniarts/ecleane.htm
MaceCraft: "jv16 PowerTools" http://www.macecraft.com/jv16powertools2009-info/
Top Windows XP Registry Repair Software
*Please note - the author received 'Free trial versions of registry cleaning and repair software' from a company other than Bright Hub in order to develop the content contained within this article or review.