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Slow computer: Will a registry cleaner help?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / February 8, 2008 1:37 AM PST
Question:

My computer Windows XP Home SP2 computer for 5 years has been
getting slower and slower. I know my computer is not infected
with spyware or viruses as I run a pretty tight ship when it
comes to security. So what's next? I've always heard good
things that can result from registry cleaners, but anytime
some one mentions registry I cringe at the thought as I've
heard that tweaking the Windows registry can easily go wrong
and possibly kill my computer. Is this true? How about
registry cleaners? Ultimately what can a registry cleaner do
for me? Will I benefit from it? Is it safe? I think it time
for me to face my fears with the registry. So can you kindly
give me some pointers on the ins and outs about registry
cleaners, recommend some good ones that are free or paid,
and what should I do to prepare myself for this task to
ensure if I do decide to do some registry cleaning that I'm
prepared for the worst to happen and recover gracefully.
Thank for your advice!

Submitted by Tom S.


Answer voted most helpful by our community newsletter readers:

Registry Cleaners and Tweakers


Dear Tom:

As with everything else in the computer world, BACK IT UP! I am referring to XP restore point and backing up the registry independently. These are two of the smartest things anybody can do.

You can learn how to backup the registry and restore it here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756

You can make a backup file of the registry using REGEDIT. Just enter REGEDIT into the RUN command box. Click on OK. Click on My Computer (make sure it is highlighted). On the FILE menu, choose EXPORT. Export the .Reg file. You could also burn a copy of this to CD and then have XP Recovery Console installed on your computer. You can learn how to install XP Recovery Console here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

In order to use Recovery Console, you must know the administrator password for the computer and you should familiarize yourself with the Recovery Console command set...you do not want to have a crash and then try to learn what the commands do, have a strategy first!

Learn how to use a System Restore Point to restore your computer in case of a crash:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306084
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315222

You must have admin rights to use Safe Mode when the computer needs to be restored. You can restore the computer in Safe Mode.

I would first, if I were you, do a test run by doing the above. Ensure you have your admin password and you can use the recovery console and get into safe mode.

Now, after you have done these things, you are better prepared instead of worrying about recovering from a system failure.

There are pro's and con's out there from every person I have talked to regarding the efficacy of registry cleaners and compactors. Some IT people I have talked to advise never to use them...I think, because all IT people are inherently scared to death of a crash causing them more work or because the local hard disk is of relative unimportance to them, the only hard disks they are worried about are server hard disks.

But for home owners wanting to improve the performance, I am one of those...I find a registry cleaner to be invaluable. I actually do two things...I clean up the registry and then I compact the Hives, both seem to reduce clutter and improve performance.

No two pieces of software are perfect...by this, I mean, each piece of software works differently, finds different errors and considers different things to be a problem.

I use two main ones, each one seems to find a different set of errors to fix:

jv16 powertools by Macecraft:

http://www.macecraft.com/

Cost is a very modest $29.95 and you get not just a registry cleaner, but also a whole suite of other nifty tools. You get to run a backup of the registry before it does the clean. You get to "fix" errors rather than just delete them. One of the other tools is a hive compactor, and that makes it worth the money right there. I have used jv16 powertools for several years with satisfactory results and no crashes. What I love the most about this one is not only has the software done what it is supposed to and been stable, but the updates have been free for several years now! Magnificent purchase and well worth the initial fee.

Registry Mechanic by PC Tools

http://www.pctools.com/registry-mechanic/

I have used this one for years as well, it does a great of finding errors and fixing them. There is an updater that updates the database of known issues. This software also has a hive compactor. It is $39.99. Version 7.X is latest. It also can be set to set a system restore point. I have a yearly minimal fee, I believe for updates, but don't remember...must be like $9.99 or something.

I have tried several other ones, and found none better than these two.
I have, in fact, tried others, some of which do nothing either to the registry or to the performance level of the O/S. So I stick with the tried and true.

I would also recommend that you use CCleaner to first clean your computer of trash and garbage...do not be quick to just click ok, check out the list of files it recommends on ridding your computer of. This is a freebee! Happy

http://www.ccleaner.com/

I would also defrag my hard disk using a FREE utility like Auslogics Disk Defrag:

http://www.auslogics.com/disk-defrag

I find this utility better than XP defrag and it is sort of fascinating watching it do its thing. It is similar to Norton Utilities defrag utility, but up to this point, Auslogics has created a real freebee treat.

My normal system routine is:

Clean Computer of Garbage first
Defrag Hard Disk
Run Registry Cleaner
Run Registry Compactor (hive compactor)

Make sure you have system restore points automatically set before doing anything.

I think doing the above will help you immensely, but nothing is more important that backing your system up FIRST!

Sincerely - Jim Clark

Submitted by jimc52


If you have additional advice for Tom please click on the reply link and post your answer. Please be detailed as possible in your answer and when appropriate, please provide links for reference when recommending a product. Thank you!
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be your computer fast
by rifin2005 / February 8, 2008 8:36 AM PST

i recomended you to use tune up utilities 2008. i am using the one click maintenance,and after that,my pc become faster than before.just give it a try.
thanks.

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Where did you get it from?
by jjosh21 / March 21, 2010 12:31 PM PDT
In reply to: be your computer fast

That sounds like a good program, where can you get it from?
The last registry cleaner that I got didn't work so well.

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Slow Machine
by Chuck O / February 8, 2008 8:41 AM PST

Tom- If your computer is 5 years old, I'll bet you've got 512mb of RAM (unless you've upgraded)and it might not be DDR. That'll slow you down, big time. You might also want to check what services are running (some are resource hogs). There are several FREE applications to check all this stuff out, but I like Advanced Windows Care- Personal. It does a great job of looking at startup, running services and will clean out "junk" files (why someone thinks you'd need to cache a web page button is beyond me, but; if you're like me, you'll be blown away with how much junk accumulates). It'll also do a registry clean up.

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Try these tips
by jameshosmer / February 8, 2008 8:46 AM PST

Hello,

that is a good question. my first question to you is when is the last time you defraged your computer? as you install more and more programs your computers hard drive will get more cluttered and unorganized. imagine your hard drive as a spinning platter with walls on the side. next the program that you are installing can be pictured as a handful of marbles, the larger the program the more marbles you are going to use. now imagine dropping those marbles onto the spinning platter, those marbles will spin and roll over the place. when you defrag your computer you are essentially grabbing all of those marbles and putting them in one spot on the platter so your computer has an easier time finding all the files for that particular folder.

next thing to try is to run msconfig from the run menu to see what is starting up with the computer. most of that stuff you don't need to start with the computer. for example adobe and quick time will place an item in the startup menu. these are not essential. the only things that are vital to the startup in here is the anti-virus program and or internet security software you might have. if you see entries that are blank then your computer is not and spyware and virus free as you think it to be.

i hope this helps.

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registry cleaners
by mittens / February 8, 2008 8:49 AM PST

Tom, I resisted them too, for a long time, but after doing some serious hunting online finally settled on RegistryFix. It's as much a gut sense as anything, but most of the others, including the much-touted Uniblue, made me uncomfortable, even with just with the demo.

RegistryFix gives you a sense of being part of the process, instead of a helpless bystander. I rarely spend money on downloads, but in this instance I don't regret it a bit.

It's also a very simple download and easy to configure so you dont need a manual to understand it, and you have plenty of options as to save or dump.
And when in doubt, type in "X (the registry cleaner you're looking at) problems" in google, and see what the users say.

The thing to remember about the registry is this: every program you download, everything that's installed, is recorded there, as a footprint. Even when you do a clean install the 'legal' way, it's never really gone, unless you go into the registry and pick out the bits, one at a time. Often the entire program is still there, every single scrap, waiting for you. Uninstall usually only gets the surface stuff.

You might want to turn off Prefetch, too. Clean it out and disable it.
That can speed up your computer incredibly, and you really don't need it.

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Try CCleaner
by dbucciar / February 8, 2008 8:51 AM PST

I've been using CCleaner (www.ccleaner.com) for a couple of years now without any problems.

It has a thorough 'cleanup' mode that removes temporary files, internet cache files, etc.

It also has a good, safe, registry cleaner that can identify and fix lots of different inconsistencies in your registry. Of course, it gives you the opportunity to backup your registry before any changes are made.

In addition, it provides a tool to examine and modify your 'installed programs' list, which lets you finally get rid of that old Acrobat install which just won't seem to go away.

Finally, it provides a tool to examine and clean up your startup configuration. It's a good way to prevent old or unwanted background processes from starting up without your permission.

The other fix you might want to try is to defrag your hard drive. As you probably know, over time, the files on your hard drive can get scattered around the physical area of the disk. This makes it harder for the drive to retrieve data. Defragging re-arranges the pieces of those files so that they are physically near each other (contiguous) so the drive can retrieve the data much faster.

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PC Tools Registry Mechanic works great here..
by jmwren / February 8, 2008 8:52 AM PST

I've been using it for over a year now and when my computer is slowing down I use it, it first makes a system restore point, just in case (which I have never had to use, but it's nice to know you have it) then it will check the registry for errors and other problems and give you a breakdown list, you simply click fix and that's it. Then you are up and running nicely again. This program has even fixed my blue screen error that had something to do with an incorrect install of a usb phone...anyway I can't recommed it enough...never had a problem...here is some more info:

Editor's Choice Registry Cleaner
Don't compromise your PC Registry with the second best!
World's most popular registry cleaner with over 55 million downloads.
Recommended by experts and editors around the world as the best registry cleaner.
FREE customer support for all users.
Cleans the registry, fixes PC errors and optimizes your PC for better performance.
Easy to use. Designed for both expert and novice users.
100% Money Back Guarantee.
With Registry Mechanic you can safely clean, repair and optimize the Windows

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Before the registry...
by akalish / February 8, 2008 8:55 AM PST

Before you hit the registry cleaners, have you done defrags and used the disk cleanup utility? Whenever my computers start to slow, some time spent on both of those things makes them as good as new. They're easier and far safer than fiddling with the registry.

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Check your registry AND your RAM
by brianbascle / February 8, 2008 8:57 AM PST

Registry Mechanic by PC Tools will run you $30 and will clean it up pretty effectively. Once that's done, you can run it every couple of months just to keep an eye on things. I ran RM after having similar symptoms to yours, and everything was great.

Also, amount of RAM might be contributing to the problem. Since it's been five years, your PC might be struggling, especially if you've loaded more memory-intensive programs in that span of time (i.e., graphics, video, iTunes, etc.). If you have less than 1GB, I'd consider upgrading.

Good luck!
Brian

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Cleaning a Slow Windows XP Hard Drive
by iainkayphd / February 8, 2008 8:57 AM PST

A simple thing to do at least once a week Tom is to go to the upper Menu Bar and click on "Tools." The click on cleaning your "Cookies." The click on cleaning your "History." Also set history to zero if you don't mind re-entering websites each time to log on your computer like I do. Finally, click on cleaning your "Files." These are unneeded Internet files. I guarantee you will find your computer goes faster now.

Also, don't forget to defragment your hard drive weekly too. Files that are fragmented cause a computer to run more slowly too.

E-mail me if you need more help.

Mr. Leslie Iain Kay
iainkayphd@bellsouth.net

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Registry cleaners
by beaverhunter62 / February 8, 2008 8:59 AM PST

I read the question and i suggest Registry Mechanic from PC Tools. I have used the paid version for over two years and its fantastic and causes no problems. I also use ccleaner to remove dead files and unwanted cookies. Then to optimise the rest when needed i use the disk defragmenter that is included in Windows XP. Below is the link to the trial version of Registry Mechanic, it will remove alot of your problems and then you can pay a nominal fee and have it to remove the rest, and other problems when needed. (I actually use it once a day)

Download from:
http://www.pctools.com/downloads/rminstall.exe

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get rid of registry cleaner program
by rifin2005 / February 8, 2008 9:03 AM PST

since long time ago,i never use such program anymore.it maybe safe,but only if u know how to restore the system in case of ur pc cant boot up again.
just use other program if u not sure what u doing.
thanx

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Diskeeper
by Vinrock60 / February 8, 2008 9:05 AM PST

Diskeeper is the best software for defragmenting your computer but it cost about $100.00.

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actually
by TechieAJ / February 8, 2008 12:06 PM PST
In reply to: Diskeeper

i think its best just to use the basic windows defragmentor. its free with ur system and works GREAT!! y wuld u spend 100$ on a program that does the exact same thing?

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It is possible and worthwhile
by gaz42 / February 8, 2008 9:05 AM PST

We are using succesfully for years JV16 and the ultimate troubleshooter. Both are easy to understand and safe. You can reverse anytime what you did wrong, if at all.

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Did you outgrow your memory?
by clprez / February 8, 2008 9:07 AM PST

My mom just had this happen to her. She upgraded some of her software, and in doing so, outgrew her 512MB of memory after her computer ran for a little while.

An easy way to figure this out is to get the task manager running by hitting <control><alt><delete>, choosing the performance tab, and looking at the lower half called "PF Usage."

If this is more than the amount of memory that you have on your machine, then you are having to use part of your disk for the extra memory, and this is really slow.

Increasing your memory will really speed things up.

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Processes
by jim.gaudet / February 8, 2008 9:09 AM PST

Can you look at Task Manager and let us know how many processes are running? It seems to me that you sy your system is cleaned pretty well for viruses and spyware and since you have installed a lot of programs over the years I think that maybe there are a lot of processes running that do not need to be.

I always go use a program called Autoruns, it is from Sysinternal.Com and now on TechNet
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx
This program will show you all things at startup and programs installed into Internet Explorer. all the things that can slow a system down.
Also, programs will install their own services that will start automatically. You can check this list for services that are safe to disable, if you do not need them. Also, if you see one from a program you do not use anymore, you can disable it.

Hope that helps, I hardly ever run a registry cleaner. If I were to decide to use one, I would make sure to have an XP System Restore before running the program. That will make a backup of your registry and you can restore, even if Windows will not boot.

I couldn't reccomend a program since I have not used one, sorry.

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Registry cleaner may not be what you need.
by chljr / February 8, 2008 9:15 AM PST

All registry cleaners have faults and sometimes they do remove entries some programs need. Fortunately a registry cleaner may not be what you need. Often, with older machines that have been running a long time, you will have so many programs running in the background that it is those programs that are making your computer slow down. XP has a built in solution for this problem. Go to the start menu and click on "run", enter "msconfig" and OK, click on the "startup" tab. You will see a list of all the programs that start with windows. To make a program not start all you have to do is uncheck the box next to the program. In the second column, is the pathway of the program that is set to run. Expand this section so that you can see the entire path. As a general rule, do not turn off anything that is in the 'System32" folder. Other programs you do not want to stop are your security software, whatever your using, and sometimes your video card may have some sort of software running. All else is fair game. You may see some blank lines or partial blank lines, these you should unchecked. I believe that any programs not being identified by a file name and location are suspicious. When your all done choosing the programs you do not want to run at startup, click Apply and then OK. You will be prompted to reboot. Reboot. When your computer starts again, after you sign on(if you do), a window will pop up saying that you have selected to start in "selective startup mode" put a check the little box that says remember this and click on OK. Your computer should run faster, depending on how many programs you unchecked, much faster. You can do this whenever you need to.

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upgrade
by algee11 / February 8, 2008 9:19 AM PST

u ought to upgrade your ram and run disc clean up

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Registry Cleaners and Tweakers
by jimc52 / February 8, 2008 9:20 AM PST

Dear Tom:

As with everything else in the computer world, BACK IT UP! I am referring to XP restore point and backing up the registry independently. These are two of the smartest things anybody can do.

You can learn how to backup the registry and restore it here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756

You can make a backup file of the registry using REGEDIT. Just enter REGEDIT into the RUN command box. Click on OK. Click on My Computer (make sure it is highlighted). On the FILE menu, choose EXPORT. Export the .Reg file. You could also burn a copy of this to CD and then have XP Recovery Console installed on your computer. You can learn how to install XP Recovery Console here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

In order to use Recovery Console, you must know the administrator password for the computer and you should familiarize yourself with the Recovery Console command set...you do not want to have a crash and then try to learn what the commands do, have a strategy first!

Learn how to use a System Restore Point to restore your computer in case of a crash:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306084
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315222

You must have admin rights to use Safe Mode when the computer needs to be restored. You can restore the computer in Safe Mode.

I would first, if I were you, do a test run by doing the above. Ensure you have your admin password and you can use the recovery console and get into safe mode.

Now, after you have done these things, you are better prepared instead of worrying about recovering from a system failure.

There are pro's and con's out there from every person I have talked to regarding the efficacy of registry cleaners and compactors. Some IT people I have talked to advise never to use them...I think, because all IT people are inherently scared to death of a crash causing them more work or because the local hard disk is of relative unimportance to them, the only hard disks they are worried about are server hard disks.

But for home owners wanting to improve the performance, I am one of those...I find a registry cleaner to be invaluable. I actually do two things...I clean up the registry and then I compact the Hives, both seem to reduce clutter and improve performance.

No two pieces of software are perfect...by this, I mean, each piece of software works differently, finds different errors and considers different things to be a problem.

I use two main ones, each one seems to find a different set of errors to fix:

jv16 powertools by Macecraft:

http://www.macecraft.com/

Cost is a very modest $29.95 and you get not just a registry cleaner, but also a whole suite of other nifty tools. You get to run a backup of the registry before it does the clean. You get to "fix" errors rather than just delete them. One of the other tools is a hive compactor, and that makes it worth the money right there. I have used jv16 powertools for several years with satisfactory results and no crashes. What I love the most about this one is not only has the software done what it is supposed to and been stable, but the updates have been free for several years now! Magnificent purchase and well worth the initial fee.

Registry Mechanic by PC Tools

http://www.pctools.com/registry-mechanic/

I have used this one for years as well, it does a great of finding errors and fixing them. There is an updater that updates the database of known issues. This software also has a hive compactor. It is $39.99. Version 7.X is latest. It also can be set to set a system restore point. I have a yearly minimal fee, I believe for updates, but don't remember...must be like $9.99 or something.

I have tried several other ones, and found none better than these two.
I have, in fact, tried others, some of which do nothing either to the registry or to the performance level of the O/S. So I stick with the tried and true.

I would also recommend that you use CCleaner to first clean your computer of trash and garbage...do not be quick to just click ok, check out the list of files it recommends on ridding your computer of. This is a freebee! Happy

http://www.ccleaner.com/

I would also defrag my hard disk using a FREE utility like Auslogics Disk Defrag:

http://www.auslogics.com/disk-defrag

I find this utility better than XP defrag and it is sort of fascinating watching it do its thing. It is similar to Norton Utilities defrag utility, but up to this point, Auslogics has created a real freebee treat.

My normal system routine is:

Clean Computer of Garbage first
Defrag Hard Disk
Run Registry Cleaner
Run Registry Compactor (hive compactor)

Make sure you have system restore points automatically set before doing anything.

I think doing the above will help you immensely, but nothing is more important that backing your system up FIRST!

Sincerely - Jim Clark

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reg. cleaners
by jeffhoppen / February 18, 2008 7:52 PM PST

in about all the reply's to the reg.cleaner question i came across ccleaner as a tip but note that if you use your system to download files you need to change ccleaners setting or all downloads will be lost too

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HOW DO YOU "CLEAN COMPUTER OF GARBAGE"??
by cpmdave-21209087916214755939752776832341 / November 28, 2008 5:53 AM PST

jimc52 ended an excellent response with "clean computer of garbage".
How do you do that?

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Not from me
by maddgamer / February 8, 2008 9:30 AM PST

It is possible to do such things as cleaning the Registry but my advice is to consider passing on this job for some of the reasons you state in your question. All the things you mention can really happen.
I am always amazed at what some of us will attempt to do on our own with or to our computer. I to once believed just because I have had many years sitting in front of a computer that I could do a job such as
this on my own with a user friendly software program. I was wrong and it cost me a great deal in programs and having to reinstall my OS.
Granted this was in the late 80's and the software was not as good as today but my advice is that you should take the computer to a good tech and pay the money to have it done right. There are several programs both free and not so free and no doubt you will get many answers telling you to use this one or that one but I still say have it done right by a pro. Just my two cents worth.

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2 choices available
by mrcoffee03 / February 8, 2008 9:37 AM PST

Hi Tom. I have experienced your problem on 2 laptop computers and have tried 2 different options, both with success.
These computers are my two sons and they access the same online games and browse the same sites. Both these Toshiba units had ground to a halt and needed urgent cleaning.
On the first unit I made a DVD backup of the needed files and documents and then proceeded to reload Windows XP from the recovery disk which in turn wiped the laptop and reinstalled a clean system. Including installing Office, Firefox, Opera and anti virus systems the whole process took around 2 hours and I finished up with a new system that runs fast and clean.
On laptop No2 I installed Spybot search and destroy, Auslogic Disk Defrag, CCcleaner, Avast anti virus, and Windows Defender.
Spybot found and cleaned 196 spywares and trojans, whilst Avast cleared 65 viruses hidden in some worrying locations. CCcleaner did a good job cleaning old temp files etc and the difference was immediately noticeable. Auslogic Disk Defrag did another good job putting everything back in order and the laptop now runs clean and fairly fast. Total time this way was around 5-6 hours of monitoring the system.
In conclusion I believe the start fresh to be the best option and the No1 system seems to run the best, the hassle was having to reinstall all the programs but in the time frame it was quicker.
Both systems now have Spybot, Auslogic, CCcleaner, Avast, AVG, Defender installed to keep them clean. As a punishment for letting their computers get in such a bad state, both boys had to sit down and write a list of all programs from Task Manger that are running and installed. Each week they have to check if anything else has be installed, then identify what it is and if unnecessary remove it.
Tom I have had no trouble with these programs I am using and i hope what I have written will be of assistance.
Regards Mr.Coffee.

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ReInstall the OS
by gmarino / February 15, 2008 11:12 AM PST
In reply to: 2 choices available

For me, reinstalling the OS is the only solution that makes sense - other than moving to Linux which does not use a central registry to store application specific configurations. The other nice thing about installing User-friendly, non-developer versions of Linux such as Ubuntu is that they run with much less memory requirements than MS Windows - which is a memory and resource PIG. These packaged Linux OS's are also smaller than a full blown Developers version of Linux (which is still smaller and consumes less resources on your PC than MS Windows.)

At thanksgiving, I have installed Ubuntu Linux on my old Thinkpad T22 and over Christmas I installed it on my mother's 2000 Dell Celeron Desktop. Both machines were dying trying to run MS Windows XP SP2. Both are extremely fast running Linux. I still get to use top-notch programs for browsing the internet (Firefox) and for Office Applications (Open Office).

I could run Linux on my work PC since the company I work for is big and blue and loves anything that does not make a competitor richer - so they provide a company approved Linux "build" for my work PC. However, I have found that in the corporate world, there are too many specialized programs that I need to do my job that do not come in a Linux version. So I am stuck running Windows XP (we don't even have a build for Vista yet - which would be worse than running XP.)

For my work PC, I rebuild it FROM SCRATCH every 6-8 months. That means I format my C drive and reinstall windows from scratch (actually I use the Windows image that my company provides - but it's still a "fresh" install. To make this task easy, I partition my hard drive and put all my files on the D:Drive and just use the C:Drive to Install applications. This means I only have to worry about reinstalling the programs I need and use and once I am done, my files are available on the D:Drive - just as they were before I reinstalled the OS. It takes me about 8 hours to reinstall the OS, reinstall all the software I use and to reconfigure it to run the way it ran before the reinstall. It is 8 hours twice a year that is well spent. I recoup that easily when I don't have to fight with the PC or wait for it to open an application, file, webpage.

Which reminds me - it's been about 9 months since I last rebuilt my PC. Excel files are taking minutes to open (don't understand why - but it's most likely a fragmented registry database that is slowing things down). All I know is after the rebuild, this T42p laptop with 2GB of Ram will be pretty fast...

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Linux, not for most users
by lucky76 / February 15, 2008 11:53 AM PST
In reply to: ReInstall the OS

I came for a Unix background and I've loaded Linux (the desktop version and server versions) on one of my systems several times. I don't understand why people reccommend Linux to ordinary users. Most people don't know how to use any command line arguments so Linux would be confusing to them. However if they just wanted to get on the internet I guess it would be ok but I find it to be lacking compared to Windows when it comes to Microsoft Office programs. I have to have Windows on my primary system. I like to play with utilities and load pictures from my cameras. Linux Server is another story. I have a Linux Web Server running on my local lan just to play with a web server. It's Windows to do most things though.

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Linux not for all? then neither is MAC
by gmarino / February 15, 2008 1:18 PM PST

There is no need to use command lines in Linux. Most Linux packages - like Ubuntu - come with the same GUI that Windows comes with. So the Main button does not say "START" - neither does the main button on Macs.

My mother is 65 years old and is running just fine with Linux. The has her desktop icons to do everything she wants - Internet, Word Processing, even MoneyDance (a program to replace quicken). There is nothing she can't do with Ubuntu Linux that she was doing with Windows. She doesn;t need to install new programs - she does everything from the internet.

Messing with photos and downloading pictures from a camera is just as easy on Linux as it is on Windows. Your problem is that the program you are using is one you are NOW familiar with. Take a few minutes and find a program that does what you want on Linux and learn how to use it - just like you did on Windows - just like you would have to do if you went to Mac.

Windows and Mac are both running "Linux/Unix" under the covers. They have just provided you with a "slick" graphical interface so you can point and click instead of typing a command - something you can just as easily do in Linux.

Be part of the majority - run Windows - pay Bill Gates his homage($$$) ... or realize that you have choices - many of them - with Linux. And oh - did I mention that many Linux programs are FREE?

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not really
by mindpower / February 15, 2008 5:14 PM PST

"Windows and Mac are both running "Linux/Unix" under the covers."

Windows does not run anything remotely like Unix under the GUI. If Microsoft were smart they would rewrite Windows with Linux as the core engine, much like what Apple did with OS X.

Linux is brilliant as a server OS but it's disappointing on the desktop, especially considering that the likes of KDE and Gnome have been around for 10 years now.

I recently set up an Ubuntu machine for my wife. In Gnome she'd connect to a samba share to store her documents. The "mounted" share would show up in all the Gnome apps but when she tried to save a file in OpenOffice the smb share didn't appear in the file browser. She had to save all her docs to the desktop and then move them in the Gnome file browser. It's little details like that which differentiate Windows and OS X from Linux. Paying customers would not accept such a situation and therefore Microsoft and Apple have to make sure that these things work as expected.

I had to hand edit X11 config files to get Ubuntu to work with her video card on a fairly modern HP machine. Hardly user friendly!

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CCleaner makes it a breeze
by atallman / February 8, 2008 9:37 AM PST

I was very weary at first just like you are now. I found a program called CCleaner and I love it. I have used it so long I can't remember when I started. First of all, its free and very easy to use. It has 3 major components, a cleaner, a registry issue cleaner, and an uninstaller component. I have used each of the three parts of the one program, which runs about 2 MB in size usually, and I have never experienced any problems. It helps keep systems running smoothly, while also helping to speed up your computer and fix any problems you may currently have. The first time I ran it, it took several minutes, but I removed 3 GB worth of stuff that was slowing down my PC. Now it runs in a couple of seconds. Its fast, free, and easy to use. Also, i adds a command when you right click on the recycle bin so that you can run it straight from there without actually having to physically open the program. I would and do recommend it to everyone I know that asks me.

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Use Linux
by welrdelr / February 8, 2008 9:42 AM PST

Switch over to an open source system.
you can use the same computer and the response time will be quicker.

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