Computer Newbies forum


Would a registry cleaner speed up my PC?

by Big Steve / March 8, 2013 11:23 PM PST

I'm posting my question here because the subject I'm about to ask about I know nothing about. My Dell Vostro 1510 laptop which has Windows Vista Premium 32 bit has been running very slow lately; web pages take forever to download. My DSL service is with AT&T and I have Extreme 6.0 which is supposed to be AT&T's fastest DSL speed.

AT&T has faster speeds called Uverse but I do not have Uverse. Would a registry cleaner(?) help improve my computer's running speed to like it was when it was brand new? I know absolutely nothing about registry cleaners. Are they safe to use on a computer?

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All Answers

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No. Just plain no.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / March 8, 2013 11:34 PM PST

That's the answer to "would a registry cleaner speed up my PC". The answer to your last question also is "no", by the way.

Usually, loading a webpage slow is bad indicator of the computer running slow. Usually, it's only an indicator of the Internet connection being slow. But since you have (had?) both a laptop and a desktop connected to the same Internet connection, it's easy to compare.
- If both are abnormally slow loading web pages (turn off the other while testing), there's a good chance it's the connection (but it's possible also you have the same malware on both).
- If only one is slow and the other is 'normal', something is wrong with that one computer. The easiest way to get it back to its original speed then is to get it back to it's original configuration using the recovery disks you made or the Dell recovery partition.


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Re: No. Just plain no.
by Big Steve / March 9, 2013 12:44 AM PST
In reply to: No. Just plain no.

Thanks for the info. So a registry cleaner is not safe to use on a computer? I guess you said that because I indicated in my previous post that I knew absolutely nothing about them. Your point is well taken. So I would guess that the only ones who should attempt to use a registry cleaner are computer users like yourself who have a higher level of experience with using computers than a newbie like me.

I installed CCleaner yesterday; haven't used it yet but after what you just posted about registry cleaners I think I'll go to my Control Panel and uninstall it. I wonder if whatever this problem is could also be related to me not being able to do comlete scans with my Avast; Super Antispyware and Malwarebytes?

I attempted to do a complete scan with Avast on this laptop a few days ago; I set it to scan; went to bed; got up the next morning and it was still scanning and had only scanned 8% of my computer. I did a scan on my Dell desktop just yesterday which I use very little to surf the web; a complete scan was done on that computer in 37 minutes.

Big Steve
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Re: registry cleaner
by Kees_B Forum moderator / March 9, 2013 4:28 AM PST
In reply to: Re: No. Just plain no.

None of mods here uses them. We just leave the registry alone, unless there's a reason to change, add or delete a specific item.

Ccleaner is fine, but just use the default settings to be safe.

It really seems something is wrong with your laptop, but it's not clear what it is. I assume you only run Super Antispyware and Malwarebytes occasionally to scan (not permanently in the background), and have no other antivirus installed than Avast. You can be over-protected and slowness is one of the possible consequences.

What happens if you boot into Safe Mode and run that Avast scan then?


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Re: registry cleaner
by Big Steve / March 9, 2013 8:59 AM PST
In reply to: Re: registry cleaner

I have never booted anything into Safe Mode and that's something else I don't know anything about but I'll do a search on it and try to find out what that's about. I regret years ago when I went to high school and later to a junior college that I didn't take introduction to computer courses instead of art 101. We're talking a long time ago; cell phones weren't even in use yet; we used CB radios to communicate with. "Breaker; breaker good buddy".

Big Steve
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How To Boot To Safe Mode..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / March 9, 2013 9:04 AM PST
In reply to: Re: registry cleaner
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REPLY to Big Steve
by aloneinelcajon / March 15, 2013 11:13 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: registry cleaner

10-4 back door, catcha' on the flip-flop & hammer down, not a bear in sight.
~Ms. Pat Burton

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A shot in the dark..
by Carol~ Forum moderator 2 / March 11, 2013 5:42 AM PDT

Big Steve..

I was reading a post at another forum (just now) when my eyes fell on a thread titled, "Avast is crippling my browser speeds". I thought I remembered you had Avast installed. And I also thought I remembered you having speed issues. I accessed your profile to see if you had posted lately. Lo and behold.. you had! Grin

You made mention of Avast in one of your posts. I wouldn't know if you have the same settings on your laptop, as you do your desktop. I would assume so. But have a look at the thread to see if changing some of settings might help.

Best of luck..

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Re: A shot in the dark
by Big Steve / March 13, 2013 11:15 AM PDT
In reply to: A shot in the dark..
I read the information; if I decided to switch AV and drop Avast can you recommend another good free AV that's on CNET'S download list?

Big Steve
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Try These
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / March 14, 2013 10:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: A shot in the dark
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My best luck
by l8rb / March 15, 2013 2:14 PM PDT
In reply to: Try These

to date has been:

AVG Free antivirus...tried paid, but couldn't see any gain after two years, so with this newest lap I'm staying with free;

Malwarebytes monthly or as needed;

Advanced System version 6...I was running deep scans monthly, but after first year they offered the upgrade 'paid' version for $10, and now it runs itself once or twice daily; and

A reputable firewall...I had Zone Alarm for several years, both paid and free, but they have been getting bloated (and rude) lately so I am trying a newer one: PrivateFirewall 7.0...eight months, no major issues.

Just for kicks, I run Spybot Search and Destroy every other month, but haven't seen anything for it to do yet.

Everyone has differing experiences to go along with different equipment and uses...but this is my story and I'm sticking to it! 2011 HP dv6 Core I7, W7, 8GB, 1TB, 3MB DSL Wireless

Hope this helps!

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by l8rb / March 15, 2013 2:16 PM PDT
In reply to: My best luck

The programs listed can all be had for free right here on C-Net!

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by Flatworm / March 15, 2013 11:27 PM PDT
In reply to: A shot in the dark..

I am really happy with Norton Internet Security. It goes on sale sometimes in price clubs for $19.95 for three licenses. Before the 2010 version it was a horrible dog and would bog down even the fastest machine, but they fixed it with the 2010 version, and I mean REALLY fixed it!

The least impact on performance of the freeware antivirus programs, in my experience, is Panda Cloud.

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Norton 360 User - also far
by Scoop8 / July 12, 2013 7:16 AM PDT
In reply to: AV?

- Windows 7 64-bit
- Norton 360
- MBAM Pro

Agree about Norton. I've been running Norton 360 since Dec '12 after switching from ESET. It's my 1st-time running a Norton product. I have a friend that's been running Norton for years without any PC intrusion issues.

Regarding Registry cleaning, I agree with the consensus here. It's generally not advisable to try and clean the Registry but it it's needed, CCleaner has a good rep on the 'net for that purpose. I haven't loaded it yet as I've not seen a need for Registry cleanup.

I have that option disabled in my Norton 360 AV suite options.

One of the better approaches for overall protection, imo, is to have a scheduled backup routine. I clone on a scheduled basis, keeping 2 spare HDD's on the shelf. One HDD is my rotating 6-week cloned backup and the other HDD is an emergency backup in the event that my other 2 HDD's encounter an OS issue.

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by Flatworm / March 15, 2013 11:22 PM PDT

I have never noticed any perceptible performance improvement to result from the use of any registry cleaner or optimizer even when they showed the registry to have been really horribly bollixed up beforehand.

Things that may improve your performance are scanning for and removal of spyware and adware, cleaning out your start-up programs, stop running all those toolbars, getting a more modern anti-malware program (some old ones are just HORRIBLE drags on your system), defragmenting a BADLY fragmented drive, running sfc /scannow to correct any corrupted system files, and even reflashing your BIOS.

If your problem is slow web-page loading but your computer is otherwise running fine, none of these is likely to help. Modems and routers do not last forever -- they are actually rather consumable. Perhaps one of these needs to be replaced. And if your problem is slow wireless connectivity, there are so many things that can affect performance there that it would be hard to list them all. Have you rearranged your furniture lately?

But in any event, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. DSL just plain isn't ever going to be very fast, and a lot of web pages have now been designed so flabbily that the designers must presume that everybody has FiOS.

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by Doh_1 / March 16, 2013 4:17 AM PDT

The way to clean your registry is to thoroughly back up your data, and re-install your system. The removes all the remnants of software installed and removed over the years from your registry, and it starts totally clean again. I've found that this is a really good way to regain the "new" speed of your computer when you're really ready to do that.

There are other steps that you can take that will speed things up incrementally, but other than replacing your system disk with an SSD, the best single thing that you can do for performance is to re-install your OS. You can also add memory until you've reached the maximum that your computer will support, of course.

On the other hand, keep in mind that as time goes on, updated and larger applications and updates to your OS will slow it down to some degree, that's life with computers and software. So it will most likely never be as fast as it initially was, since software gains mass over the years. Unless you don't apply OS updates (not advisable), and don't put newer software on your computer (not likely *smile*). As time goes on, and computer hardware gets faster, software designers will design their applications to take advantage of faster computers, more memory, etc. And the same old computers running that software will slow down some, nothing that you can do about that except buy a faster computer *smile*.

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