I recently wrote about a magazine that I subscribe too called WebUser. One of the many advantages of reading this particular publication is that it regularly recommends free software that can be used on your PC. In many ways, I think of my computer in the same way as a car in that it needs regular maintenance to get the best from it. One such recommendation recently was to Eusing Free Registry Cleaner which I downloaded and use frequently. Having mentioned this on a recent thread, one of Dooyoos illustrious membership asked me to consider writing a review. Well, I dont get many (sorry
any) requests to write reviews these days so here it is.
First things first, I guess and what the hell is a registry? Well, good question. In computing, the Windows registry is a database which stores settings and options for the operating system for Microsoft Windows. It contains information and settings for all the hardware, software, users, and preferences of the PC. Whenever a user makes changes to "Control Panel" settings, or file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in the registry. As nearly all of us use Microsoft operating systems then, chances are, you will have a Windows registry (in my case, I use Windows XP). The Windows Registry was introduced to tidy up the profusion of per-program INI files (where an INI file is a configuration file that contains configuration data for Microsoft Windows based applications) that had previously been used to store configuration settings for Windows programs. These files tended to be scattered all over the system, which made them difficult to keep track of. I suppose the best analogy I can think of for the registry is like a tree with branches and smaller branches still that contain the active files required to make the Windows system operate at all.
Whenever new software is installed, more data is added to the registry. However, when it gets removed later (e.g. deleting a PC game), the software installed is rarely removed completely. This means that there are unnecessary files still in the registry, slowing down performance, cluttering the operating system which may even cause error messages and possibly the system to crash. Eusing Registry Cleaner is a free program available at www.eusing.com. Basically, it scans the registry for potential problems and fixes them in one go, automatically creating a back-up at the same time allowing the restoration of the existing registry should the user encounter any problems. The file size is only 878kb so it wont take much space up on your hard drive and is compatible with operating systems: Windows 9x/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003. Whilst the download is free, there is an option to make a donation via Paypal to go towards the development of future freeware (there are other handy downloads available on site that are also free).
Once downloaded, the program can be opened using the start menu. You will be invited to register Eusing but this is optional and is up to you. Personally, I didnt but that does mean that I may miss out on future updates, should they occur (Ill keep checking back on site for the latest version. This is version 1.2). Once the window is open, the options available include scan: My Computer > Files and Folders > HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE >HKEY_CURRENT_USER> HKEY_USERS > Software Locations > Windows Fonts > Invalid Help Files > Shared DDLs > Startup Programs > Add/Remove Programs > File Extensions > Custom Controls > Obsolete Controls > Windows Services. The easiest thing to do is to simply scan My Computer as this will cover everything but you retain the ability to scan individual registries by selecting the option you prefer. You can cancel the scan at any time by clicking the stop button in the Scanning box.
Once the scan is complete, you can review the results and by selecting Repair registry issue in the tasks section. Eusing creates an automatic back-up of the registry and then purges all invalid details. You can restore the old registry at any time by clicking Restore previous registry option in tasks and selecting restore. There is also an option to manually back up the registry using the file menu at the top then selecting Backup Full Registry. This is always recommended to cover any eventuality. You will need to find a place to save the Backup as well as a name for the file, of course. Eusing can also include entries for removable media and any CD drive in its scan by using the edit menu and selecting options. On the general tab of options, select Include all references to removable media and Include all references to CD drive. You can also eliminate entries from future scans by clicking the ignore lists tab of the options box to streamline subsequent operations.
Ive been using Eusing for a while now and it only takes a couple of minutes per scan. It always picks up invalid and obsolete entries and I think of it in the same way as I would an oil change on my car, only a lot more regular. Its not as comprehensive as programs like CC Cleaner but then I use another nifty bit of freeware called "Disk Cleaner" to clear up unnecessary cookies, cache entries, history logs etc and that works just fine too. Of course, you may opt to pay for a more comprehensive registry cleaner and theres a handy comparison site at http://www.compareregistrycleaners.com/?gclid=CNmpj-rixogCFRM0ZwodnkQoCg written by Which magazine that goes into comprehensive detail about products available on the market. The top recommendation at the moment is for Max Registry and retails at $29.95. For this you will get more support and regular updates but Im happy enough with Eusing for now and as freeware thats recommended by an authoritative magazine like WebUser then Im happy to trust them and recommend the download to you accordingly.
Thanks for reading