The Windows registry is a storage area used by the Microsoft Windows operating system to hold important configuration settings that control how the computer operates. Everything from Windows itself to installed programs and hardware must be able to retrieve a variety of keys and values from the registry to function as expected. If the registry develops any type of problem, the results could range from a slow system to one that doesn’t work at all.
Manually Fixing the Windows Registry
If you think you have a computer problem caused by a Windows registry error, you can use the utility supplied by Microsoft to fix the problem. Regedit.exe will run on any Windows-based computer and allows users to access and edit the Windows registry. However, it can be difficult to find the problem, and it’s very easy to turn a nuisance into a major issue.
If you decide to take your chances, always create a restore point before proceeding. The restore point acts as a registry backup and allows you to revert to a previous version of the registry if you decide to backout your changes. However, if you make a major mistake while you’re editing the Windows registry, you could render the system inoperable to the point you can’t even use the restore procedure.
In this case, you’ll need to completely reload your machine using the install discs that came with the computer. This will put the machine back to its out-of-the-box state. This means you will lose any stored data, Windows updates, and installed programs. It could take hours or even days to recover from your Windows Registry editing mistake.
You May Not Be Able to Find the Problem
If you know your problem is isolated to a single program, you have a fairly good chance of locating the subkey within the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE area when you access the Windows Registry. However, what will you do then? Unless you know how the program functions or you have access to someone with inside information, you might not be able to fix the problem. Of course, you can always uninstall the program and delete anything that appears to be related to the program. This might work, or you could disable another application in the system if you delete the wrong subkey.
If you’re trying to clean up a virus or other type of malware, a manual fix with regedit.exe becomes even harder. These tricky programs like to masquerade as Windows programs and embed their registry entries within the areas reserved for the operating system. In some cases, they even replace the Windows subkeys with their own version of the entry. This usually allows Windows to function unless you remove the entry.
Using Software to Fix the Windows Registry
Instead of going through the tedious, time-consuming, and risk-laden process of using the regedit.exe program to manually fix Windows registry errors and problems, you can save a lot of time and aggravation by allowing specialized software to do the job for you. Registry cleaners can safely fix a damaged Windows registry to restore your computer to an efficient state. Without losing a speck of data or a single update, your machine will run as good as a new one. To prevent Windows registry errors and problems in the first place, download a registry cleaner today to implement a regular maintenance program.