Originally Posted by Onegai:
I recently formatted my hard drive. It was a second hand PC so I don’t know when or if it had ever been formatted in the past. Before I formatted; my system registry (This contains all the vital information a pc needs to run) was so overloaded with shit that it was severely compromising my performance. It was so bad that it actually took quite a while to load the fsucking registry in regedit.
Now, as an exercise of curiosity, I decided to track all the programs I installed and check them in the registery after “uninstalling” them. What I found shocked me. Every single program except one little freeware .avi editor I installed and uninstalled left behind keys in my registry. It’s safe to assume that aft uninstalling most software, it leaves behind unwanted shit in the registry. There those keys sit building up like cholesterol around an arterial wall until your computer has a heart attack.
Ok, “use a registery cleaner”, he says. Ha ha ha. Been there, got the fail and aids! A friend of mine used an “install tracker” which supposedly removed useless keys when a program was uninstalled. Guess what? It damaged his registery! I myself have used two different “registery cleaners” and guess what? They both messed up my registry by removing important keys.
It occurred to me though: if some low budget freeware program that was cooked up by some programmer in his spare time can uninstall itself correctly, then why the hell do multi-billion dollar companies struggle so much with a few lines of extra code. Is it that difficult that it hurts their brains? I can’t see it costing them millions either. So is there something we don’t know? How about the cold, hard truth which is they simply don’t care. And why should they? They own the industry.
Okay, now we get to an interesting part in this little fiasco, the proverbial “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. There are many “Shareware” and “Trial” software packages out there the deliberately hide keys in your registry. This is because supposing you download a “14-day trial” version of “Super Ultra Awesome Photomall CF 999” and use it for 14 days before it locks up, you need only uninstall it and re-install it to use it again. Hence the hidden registry keys. These tell the software that the user has used it for 14 days and his “trial has expired”. Now this is a very cunning way of hiding data because looking for a key that has no values that match the manufacturer or software’s name in the registry in like searching for an ant in an ant hive. There are ways around this little vendor’s trick of course; there are ways around everything when it comes to computers.
So what’s the solution to keeping your registry clean? You gotta be kidding me right? There is only one and it requires a large amount of time, effort and understanding of systems that goes way beyond the average “What are all these .dll files, they seem to be wasting space” user. Basically, one has to manually remove the keys by editting the registery – NOT recommended unless you actually know precisely what you’re doing. The best preventative measure is this: Don’t install software unless you think you will actually use it and stay away from things that say “Shareware” or “Trial version”. If you want to download something for free then look for “Freeware” or, if you don’t mind slightly dated stuff, “Abandonware”. Finally, it doesn’t hurt to give your PC a format every now and then (like once a year or so – of course this does depend on how much stuff you install and what you install etc.) even though it is a very lengthy and annoying process.
Well, maybe we’ll see some improvements in the industry in the future… … … …or not.