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How Interpret Registry Issues/Prioritize Fixes

Rob R

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Lately, my PC has been taking longer and longer to boot/startup. Plus, I occasionally run into long pauses in the middle of operations. CCleaner was recommended as part of a solution to these problems. I have already gotten a clean bill of health from Mbam, Spybot Search and Destroy, Windows Malicious software removal utility, and my Trend Micro products.


Yesterday (14 Mar 09) I downloaded, updated, and ran CCleaner. After cleaning up the temp files, I ran the Registry tool. It identified 1,988 registry issues over a number of categories. I selected to fix all issues (making sure to run the backup).


I rebooted only to discover that Win XP SP3 would no longer boot. However, I was able to go into the Safe Mode and merge the backed up issues back into the registry. All seems OK now, except that I still have 1,988 registry issues! The issues are distributed over the issue categories, as follows:


Unused File Extension 497

Missing Shared DLL 482

Uninstaller Reference Issue 382

ActiveX/COM Issue 270

Installer Reference Issue 139

Old Start Menu key 85

Invalid Default Icon 35

Missing TypeLib Reference 34

Open with Application Issue 28

Application Paths Issue 10

Missing MUI Reference 8

Obsolete software key 8

Help File Issue 6

Invalid or empty file class 3

Missing Startup Software 1


My problem is I have no earthly idea of what each of these means and, more to the poijnt, what are the potential side effects in each of these issues. I am no guru. Can someone explain for each of these categories:

1. What is this issue really telling me (please do NOT say. e.g., "Help File Issue is an issue with help files"!)?

2. What facts should I be looking at when making a decision whether or not to "fix" the issue?

3. Are there some categories of issues where you can ALWAYS and WITH total certainty fix the whole lot, with no side effects?

4. Which categories, if any, have a significant effect on boot/startup time (which is the major problem I am having with my PC - often takes it up to 10 minutes to settle down, after which it is quite responsive and peppy).


Having been bit once on CCleaner, I am more hesitant to move ahead with this registry business. I do not think I have enough years of life remaining to fix 1,988 issues, one at a time, and reboot after each fix. I'd sooner put up with the slow boot/restart.


Thanks in advance

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I'm not an expert, but here is the gist of it...


Unused File Extension

These are references in the registry for how to deal with file extensions. When CCleaner determines that it is "unused" it means that it references software that no longer is on your computer, or registry keys that no longer exist.


Missing Shared DLL

Shared DLLs are libraries used by windows programs. When a Shared DLL is missing, the file for that library no longer exists, but is referenced in the registry.


Uninstaller Reference Issue

Installer Reference Issue

These are references in the registry to uninstallers to run when trying to uninstall that program. When this type of problem is detected, that uninstaller no longer exists.


ActiveX/COM Issue

ActiveX, a component object model (COM) developed by Microsoft, runs in Windows environments. I do not know what Kind of issues that CCleaner fixes with this.


Old Start Menu key

Just what it sounds like.


Invalid Default Icon

Just what it sounds like.


Missing TypeLib Reference

The TypeLib table contains the information that needs to be placed in the registry registration of type libraries. CCleaner removes references to non-existent type libraries.


Open with Application Issue

The default application for opening a file type is missing. CCleaner deletes these references.


Application Paths Issue

The application path points to files that do not exist. These references are removed.


Missing MUI Reference

The Windows Multilanguage User Interface (MUI) allows windows to function in multiple languages. I do not know what CCleaner does with these, but it's pretty safe to say that it probably removes references to some sort of missing components or files.


Obsolete software key

These are left behind by removed software, and are simply deleted.


Help File Issue

Probably references to missing help files....


Invalid or empty file class

These are file extension entries that are broken in some way, and are simply deleted.


Missing Startup Software

Software that is slated to start up during boot up or log on is missing.



I hope this is helpful :D

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