Registry Cleaner Leaves Streaks in Windows

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

Cyber Defender’s low-cost tool does a descent job finding and correcting registry errors in Windows, but isn’t the most robust offering among similar free and commercial software packages.

The typical Windows machine is like a big old house, bound to collect junk and get a little dusty over time. PC security software vendor Cyber Defender is aiming to become that maid for the dusty PC with Registry Cleaner, a utility that throws out the junk and cleans the Windows.

As the name implies, Registry Cleaner cleans the Windows’ registry, which is often a victim of trash and junk piles. Downloading and running the application is a piece of cake and it works quite well. The application performs a scan of the registry, locates errors problems and informs the user of the problems. A simple click makes the problems "go away." The product offers a few nifty features, such as an automatic backup of the registry and an undo capability.

We ran Registry Cleaner on a few different systems running Windows Vista and XP. Every system we tested had some minor problems that Registry Cleaner caught, such as unlinked DLLs, orphaned entries and file association errors. What was really surprising was the products ability to find registry errors on two brand new Windows Vista notebook computers, which were still factory fresh and unused except for the initial boot up. Unfortunately, Registry Cleaner was unable to find and clean up some junk in each system.

We experienced no problems after running the product, in other words, Registry Cleaner never screwed anything up, unlike some of the freeware programs.

That leaves us with one question, is Registry Cleaner worth $30? Sadly, the answer is no, simply because PiriForm’s CCleaner does the job a little better, offers more features and it’s free. CCleaner is not as foolproof as Registry Cleaner and a neophyte can get themselves into a lot of trouble with it. Registry Cleaner works more like a "complete idiot’s guide to the registry."

Registry Cleaner may have its place on the corporate PC, where end users do most of their own minor troubleshooting. But, if a pro is doing the cleanup, CCleaner is probably the way to go.

For solution providers, the argument comes down to how the product will generate profit. As a product sale, solution providers can realize some margin by selling Registry Cleaner in volume into the enterprise. As a tool in the old repair kit, solution providers would be wise to consider a more robust and powerful offering.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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