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.