registry fix or cleaner

Microsoft Microsoft windows xp home edit...
February 24, 2010 at 21:12:54
Specs: Windows XP, don't know
my mom's computer is soooo slow, and she get virtual memory error messages....there used to be a dos command to fix registry but i forgot what it is, and don't know how to do it with xp....also, can anyone recomment a free registry cleaner that is effective? my mom doesn't know computers at all and i'll be telling her what to do over the phone so i need something easy but effective....thanks all

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February 24, 2010 at 21:47:46
kmarie111, careful about using a registry cleaner. Lots of 'registry cleaner' wanabies do more harm than good.
Slowness is one of the more common complaints heard and it can have a number of causes. I'll enumerate a few of the more common and we'll hope that hits you.

Cable access? The number of folks trying to access the net at once can slow things down. Get up in the middle of the night and see if it's faster. If so, learn to love it (the slowness), it's them not you.

Speed depends on memory and a lot of machines are right on the borderline when it comes to meeting required minimums so any added 'memory hog' has an adverse effect. Add memory?
Sorta along those same lines is your startup menu. Lots of software writers think there's no possible way we could exist without their masterpiece so they put it in the startup menu. That usually only causes slow booting, but ... Take a look at what you have running in the background and be sure there aren't extras.

An overzealous firewall reading each item over and over can significantly slow things. Kinda along those same lines are temporary files. Search for *.tmp,*.chk,~*.*, .chk (c/p so there’re no errors) You should only have 1 file containing your currently active files. Delete any others found (tip: select all and delete. It’ll tell you which is active and can’t be deleted.).

A common ailment is a file called 'index.dat'. It gets read every time and can take quite a while if it’s too bloated. It's like a log file and keeps a record of every site you visit on the web. Empty, it's 32K, but it can grow HUGE. It's a protected file and can't be deleted by normal methods. CCleaner (free @: can get rid of it when it’s ticked (not to worry, it gets rebuilt EMPTY on the next boot.). May not be your deal at all, but won’t cause any harm to try. I run it often.
There're others, but those are some of the more common.
Ed in Texas.

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February 24, 2010 at 23:29:13
If you are getting virtual memory error messages then the first thing to do is to fix that which is not hard to do.

Go to Control Panel > System > Advanced. Click the first Settings button under performance. Click Advanced again and Change under Virtual Memory. Make sure is set for System Managed. You need to re-boot for it to take effect.

Make sure you have enough space on drive C: to accommodate the Page file where Virtual Memory is stored. At least twice your installed memory to be on the safe side. Once Virtual Memory is working properly you may find an increase in speed.

I agree on what has been said about registry cleaners. They achieve very little and can do more harm than good. At best they will clean out redundant entries but in reality redundant entries do not slow things down by any appreciable amount.


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February 24, 2010 at 23:48:09
I'd also recommend CCleaner - it's easy and safe to use, plus it's got useful facilities for disabling/removing startup items and a quicker access to Windows 'add/remove programs'. You might also want to look at adding extra memory, it's a relatively cheap, easy fix if there are spare memory slots.

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..."

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