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Why did Microsoft add the registry? How do you stop Windows rot?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
That has caused so many issues with Windows.

That and, why can't all those C++ visual bs crap be a windows update instead of a program? I don't like how I have like 11 of those in my programs.

So I want to clean my registry. I have an SSD, does this mean that "Registry Defrags" are bad (like normal defrags?)

This is an app that said it does reg defrags

http://www.registry-clean.net/free-registry-defrag.htm
Edited by Z Overlord - 2/8/11 at 9:46pm
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post #2 of 12
If your registry is on your SSD then a defrag won't do anything helpful, a registry repair program like Auslogics Boostspeed works well but it isn't free...
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
What about ccleaner's registry repair option?
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post #4 of 12
Why do you need to clean the registry? In all honesty as of the later systems registry cleaning is useless. Unless you have an error dealing with the registry then messing with it won't change performance. Your programs won't load faster, you won't boot quicker, and programs won't run any faster either. The registry is a DB, think of an SQL DB, now why does a forum use a DB? Go find that out, then tell me why an OS would want to use a DB. Once you get your answers you'll realize what the registry does, and how cleaning registry files really won't have much of an effect.
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post #5 of 12
you still have to run maintenance on a SQL DB, to keep it in tip top shape, once it grows to x amount of MB's in size, that is why i make money to keep database's running in tip top shape

the windows registry does get bloated, i'm not sure on this one tho, i don't think MS offers any sort of "official" registry optimizing, or windows would have an option built into i believe, or they'd charge you $50 dollars for the program.

from my exp, it is best just to leave the registry alone, unless you know what you are doing, there are a lot of programs out there that claim to optimize and speed up the registry, but that is dangerous in its own right.

the biggest reason for windows slowdowns, is the registry gets "bloated" over time, and windows reads all that when it is booting up, so it takes some time to do it.

if you do decide to get one of the optimizers for the registry, be sure to do your own independent research on it, don't take "customer testimonials" and their own "FAQ" section for reassurance or proof of it working well.
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post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by transhour View Post
you still have to run maintenance on a SQL DB, to keep it in tip top shape, once it grows to x amount of MB's in size, that is why i make money to keep database's running in tip top shape

the windows registry does get bloated, i'm not sure on this one tho, i don't think MS offers any sort of "official" registry optimizing, or windows would have an option built into i believe, or they'd charge you $50 dollars for the program.

from my exp, it is best just to leave the registry alone, unless you know what you are doing, there are a lot of programs out there that claim to optimize and speed up the registry, but that is dangerous in its own right.

the biggest reason for windows slowdowns, is the registry gets "bloated" over time, and windows reads all that when it is booting up, so it takes some time to do it.

if you do decide to get one of the optimizers for the registry, be sure to do your own independent research on it, don't take "customer testimonials" and their own "FAQ" section for reassurance or proof of it working well.
Yeah but they are trying to pull away from relying on the registry bit by bit. Plus, the registry doesn't do generic searches, they are generally specific calls. Such as Current User/Software/Microsoft/Something/Maybe/A/Bit/More ect.... You don't query the entire registry to look for a certain value, it's more like you query specific smaller branches for a known value. File extensions are queried, but the base location is known, so there isn't much searching. They don't use it in the same way as a server DB does.

Anyone (IMO) worth a hill of beans in computer repair will tell you that cleaning the registry on a machine post WinXP is pointless. Both Vista/Win7 don't need registry cleaning unless their is an error/problem. I've yet to see an article that has any fact or proof otherwise.

[edit]
http://lifehacker.com/5033518/debunk...tweaking-myths
Good read, suggest you read it.

[final cut] Not to say they are useless, but unless you need extra KB in space than they really are useless. They are great for those situations where a program has specifically mucked up the registry, but anything else is a placebo effect.

[edit3]
http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/2568...pagelocklimit/

A great example of the placebo effect on an "experienced worker".

Code:
By: Cossacco
I even took time to register on this forum - I had to reply in this thread. Its so wrong.


It's always funny for me to see how loads philosophers take tweaks, analyse them with their philosophical methods, find a problem, then proove this problem and finally - shout out loud that a tweak is a fake. Without giving it a good try.

In fact, I have a completely different view on IoPageLockLimit. After using and trying many others also, I can even say that its probably the best Windows XP tweak out there.



If you think Im overconfident, then think twice, because im not only confident, but betting my hand on this tweak. I used it on various PC's for last 4 years. Starting with a PII 350 / 512 RAM, thru PIII 1000 with 384, then Athlon 3200+ with 1GB, Athlon 2000+ and 512, and a couple others. It always works. It makes an instant feeling that system is managing the memory in better way. Applications load faster, HDD browsing is quicker and RAM is never getting stuck, always perfectly unloaded when applications are stopped. Without any doubts, I can say that this tweak made that PII 350 able to be a workstation. Slow, but it was really fine for basic work.


I recommend this tweak to every XP user on any machine, but make sure to pick the right value for it. I dont recommend using the values from applications like TuneXP or whatever. They are too high and will make your system work even worse. Good value in this tweak is the key to its own value...
Further down you'll get this in a post by Schloss:

Code:
Quote
IoPageLockLimit

This registry key isn't used in Windows 2000 Datacenter Server and is no longer used in Windows 2000 starting with Windows 2000 Service Pack 1
Source: Inside Windows, Third Edition, chapter 7: Memory Management
I should clarify, the source Inside Windows, was created by actually looking at the WinXP base code. These guys have the answer, the absolute answer. It's not used in the code, it's not used in the OS. A lot of tweaks die off, or things change to the point of the advice being useless. This happens ALL the time, yet Enthusiasts keep doing it because it "feels" better. This is done whether or not real performance is gained, but they pass the knowledge on because that's what they do. It's wrong, it's dumb, it's one of the downfalls of PC repair. A lot of PC repair shops do things that aren't needed, old techniques, old procedures. Honestly, I don't understand how you people can be an enthusiast and not understand how the Registry works. lsajfasd;ljasd;lfjasdlf; It's a freaking simple DB, it boggles my mind.

[edit4?]

I didn't want to post this, but it actually was better than I expected.
http://www.pcdisorder.com/2008/10/pc...-cleaners.html
http://www.knowthenetwork.com/2009/0...stry-cleaners/
http://www.windowsbbs.com/windows-xp...-cleaners.html

http://www.google.com/search?client=...cb6979649afcb0

I decided you can just search google yourself, it's much easier and I don't have to continue to read and find valid points/links.
Edited by mushroomboy - 2/6/11 at 10:40am
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post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well then what causes Windows rot? I thought it was the registry
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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Z Overlord View Post
Well then what causes Windows rot? I thought it was the registry
Most windows slowdowns are caused by the poor filesystem management. Fragmentation is terrible with Windows, even with the "new" file system of NTFS. They need to re-design the entire FS from scratch and implement it in a way that actually works. That's what causes most of your "lag" from the system, not added registry entries. In fact, anything added to your system after install shouldn't (key shouldn't) effect main system performance. All system keys are added during install and don't really change (unless you change them) but even so the keys already take up the allotted space and don't fragment. So no performance hit from reading the non-fragmented file.

Now you might think, but what about searching? Well if you know how a btree works it's something like this:

Code:
       _A1
   A_-= B1
/-=  -=_C1
        D1

Root/A/A1
        _A3
   A2_-= B3
A1-=  -=_C3
         D3


From Root/A/A1/A2/B3
        _A5
   A4_-= B5
B3-=  -=_C5
         D5
You get the naming scheme? When you go down a sub branch you increase the sub number, such as Ax, so sub level 2 has A2 from the corisponding master branch (X1). With this you can get absolute locations.

Lets say I want to know a specific data that's held in the entry Root/A1/B2 called YouCanReallyDoThis. I don't know the sub branch after that, but I do know that B2 contains a branch specific to the application name ThisIsHowItIsDone. So I now know that I need to search Root/A1/B2/ThisIsHowItIsDone for a sub branch containing YouCanReallyDoThis. That's searching a specific btree branch, because I know where the linkers go I don't have to search the entire btree (Root). I can keep track of this internally.

So lets say Root/A1/B2 holds the data for ALL the installed programs after the system was set up. If I wanted to search for a registry entry pertaining to a user application without knowing the application name I can still cut out well over half my search requirements by just searching the proper sub branch, Root/A1/B2.

Now, how does this pertain to the real registry? Well lets see shall we? Where is user application data stored?

HKEY_LACAL_MACHINE/Software/<name>

That's EXACTLY how they do it, and EXACTLY why they have a registry. You can store machine specific information there, serial keys, registration information, multiple accounts (different user account information), all in a single "btree" example. This makes it much easier for retrieving that information, as it's a large organized data file.

Does that help understand how cleaning the registry is mainly pointless. Unless what your cleaning is related to the system tasks or applications that you have running (background or foreground) it's a waste of time.

[edit]
Fixed the btee crap.

If you know what your searching for and where it makes things extremely easy to find. Here is a test/proof of concept. Search the entire registry for a specific key word or phrase. Now notice how long it takes to search the entire registry and find all the related hits. Now got to a specific branch, sub branch, and search a key related to that specific branch. This can be done in a game branch, such as

hkey_local_machine/software

and search for call of duty

How long does that take? Instant? Now what if we refine that more and search:

hkey_local_machine/software/Activision?

hkey_local_machine/software/Activision/Call of Duty Black Ops?

You see where this is going? You could even make it quicker by loading a programs related registry keys into memory when they are ran, so that you don't even have to read from the hard drive. Oh wait, but that would make it even FASTER.

Yes, yes it would be that simple.
Edited by mushroomboy - 2/9/11 at 4:30pm
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
So why doesn't MS use a newer file system? I see Linux OS's support very modern and efficient file systems all the time.
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post #10 of 12
We don't know why MS chooses to use some pretty crappy standards. Most people don't realize how old NTFS really is... It's been around since 1993, 18 years ago. EXT gets updated constantly, hence why we have EXT, EXT2, EXT3, and now EXT4. I say that because it's the general Linux file system, while there are others it is accepted widely as a standard.

Now the main problem with NTFS isn't the actual file system, it's how Windows (Microsoft) has decided to implement certain practices. One of them being you always defrag putting your files at the front of the drive. Linux doesn't do this so much, or at least no intentional defrag. That's one of the reasons people say Windows fragments, because defragmenting a drive actually causes internal fragmentation.

http://serverfault.com/questions/230...-in-sql-server

This becomes a problem, I'll explain in visual again (I like visual explanations). Lets take a file, It's got 7 parts (notes hehe), ABCDEFG. The normal order is ABCDEFG, oh wait but it's split like this:

AB CDE F G

Now, you can't move AB or CDE, but you can move F and G. Unfortunately the defrag program doesn't know this, so you get it like this:

ABFCDEG

What's wrong with that? How could that impact file performance, or even registry performance? Now you start to see the real problem. THIS can affect registry performance, and can even be done with registry cleaners as an unwanted side effect.

Lets say the registry has keys ABCDEFG in order (yeah, repeating the same letters) and you want to remove some unwanted ones. After running the registry cleaner, you get this:

AB DE G

Now when you input new registry keys, no matter the location, the file contents might get filled like this:

ABHDEJG

That becomes a problem, because in order for the system to get to H it has to go a longer route. Technically it knows to search the end of the file (H-J), but that end now is starting between B and D. This is what internal fragmentation is, when data chunks aren't continuous through out the section of blocks it is occupying. In order to get rid of internal fragmentation you need to re-write the database. Unfortunately you can't with the registry, so you are stuck. That's why they say it's better not to run registry cleaners. This affects ALL files, which becomes a huge problem.

If you know how a disc reads then you know how this is a problem. In order for a standard drive (non-SSD) to read that data it has to do one revolution to read ABDEG (back to the example, but not the registry itself) and then make a complete second revolution of the disc to read H and then J.

This is why they talk about fragmentation being bad, cause generally when files are fragmented across the disc the drive has to do that anyways. However, they don't talk to you about how the windows defrag utils cause internal fragmentation which leads to severe slowdown in a lot of areas.

Honestly if you want to know about this you need to read up on how a disc reads data, how the registry works, how file fragmentation of any form can hinder performance. You can't just assume that people know what they are talking about, because generally they don't. That includes me too.

[edit] IMHO there is a huge difference between a Power User/Enthusiast and somebody who really understands how the system works. I've found it more that the general Power User/Enthusiast doesn't actually know squat on how the internals of the system work.

With that said, I don't want to offend anybody specifically, but there are a LOT of people who give advice that probably shouldn't be.
Edited by mushroomboy - 2/9/11 at 9:53pm
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