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Registry Cleaner Review and Performance Comparison Study

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Re: Registry Cleaner Review and Performance Comparison Study

Postby jmhonzell » Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:24 pm

I don't claim to understand hive construction, but based on the testing I did, compaction (versus defragmentation) is a re-write of the registry during the reboot, before the registry is actually loaded by windows. Compaction is a "simplification" in the construction of the registry by removing duplicated entries and providing links (indexing) to common entries instead. It is actually a windows function called by the external program and results in something akin to:

Before
Before.JPG
Before.JPG (16.42 KiB) Viewed 1582 times

After
After.JPG
After.JPG (9.23 KiB) Viewed 1581 times


Where Key->Data->Value are a common entry to each folder.
(Okay, I got my Key->Value->Data in the wrong order, but the idea is the same.)

The resulting change in the number of registry entries can be phenomenal (although it will appear as before with an editor), but the change in actual registry size is typically about a 10% reduction. (The first time this is performed.) There is a slight increase in the time required for a registry search due to the processing of the new links. All folders still exist, so the search is still processing all the same information. (The change in processing time can not normally be detected by the user.)

I do not believe these external programs (ie. JV16 PowerTools) actually write their own compaction routine. (That would likely conflict with recognized registry structure when completed.)

For more details, read: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc750583.aspx, (especially Registry Optimizations section)
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Re: Registry Cleaner Review and Performance Comparison Study

Postby redseujac » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:06 pm

jmhonzell wrote:...I do not believe these external programs (ie. JV16 PowerTools) actually write their own compaction routine. (That would likely conflict with recognized registry structure when completed.)

Our developer has never pretended that, on the contrary he has always admitted it works with a Windows API call.
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Re: Registry Cleaner Review and Performance Comparison Study

Postby jv16 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:33 pm

jmhonzell wrote:It is actually a windows function called by the external program and results in something akin to:
...
I do not believe these external programs (ie. JV16 PowerTools) actually write their own compaction routine. (That would likely conflict with recognized registry structure when completed.)


This is correct. Registry compaction can be made using a custom compaction routine, that is, by directly manipulating the registry storage files. But I don't think any program does this, and it would be very risky operation to do and against recommendations of Microsoft.

Instead, the registry compaction basically means that a program calls Windows API calls that ask Windows to first dump the contents of the registry to a file, and then read it back. This causes the registry database to be rewritten and all unneeded slack data is removed.

It's basically a very simple operation. As far as I can tell, the only differences in this can be made by doing the registry compaction in different phases. For example, doing the compaction before Windows starts seems to give different (usually better) results than doing it when Windows is already running normally. I can't say why this happens, though.
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Re: Registry Cleaner Review and Performance Comparison Study

Postby jmhonzell » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:01 pm

redseujac wrote:Our developer has never pretended that, on the contrary he has always admitted it works with a Windows API call.

Well, I apologize for making this sound like a trivial Windows function. It is not. Nor was I implying that JV16 PowerTools, or any other vendor, is providing a tool that any user can perform from the command-line. It must be accessed through coded APIs and cannot (to my knowledge) be accessed from a command-line expression. (Believe me, I've tried. While regedit can export and import the hive, it is not anything close to a compaction performed outside of the windows environment.) As jv16 stated, the best compaction occurs if performed before windows start up. (The tests I performed provide results that back this up.)

Instead, I was attempting to explain how the hive structure looked before and afterwards to show that while the registry is left smaller in size, a scan of the registry still processed all the same information resulting in no change to the time required to resolve a registry inquiry. (Which I think was the answer to siliconman01's question.) My example is extremely simplified, so I provided a link to a better understanding of the hive structure.

If you read my review (viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3990), you will see that I thought registry compaction had one of the most signicant effects on registry structure improvement. But, it seldom provided any improvement in the time required to process the registry. Compaction prior to windows start up is a very desired tool for the toolbox.
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Re: Registry Cleaner Review and Performance Comparison Study

Postby redseujac » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:52 pm

jmhonzell wrote:...Compaction prior to windows start up is a very desired tool for the toolbox.

That's precisely what happens with the Registry Compactor now in the newest builds of jv16 PowerTools 2010 beta for Win7 x64 and can be choosen for x86 (if I'm not wrong).
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Re: Registry Cleaner Review and Performance Comparison Study

Postby jv16 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:12 pm

redseujac wrote:
jmhonzell wrote:...Compaction prior to windows start up is a very desired tool for the toolbox.

That's precisely what happens with the Registry Compactor now in the newest builds of jv16 PowerTools 2010 beta for Win7 x64 and can be choosen for x86 (if I'm not wrong).


You are correct, the feature is also available for 32 bit Windows.
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Re: Registry Cleaner Review and Performance Comparison Study

Postby 212eta » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:51 pm

Now, that jv16 PowerTools 2010 is finally released,
I hope the New Registry Test will Not take that long...
Right???
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Re: Registry Cleaner Review and Performance Comparison Study

Postby jv16 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:27 pm

212eta wrote:Now, that jv16 PowerTools 2010 is finally released,
I hope the New Registry Test will Not take that long...
Right???


By us? It will take a while, the testing itself will be a good two-three day job for one person. I hope we could start it in next week, but lets see. We also need to update PowerTools Lite.
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Registry Cleaner Review and Performance Comparison Study

Postby 212eta » Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:38 pm

I'll be looking forward to your Next Registry Test!!!

By the way, jv16 PT 2010 is GREAT!!!
Congratulations!!!
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Re: Registry Cleaner Review and Performance Comparison Study

Postby jv16 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:12 pm

212eta wrote:I'll be looking forward to your Next Registry Test!!!

By the way, jv16 PT 2010 is GREAT!!!
Congratulations!!!


Thank you! I am also looking forward the new test. I hope we will get it done soon, I'll probably do the test with Hukka.
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Re: Registry Cleaner Review and Performance Comparison Study

Postby 212eta » Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:08 pm

Any news on the Upcoming "Registry Cleaner Review and Performance Comparison Study"?
Is there any progress on it?
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Re: Registry Cleaner Review and Performance Comparison Study

Postby jv16 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:37 am

I have been busy with fixing PowerTools 2010, I hope to find some time to do the new study soon. It will take me about one weekend to do from start to finish.
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Re: Registry Cleaner Review and Performance Comparison Study

Postby jv16 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:27 pm

We have now started to do the new study, you can read more from: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4229
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Re: Registry Cleaner Review and Performance Comparison Study

Postby Doodle76 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:05 pm

I have used and tried many registry cleaners, and jv16 is my all time favorite. It has a great interface that is quick and easy to navigate yet has a host of useful features and utilities. It is too bad more software does not have this level of comprehensive quality.

My biggest concern with registry cleaners is removing false positives that may damage applications and/or systems. I am quite conservative in using registry cleaners. I look at every entry before making any deletions. Of course if there are thousands of “errors”, I haven’t the time to look at all of these, so I abort any “fixes” – “do no harm” is my motto.

About the only time I have experimented with wholesale fixes is on systems that have been trashed and need a re-installation anyway. In most cases fixing the thousands of “errors in the registry” makes no difference and a re-installation is needed. There have been a handful of computers however, that a wholesale fix of thousands of “errors” make the system usable again. That was surprising and intrigued me. I still wouldn’t trust those systems, but the positive change makes me wonder what was fixed.

As a techie, I have seen thousands of desktop of “ordinary users” and there are only two registry cleaners I have seen installed on some of these computers – ccleaner and regcure – nothing else. Us geeky types may try many others but these are the only two I have seen in large numbers in the wild. I have seen many damaged systems in my travels and I often wonder whether these two registry cleaners are the causes of some of the issues on these computers. Ccleaner is reportedly very safe and conservative in its registry cleaning but I still wonder if the damage I have seen was caused by this (applications no longer working requiring re-installation, applications loosing their product key activation, cannot install printers, freezes and lockups).

I would be interested in knowing how the jv16 staff attempts to avoid application and system damage from jv16 ”registry cleaning” with the following comments - obtained on the web - in mind:

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic121827.html

Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable.

Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.

Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.

Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.

The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.


Wikipedia DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Registry_cleaner
There are a number of problems with the concept of a registry cleaner. Most notably, there is no reliable way for a program to know whether any particular key is 'junk' or not. Windows is closed source, so registry cleaner designers can not know for sure whether any particular key is still being used by Windows or what detrimental effects removing it may have; leading to examples of registry cleaners causing loss of functionality and, potentially, system instability. Many registry cleaners advertised are rogue software, often appearing with a website saying something similar to "Performance Scan Results: Bad. You need a registry cleaner"
With regards to performance, while on Windows 9x computers, it is possible that a very large registry could slow down the computer's startup time; memory management and on-disc structure of the registry is entirely different on the NT line of Operating Systems (including Windows XP and Vista). Slowdown due to registry bloat is thus far less of an issue in modern versions of Windows. More importantly, however, the difference in speed due to the use of a registry cleaner is negligible: rarely do they remove more than a few kilobytes from the total size of the registry. In fact, technology journalist Ed Bott has claimed that no-one has ever successfully managed to measure any significant performance increase from the use of a registry cleaner. Any potential user of a registry cleaner must thus balance a probably negligible performance increase against a non-zero possibility of system instability.
Lastly, Microsoft does not advocate the use of these tools through its support website.
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Re: Registry Cleaner Review and Performance Comparison Study

Postby jv16 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:21 pm

Doodle76 wrote:I would be interested in knowing how the jv16 staff attempts to avoid application and system damage from jv16 ”registry cleaning” with the following comments - obtained on the web - in mind:


Safety is and has always been our number one priority, there is just no idea in registry cleaning if it can cause problems when the idea is to solve problems.

We tackle the problem by using numerous independent safety features to check and double check everything the Registry Cleaner does looks to be safe to do. Another thing is that we test, and test, and test our engine. A regular test run feeds hundreds of thousands of registry data to the engine, and the engine must be able to analyze the data with 0% false positives, every single time.

I understand why many people have started not to recommend the use of a registry cleaner product: there is so much nonsense and low quality on the market. And there little to no real comparisons between these products. That's why we do some testing (http://www.macecraft.com/registry_cleaner_comparison2/) and the results are usually just horrific, most of the tested products either don't do a thing, or are so dangerous to use they will cause more problems than what they can solve. And no product (except for jv16 PowerTools) can actually fix registry errors, all these so called fixing products do is delete data, which is absurd.
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