I suggest creating a System Restore point before CRC cleaning or compacting in case the PC cannot boot normally after cleaning, where Windows offers the option of reverting to the last known-good configuration.
Ah yes create a system restore to use last known good configuration 1 problem my PC still went into an endless lope! Hence me using a restore disc dated 2006 lost my others but hey PC updates correctly now. I will not use the compact feature ever again and urge others to use it with caution I may use the cleanup someday.
I guess the only way to be really safe is to backup the hard disk. Most backup utilities require the user to reinstall Windows before restoration, but I found one that can perform a “bare metal” restore with their supplied boot disk. See http://www.storagecraft.com/products/ShadowProtectDesktop/ Note that a full evaluation or paid license is necessary to do the “bare metal” restore.
Did you read the Registry Cleaner discussion thread at http://aumha.net/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=28099 ?
One pertinent comment is “System Restore does not backup the System Hives. It cannot be used to repair a corrupt System hive. It can only revert changes that were unwise” and that you need to use a utility like erunt to do the backup and restore, at least if there are multiple users…
You can restore the registry to an earlier date by using the free UBCD4Windows CD. This will fix a registry hive error that causes boot problems by restoring the registry to an earlier date prior to the problem. This acts just like System Restore, except it restores the registry. My Sony notebook running XP Home Edition SP3 was dead in the water after compacting the registry to finish out a CRC cleaning and compacting session. The cleaning went great, but the compacting did something to a registry hive. The computer would not boot, even in Safe Mode. I would get a BSOD that stated that a registry hive was corrupted, missing, or overwritten. I was able to research how to fix a damaged registry hive on the Web. I downloaded UBCD4Windows and created an ISO recovery disk after running the UBCD4Windows executable. I booted the Sony laptop up from this disk and then restored the registry to an earlier date prior to the date that I compacted the registry. The laptop booted up correctly after I removed the UBCD4Windows recovery disk.
I have used CRC on three Vista computers to clean and compact the registry. I had to go back and restore the registry from backup on two of them because CRC removed from 1 to 3 registry keys that were relevant to either a program or a printer. I ran CRC again and added these keys to the Ignore List and then removed the remainder of the registry errors without any further problems to programs or hardware. I have now used CRC for 2 weeks on these 3 Vista machines and found it to be very good at cleaning AND compacting the registry, making the machines a little faster. On a machine running XP, I would recommend using CRC to clean the registry, and only compacting if you get a readout from CRC that says it will save you a few percentage points after compacting. I was getting a readout that said that the registry before compacting was something like 49 MB and after compacting was going to be about 1.6 Gig. I should have known that something wasn’t right. This registry size error should alert you to the fact that you definitely should not compact your registry. When choosing to compact the registry on the Vista machines, CRC did not report any size errors, glaring or otherwise after analyzing the registry. It indicated that it was going to safe only a few percentage points after compacting, which is what you should expect, based on the quantity of registry errors that were removed during cleaning.
We are working on ways to further improve CRC and create a very (i mean VERY) safe registry cleaner that does “DEEP” cleaning. is it possible? of course it is… It just needs a lot of geniuses working on it 24 hours a day… and they are! (:NRD)
When we are finished with CRC, I will be able to give it to most novice user and let them clean their registry with no issues at all!! Thats our aim!
If you really want to be in control, then learn c++ and then learn how x86 assembly language work. This will give you a good background on how the Computer works! Then adding any other language will be a piece of cake imo. Once u got all that then write some drivers! You are then in the heart of the OS!!