Unable to clean registry?

My sister called me this morning with some computer problems. She said she was trying to uninstall some things, but they wouldn’t go away. It sounded like it was a registry issue, so I took CRC over to clean out her registry.

Not surprisingly, she isn’t very computer savvy and she’s had the computer for around 10 years, CRC found around 3,000 registry issues!

So I told it to clean and let CRC reboot her system. However, after the boot, I didn’t get the expected message saying to make sure everything is functioning and then finalize the process.

I thought this was a bit odd, but I hadn’t actually tried a registry clean with the newest release yet, so maybe it was just a bug.

I looked in her add/remove programs list, and sure enough, there were some applications listed that she had uninstalled. Yet when looking at her HD, there was no trace of these programs. So they had been uninstalled, yet the system still thinks they are there.

I installed Revo Uninstaller and it showed the same items. I installed something, then uninstalled it with Revo. Revo uninstalled the leftover registry keys (at least it said so) but after a reboot, both the systems add/remove programs list and Revo’s showed the application as still being there, yet looking at the HD, there were no folders for that application.

Thinking this was really weird, I rebooted into safe mode and tried CRC again. It found even more errors this time. After cleaning and doing the reboot, CRC again didn’t show me the window I was expecting because it appears that the process wasn’t actually completed, although looking at the add/remove list, some of the programs were actually gone now, but others were still listed.

Thinking this was a CRC issue, I also downloaded Iobit’s Advanced System Care and had the same results.

So it appears that this isn’t just a CRC issue, but does anybody have any idea why you can’t seem to clean the registry on her machine? (Win XP Pro, SP3 32bit)

While I was there, I also installed CIS on her machine, which was entertaining. It reported a conflict with ZoneAlarm (which was uninstalled) and K9, which was installed. I figured it should be OK since ZA wasn’t actually on the machine and K9 should only impact web browsing, so I’d give it a try and see if all went well. System locked up on reboot. So I went into safe mode and uninstalled CIS and K9 with Revo. Rebooted and tried to install CIS again. CIS is already installed, do you want to make changes to the installation now? Clicked Yes, and nothing happens. Reboot to safe mode again and uninstall CIS with Revo again. Reboot, same thing. Safe mode again and run CRC, reboot. Same thing.

So I get on the forum and download Ragwing total CIS unistall and reboot. Now the installer tells me that I have an older version of CIS installed and it must be uninstalled first, and says something about beta… So, back into safe mode to run Ragwings .bat file again. Success!

She now has CIS installed and is liking it so far, but CRC still fails on the registry clean. Anybody have any clue as to what may be going on here?