Registry Problem Resolution: What Software Can Help?

by Rod Dunne on September 7, 2010

in Articles, Registry Cleaners Articles, Tips and Tools

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This post shows how to fix PC errors relating to registry problems by using online PC repair services (Reimage) and by using Windows own utilities.

Windows Registry Problem Types

There can be a huge number of reasons for registry problems: virus damage and lost/damaged keys when installing or removing a program are two of the most common. The important thing about the registry file is that you should avoid editing it manually at all costs as you can never be sure what shared settings you could be affecting.

  • Start by running an anti-virus scan to resolve the Windows registry problem. Alternatively, removing the suspected faulty applications may also reset damaged key settings.
  • If this fails then your next option is to resort to (a) registry cleaners or (b) the System Restore tool to fix registry problem.

Automated Repairs/Registry Cleaners

There are plenty of registry repair tools around these days (e.g. Registry Easy or XP Repair Pro) that can find a problem with registry files and attempt the repairs. These tools also optimize key settings to speed up Windows performance. Our article on the three best registry cleaner utilities provides a good comparison of the best programs.

Using Windows Restoration Tools

Ever since XP, Microsoft has been including the System Restore tool with OS releases. It doesn’t so much fix a problem with registry files as overwrite system files with a previous healthy snapshot (undoing the changes to the files).

The restore points (snapshots) are made on a frequent basis, for example when new applications are installed and Windows Update is executed. The snapshot includes the registry file, protected OS programs and some third-party applications and is stored to the hard disk. Snapshots versions are kept by date of creation.

The snapshot does not include any of your personal documents (i.e. My Documents) so these will be unaffected by the restoration process.

However, customizations you have made to applications since the snapshot may be lost or cause some odd application problems (e.g. browsers losing add-on setting changes). As a result, the tool should only really be used in emergency circumstances after scans for viruses, removing faulty programs and other avenues have been attempted.

You can run the program as follows to fix registry problem:

  1. Go to the Start menu, Search box and enter system restore. Older systems can find the tool in the Programs > Accessories > System Tools folder.
  2. Choose the option to ‘Restore my computer to an earlier time’. Click the Next button.
  3. In the calendar, pick a recent day prior to the registry problem occurring. This snapshot of files will be the one restored. Click the Next button.
  4. The computer will restart with the restored system files. With a bit of luck, your Windows registry problem will be fixed.

Registry problems have as many causes as they have solutions. Hopefully, the options above provide a reliable course of action to help resolve your issues.

Related posts:
How to reboot your computer
Top three computer optimizer utilities.

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