"Ask Bruce: Your source for answers."
This is the final installment of System Maintenance. I hope that it has been informing and perhaps a little entertaining. Today we will be delving into the deepest, darkest depths of the Windows registry. This one is spicy...proceed at your own risk.
System Maintenance Pt.3
Quite often a program will install itself to run at startup. While this makes it convienent, all of these programs eat up a little bit of memory and steal processor time. On an aging system, this can bring everything to a crawl, not to mention that some of them may be "buggy" and cause crashes to happen. If you've tried everything in the first two guides but there are a few that you just can't seem to get rid of, I may have the solution.
4. Advanced Diagnostics
The registry is where Windows keeps all of it's settings and lots of information about programs you've installed. Here lurks the hidden startup folder that those nasty programs have installed themselves to. To access the registry editor click Start then Run. Here type "regedit" without the quotes of course and hit enter. Up comes the registry editor. WARNING! This is very dangerous! Proceed only if you feel confident in your abilities! Before going any further click Registry at the top, then Export Registry File, call it backup.reg and save it somewhere, like My Documents. One wrong move in here could be very bad. A backup will minimize the danger.
Browse to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run" and "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServices". These are the primary hiding place for those nasty memory hogs. There are a few that should be there. LoadPowerProfile, ScanRegistry, SystemTray, TaskMonitor are all pretty useful (some are necessary) and should be left alone. If you use the Scheduled tasks in Windows leave TaskMonitor, as for the rest if you don't use them, loose them.
To delete the key, just highlight the name, click Edit, then Delete. After making your changes, reboot the system. Notice anything different? If you notice that anything isn't working properly, start the registry editor again and choose Import Registry File from the Registry tab at the top. Find the backup you made earlier and import it. Now reboot and everything should be as it was before. Try again.
I hope that by trying out the the guides, you have a smoother running computer and have learned a few things. Computers are marvelous tools and the limit to thier functionality is nowhere in sight. Because of this facility, their complexity is practically infinite. If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask . I'll answer what I can and lookup what I cannot.