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Jan 4, 2009

Upgrade Windows

Upgrade Windows XP
If you upgrade it would be a very good choice: it would speed it up, but you should use the free tools windows have, such as disk cleanup, disk defragmenter, get a registry cleaner and use scandisk to fix errors that can cause slow boot time, just for the basics. The list of such programs builds up over time and we need a windows registry cleaner to clean the registry of these redundant files and programs.
Besides finding incorrect or obsolete information in the registry, most registry cleaner utilities provide backup or restore function, allowing users to backup the whole Windows Registry so that they can use the backup to restore the registry to the current status in case they encounter serious system failure.

This information is recorded in the registry and needs to be cleaned with a windows registry cleaner regularly. The investment in a good registry cleaner can do the most good for your computer, as it will allow you to concentrate on actually using your PC instead of spending time reinstalling windows in an attempt to eliminate errors and make your computer faster.

Sometimes using the System Restore feature in Windows can fix problems, so for the less technically experienced this might be the more painless route to go if the above scanning solutions don't work and you don't want to play around with the registry.
If you are having problems in running any particular task or program, try bringing up the Windows Task Manager screen by pressing the Ctrl (control), Alt and Delete buttons at the same time, and check to see if you are running any programs that you did not actual start or do not recognize.
Given that scenario, it is not a stretch of the imagination but in fact a point of logic to conclude that the broken windows theory should be applied to business, as it was to the problems of crime in urban areas.

The windows registry often encounters problems, but it is programmed to automatically back up essential data that can be restored automatically at a later time when a critical error manifests itself. Registry cleaner software not only scans and fixes Windows Registry, but also provides advanced diagnostics tools for locating serious computer problems before they happen.

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Jan 1, 2009

Cleaning Disk Drives

How to Clean Disc Drives

When your CD or DVD (disc) drive starts giving you problems, your first thought may be to replace it or take it to the repair shop, but a good cleaning may be all it needs.

Below are three methods to clean the disc drive. The easiest method is the least effective.

The hardest method is the most effective. Since the hardest method takes some time to do, I recommend that you start with the easiest method. If it solves your problems, congratulations. If not, try the next method.

The Cleaner Disc method - this, the easiest method, uses a special cleaner disc which can be purchased in computer stores. The disc usually comes with a little bottle of cleaner solution.
Apply a few drops of the solution to the disc and insert it in the disc drawer (be sure to read and follow the instructions that come with the cleaner disc). The drive will turn the disc and clean the lens. Unfortunately, this only works adequately about half the time.

The Cleaning Stick method - this is what I do in desperation when the cleaner disc does not work and I don't want to disassemble the drive.
Since all that is needed (at least in my mind this is true) is a little more pressure applied to the lens, I start out in search of a thin, flexible stick of some type which is at least six inches long. It should not have sharp or rough edges that would scratch the lens. Next, get a soft, thin cloth and put water or rubbing alcohol in the middle of it.
Place one end of the stick under the wet part of the cloth and slide it into the opened disc drawer. The goal is to rub the wet cloth on the lens to clean it. Do not apply so much pressure that you will scratch and ruin the lens. Also try blowing into the disc drive to remove any dirt that may have accommulated in it. If you do not succeed at this, proceed to the next method.

The Disassembly method - this method should work but it requires you to disassemble the drive. So if you are not comfortable with taking the drive apart, please take it to a computer repair shop and let them do it.

Take the cover off your computer, unplug the cords from the back of the disc drive, remove any screws holding it in, and slide it out (you may need to remove the face plate on the end of the drawer to get the drive out). Remove the screws in the drive housing and take the cover off.
The bottom side of the drive is a circuit board, so if that is what you see when you take the cover off, figure out how to access the other side. On the correct side, you should see a lens that runs on a track (there is no harm in moving the lens along the track but do not touch the lens itself). Use a wet, soft cloth to clean the lens.

Sometimes a disc drive malfunctions because there is too much dust or debris in it, so be sure to clean out the inside with either compressed air, a soft cloth, or a cotton swab. Reassemble the disc drive, put it back in the computer case, and cross your fingers. Hopefully, it will work when you turn on the computer.

If these methods work, you just saved yourself some money. If not, you needed a better disc drive anyway.

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Dec 25, 2008

Cleaning Registry

How to Clean the Registry

In the beginning Windows' registry consisted of two files totalling around 5mb in size. Today it consists of at least 12 files with the Software file itself being 30mb or bigger in size. As the size of the registry has exploded, so has the trash and clutter in it. It may seem like a daunting task, but cleaning the registry properly can fix system problems, speed your computer up, and make it run more efficiently. I have spent many years developing and refining thousands of procedures to do just that. I could share these methods of hunting down the trash with you and let you find them and delete them by hand, but if you were to sit down at your computer right now and work nonstop, you would still be busy with them a week from now when the next issue of Ray's Computer Tips arrives. By then your registry would have new clutter and you would have to start all over again. To make registry cleaning easier on everyone, I wrote a program called RegVac Registry Cleaner ( to perform those procedures. It has been so successful that several companies have asked me to model their registry cleaners after RegVac and even more have copied processes that first debutted in RegVac. The first place RegVac cleans is the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT section (the Classes Vac in RegVac does this). This section contains settings for the classes of Windows. Think of a huge box full of snakes and you will get an idea of how complicated and interwoven it is. It is so complicated that many registry cleaners bypass it or simply perform surface scans of it. RegVac uses over a hundred processes to follow each tentacle of each class deep into this area and make sure that they abide by the rules. Next RegVac validates the entries in 22 lists with 7 different methods (the FilesList Vac does this). This is a minor part of RegVac but the bulk of most other registry cleaners even though they usually do not clean all 22 lists. Another part of RegVac, the Software Vac, which is unique to RegVac, finds old software sections in the registry and provides a way to remove that software's entire branch. Other registry cleaners only remove a few entries in this area often leaving huge portions of the registry that do nothing but take up space and get in the way. Even more trash can be discovered in hundreds of stashes used to store data you will never use. Most registry cleaners do not even touch these. The Stash Vac lists these stashes and lets you go through and select which ones to empty out. Please use caution when using the Stash Vac because some of the items listed there may be important. For example, one folder in the Stash Vac lists places where data for international keyboards are stored. You probably will never use the data for Bulgarian keyboards, so you can remove it, but if you live in the US you may experience problems after removing the United States 101 keyboard. The items that you can safely remove are usually obvious. Last but not least, when cleaning the registry, you should look for broken links to files on the computer (this is what the Bad Link Vac does). If a file is referenced in the registry but it does not exist on your hard drive, that is a good indicator that something is wrong. Many programmers start out writing a registry cleaner thinking all it has to do is check for these broken links and remove them. In fact, that is all many registry cleaners do. Even though that is all they do, they often don't do it correctly. If you check the results of such scans, you will find out that many of the broken links are really good links. I spent several months refining this part of RegVac so that as far as I know it is 100% accurate. Despite this, please realize that some software enter broken links in the registry and require them to be there in order for them to run. RegVac skips the ones it knows about, but you still need to be careful with this part of RegVac. RegVac has six more tools that clean even more areas: the Add/Remove Editor, the System Config Utility, the OpenWith Editor, the AutoComplete Editor, the Junk Keys Editor, and Registry Backup, Pack, and Restore. Many of you already use RegVac but if you don't, you can downloaded a free 30 day trial of RegVac at For more information about RegVac Registry Cleaner go to If you like RegVac, you can purchase it for only $29.95. All future updates are free. Keep the Windows registry clean and running smoothly with RegVac Registry Cleaner.

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