Last time we discussed how an overheating CPU (central processing unit) or GPU (graphical processing unit) could potentially lead to a slow computer. Additionally, we looked at how to repair a computer’s overheating CPU and repair a computer’s overheating GPU. The main ways were to remove dust from within your PCs case as well as to see if a heat sink was properly attached. Generally speaking, Computer Repair Vancouver recommends that you take your machine into a technical support shop if any major problems are found. Messing with your CPU or GPU can lead to potential problems – particularly a fried chip.

Today we are going to discuss how registry problems can cause a slow computer. We will begin our discussion by looking at what the Windows registry is. We will then proceed to explain ways to deal with a potentially corrupt or bloated registry.

The Windows Registry

Most of you have probably heard of the Windows registry before; however, many may not know exactly what it is. We here at Computer Repair Vancouver tend to think of it as Window’s own private diary. See, the Windows registry is a special, somewhat hidden, database which your operating system (some flavor of Microsoft Windows – XP, Vista, or 7) uses to keep track of important stuff. What exactly is considered important stuff? Well it keeps track of:

  • Software application (program) settings and information
  • Drivers settings and information
  • User interface settings and information
  • Kernel settings and information
  • Service settings and information
  • A bunch of other low-level stuff

As you can see, the Windows registry is a very important part of the Windows operating system. There are a couple potential problems with the registry.

  1. Malicious code can manipulate the registry and allow viruses and malware to run rampant (leading to a slow computer). Generally, antivirus and anti-malware programs can deal with this potential problem.
  2. Over time, the registry can become bloated with unused registry elements (pairs of keys and values). There is debate within the professional ranks as to whether this is a problem or not. We here at Computer Repair Vancouver aren’t certain whether a registry cleaner will or will not help you; however, we are going to discuss it for brevities sake anyways.

Repair a Computers registry

When we talk about repairing a computer’s registry, we are most often referring to the concept of cleaning a computer’s registry – getting rid of unused and unwanted registry entries. How would you do that? Computer Repair Vancouver prefers CCleaner, created by the fine folks at Piriform. Now before we discuss how to use CCleaner we have to reiterate that manipulating the registry, even with a professionally produced program, can potentially lead to serious consequences. This is why we recommend you start out by:

  1. Backing up all of your data
  2. Backing up your registry (CCleaner can do this for you – read on)

If you are till hesitant to deal with the registry then we advise you not to proceed. In such a case it may be better to take your PC into a computer repair shop. Reputable stores will make sure to back up all of your data before they proceed – just in case anything goes wrong.

Anyways, if you wish to proceed and clean your registry with CCleaner then follow these steps:

  1. Head over to the Piriform website to download CCleaner.
  2. Install the program
  3. Open up CCleaner and click on the Registry tab on the left
  4. Click on the Scan for Issues button
  5. Uncheck whatever items you don’t wish to delete. Computer Repair Vancouver typically leaves everything as is.
  6. Click on Fix Selected Issues.
  7. Make sure to say Yes when CCleaner asks if you want to back up your registry. This is important since it will allow you recover your current settings in case anything happens to go wrong.
  8. Save the registry backup somewhere easy to find (we generally prefer the desktop)
  9. If you wish to go through each individual registry issue then click the Fix Issue button. If you want to accept all the registry changes then hit Fix All Selected Issues (this is what we generally do).
  10. Click the close button.

If you ever notice any problems after having cleaned your registry, it is generally wise to return it to its state before you ran CCleaner. How would you do this?

  1. Go to the backup file created in step 8 (just above)
  2. Right click on this file and select Merge.
  3. Your registry will now be back to the state it was in before running CCleaner.

What’s next?

If, after having run the registry cleaner your computer is still experiencing slowness then you may also want to try CCleaner’s file cleaning abilities (which gets rid of temporary, no longer needed, files). As a precautionary note, before you do anything here make sure to back up your important data.

In order to clean temporary files from your computer:

  1. Open CCleaner once more.
  2. Click on the Cleaner tab located on the left side of the window
  3. Click the Analyze button
  4. Click Run Cleaner.
  5. State Ok (meaning that it is ok to delete these temporary files)
  6. Let CCleaner clean your temporary files

If your computer remains slow after having gone through all nine of our steps (reread any of our previous articles on repairing a slow computer if need be) then you may need to send your PC into a computer repair shop. In most cases, one of the problems we have talked about is the root cause of a slow computer. However, there are times when strange problems can cause slowness. As a result, the average computer user will be unable to fix his or her own issues.

We have basically finished our thorough analysis regarding how to repair a slow computer. However, visit Computer Repair Vancouver soon as we will be wrapping up our discussion and looking at a few odd and ends.