How to Get Rid of Registry Errors

The Windows registry is a very important file in the Windows operating system. Inside it are important settings and information used by the system, as well as other software installed in the computer (In case you want to kick your Windows OS, learn how to get rid of the windows operating system). Also check out types of computer security to learn more about keeping your computer safe!

When this central database gets damaged, it may cause some software to malfunction, or worse, it may even render the whole computer useless since it may fail to boot.

Registry Errors: The Causes

There are a lot of possible causes of registry errors. They may range from simple nag screens to software crashes or unresponsiveness.

Below are some of the most common causes of registry errors:

  • Hard disk errors. Registry errors caused by the hard drive are not that usual, but it may happen. It may be possible that the physical area where the Windows registry is located has been damaged where bad sectors form.
  • Improper shutdowns. When the computer is not shutdown properly, data may not be stored properly on the computer. This data may be the what’s stored in the registry.
  • Buggy Software. Software that is not properly tested or has some unknown bugs may cause registry problems, too. Since third-party software also uses the registry, a bug can erroneously add data to it, making it unstable.
  • Malware. Malware or malicious software may also damage the registry. It may add itself to the registry to enable it to be run automatically, every time the computer is turned on. It may also intentionally delete certain registry entries to avoid detection as well. (Tips on how to get rid of malware)
  • Faulty Uninstall procedures. Sometimes when software is uninstalled from a computer, it ‘forgets’ to remove some or all of its entries in the registry. This may lead to registry bloat, and may eventually slow down or crash the computer when it gets filled with useless entries. (For proper uninstallation procedures, read how to uninstall software)
  • Fragmented Registry. Since the registry is stored on the hard drive, it may also become fragmented over time. When this happens, it takes a lot more time for it to be accessed, and may eventually cause system instability.

Signs and Effects of Registry Errors

You don’t have to use special software to determine if your computer suffers from registry errors. There are telltale signs that will basically let you know of it.

  • Slow computer. A faulty registry may slow down a computer. Invalid entries may consume all system resources and make the computer hang or be unresponsive.
  • Pop up notifications. These notifications are the most obvious signs that the registry has certain problems. These errors are often ignored although.
  • Programs fail to start. Missing registry entries may cause certain software not to start since information is either missing, insufficient, or damaged.

Fixing the Windows Registry: Getting Rid of Registry Errors

The first thing you should do when you have a damaged registry is run registry scanning software. This type of software will check the entire registry and look for possible errors that it will fix. Most programs will remove unrelated entries as well.

Once the errors have been fixed, you will have to create a backup of your registry. Backing it up is quite simple, and will only take a few minutes. You also do not need additional software to do this. Here is how to do it:

  • Click Start, Run, and type “regedit” without the quotes.
  • A window will appear. That is the Windows Registry Editor. Click on File, then Export.
  • A small window will appear, asking you where to save it. Select a location where you will be putting a backup of the registry. It is suggested that it be placed in a separate folder in a different disk.
  • Type in a filename, like “registry_backup” or something similar. Before you click ok, make sure that the part that says “Export Range” has the “All” tickbox checked.

Once you have a backup of your registry, you can do other things like getting rid of other registry errors using your registry scanning software.

Sometimes, registry repair and scanning software is not enough to fix certain registry errors. In cases like these, the best way to fix them is to reinstall the operating system. Reinstalling is something you shouldn’t be afraid of, since you won’t lose your data anyway. Reinstallation of the system simply replaces all the system files of your operating system that may have been deleted, damaged, or replaced. This includes the Windows registry.

However, it is still best if you have a backup of all of your important files and documents.

To do a reinstallation, simply insert the CD of your Windows OS into the drive and restart your computer. Just make sure that your boot priority in your BIOS is set to read your CD / DVD ROM drive first. Refer to your computer’s manual on how to make your optical drive boot first.

Simply follow the instructions, and make sure you select the repair feature. The process may take 30 minutes up to more than an hour to finish depending on the speed of your computer.

Avoiding Registry Errors

Registry errors are very annoying to have, so here are some steps to avoid getting them:

  • Run registry scanners regularly to make sure errors will be immediately corrected.
  • Be careful with the software that you install. Make sure that it comes from a reputable site. Don’t forget to update it to its most recent version as well.
  • Run security software like Antivirus, Antispyware, and Firewall programs and keep them updated. These programs will prevent malware from entering your computer.
  • Defragment your computer regularly so that all your files and the registry run quickly and smoothly. (For more defragmentation tips, see how to get rid of disk fragmentation)

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Nicole Harding

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