I believe Microsoft put a time-delayed bomb into its operating system by including Registry there. No, I’m not going to discuss its structure here – it’s out of the scope of this article. What I feel important to be revealed is that the word Registry has become a dreaded notion among millions of users. I bet you’ve seen people pleading for help on forums: “My Windows registry is corrupted!”, “there’s some error in the registry”, “how can I clean up the registry?” Probably you faced similar problems yourself.
So, what’s that poor Windows Registry that people talk so much about?
Windows registry itself consists of several files, which contain loads of important information, I mean – very important. Registry is the matrix of Windows, it contains all paths to all files, links, shortcuts, descriptions of operations to be executed, Internet connection settings, Network settings, and much more information needed for Windows system performance. In short, you never see working Windows without healthy registry. In other words, corrupt registry means corrupt Windows. Period.
Sadly, there’s NO computer running Windows that has error-free registry. Because the latter contains tons of records, it is very easy to make some change to it – via installing or uninstalling program, or simply running any application. Depending on how properly a program is coded, and we know most programs are not bugs-free, it can break, change or remove some entry from the Windows registry. It happens every day, but, luckily, not every change is mortal to Windows.
However, with the time going by, different users running different programs and performing various actions on a computer make those changes pile up until they reach certain “peak” when Windows starts behaving oddly. Say, it refuses to load Internet Explorer, or blocks C: drive so you can’t get access to your folders and files.
Let’s not forget about virus infections either – there are thousands, if not millions pieces of malware that turn the Windows registry literally upside down. Once such a pest sneaks into the system, it damages the registry badly.
Note: it’s not that difficult to remove 99.99% of infections using proper antivirus and antispyware tools. But it is next to impossible to correct the registry and have it functioning as new.
Therefore it happens that after antivirus software cleans out the malware, Windows starts working worse than it was when infected. It is because malware changes certain registry entries to its needs, but antivirus programs detect those entries as malicious (naturally) and remove them, thus leaving “holes” in the registry.
That’s why wiping the viruses out of the system is not the end of troubles; vice versa, antivirus cleaning often reveals the discrepancies and inconsistencies in the registry that were masked by malware.
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