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Before editing the registry, back it up. You can kill the OS if you are not careful. Take your time and be sure you know what you are doing.
A: A poll was conducted to determine which software programs members used most often to edit and/or clean the system registry.
The winner, by a wide margin, CCleaner, is a freeware program that does more than just clean the registry. Like CCleaner, a number of the programs included in the poll also clean temp files created by browsers and those left over from program installations and uninstallation.
Depending on your experience level, you can choose a program that will safely clean the registry for you.
•RegSeeker - freeware
TuneUp Utilities, was mentioned 16 times by those voting Other. This tool is part of a suite so it was not included in the poll. But I have listed it here due to it's popularity.
Or you can take a more hands-on approach and use a program that let's you manually edit the registry.
•RegEdit (comes with the OS)
•RegEdt32 (comes with the OS)
And for those of you that like to rough it. You can export with RegEdit, edit it with your favorite text editor, then import the changes to update the registry.
If you are curious about the registry, the following links should help you get started.
•Registry Guide for Windows
•Introduction to the Registry
•Description of the Microsoft Windows registry
All links provided are current as of 03 October 2005, but are subject to change.