If your PC isn't quite running at the same speed as it used to, you may be looking for a solution. Something that can quickly and easily speed up your PC. Raxco's £16.92 PerfectRegistry aims to do just that: This inexpensive application is designed to improve the overall performance of your PC by optimizing its registry. It's easy to use, and may prove very useful to some folks, but PerfectRegistry is not a perfect fix for any PC. See all Utility reviews.
Your PC's registry is an essential system file, where enormous amounts of information about your computer are stored. Almost everything you do when you use Windows is recorded somewhere in your registry. That's why it can get cluttered—and just might slow down your PC. Cleaning it up may seem like the simple solution, but messing with your registry can be risky business. Some registry cleaners can go too far, deleting parts that you actually need, and impacting your PC's performance in the wrong way. But Raxco says PerfectRegistry 2.0 is not one of those products, noting that it has been "well tested and used by thousands." And while it didn't fix everything that was wrong with my PC, PerfectRegistry did help clean it up, and put it on the right track to speedier performance. See all Software reviews.
I tested PerfectRegistry on a Windows 7 desktop that has been used to test hundreds of software programs over the last couple of years. Many of those titles have been installed and uninstalled numerous times, and—likely as a result—the system was running slow and crashing more often than it should.
Raxco's program is easy to use: when you launch it for the first time, it begins scanning your PC automatically. If you've used it before, it shows you overall system health based on your most recent scan, and lets you begin a new scan with a click of a button. Its interface is orderly and attractive, and it shows you what it's looking for as it scans.
PerfectRegistry's first scan of my PC found a whopping 1257 registry errors, which I found slightly alarming—and a bit alarmist. The errors are organized into categories, though I'm not sure their titles (System related errors, Com and ActiveX errors, User related errors, and Startup and Uninstall errors) explain them as clearly as they ought to. Each category comes with a graphic that displays the Registry Damage Level from Low to High.
The program lets you dig a bit deeper; by clicking on each category, you can see the type and number of errors it found by subcategory. But, again, the subcategories are too vaguely named to be truly helpful. Shared files and deep scan are two of the subcategories in the system related errors category, for example.
Luckily, more information is available by clicking the "Error Details" button at the bottom of the screen. This links you to a log of all the errors found, with file names and details of the problem. This log will prove useful to savvy PC users, but will overwhelm anyone else. I was able to spot problems left behind by files I'd deleted and programs I'd uninstalled, but some of the errors listed might as well have been written in Sanskrit. If I were a computer novice, I'd likely have run away from PerfectRegistry as fast as I could.
Instead, I decided to accept all of its fixes as recommended, crossing my fingers that nothing would go wrong. I was relieved to see that the program automatically creates a system restore point before fixing anything so you can undo the changes if needed. As it turned out, though, I haven't needed it. My PC has been running just fine—and dare I say a bit faster—since I used PerfectRegistry. It's not as good as new, but it is running a bit faster, and it's starting up and waking from sleep far faster.