So I had a chance to try a registry optimizer out on a typical PC. It’s a 2.7 GHz Celeron, made by HP, restored with the factory restore discs. So it was as pristine as any consumer HP PC ships from the factory.
It helped. You’d think the opposite, of course.I used NTregopt. There’s no point in paying for a registry optimizer.
It ran for what seemed like a very long time, and it trimmed about 11% off the size of the registry. Not a lot, but this was a fresh PC (supposedly). More importantly, after running it, boot time decreased by a good 20 seconds, and once it booted, I had a wee bit more memory available.
I also ran JK-Defrag on it. What it found wasn’t horrible, and it only took about 15 minutes to clean it up.
So the stock HP computer runs more nicely now. And if one were to remove all the HP crapware that comes with it (remember, it’s only crapware if you won’t use it), that will help, but doing a registry optimization and a quality defrag will help even more. Not quite as much as a fresh Windows install slipstreamed with the current service pack and all patches, but for most people, close enough.
Utility programs are no substitute for adequate system memory and a respectable graphics subsystem. That’s probably why people who build new PCs twice a year don’t think much of them. But for the rest of us, utility programs in skilled hands can squeeze more life out of an aging PC. I’d be willing to submit the six-year-old Compaq I’m using to type this as Exhibit A.
David Farquhar is a computer security professional, entrepreneur, and author. He started his career as a part-time computer technician in 1994, worked his way up to system administrator by 1997, and has specialized in vulnerability management since 2013. He invests in real estate on the side and his hobbies include O gauge trains, baseball cards, and retro computers and video games. A University of Missouri graduate, he holds CISSP and Security+ certifications. He lives in St. Louis with his family.