Registry Booster

Reviewed by: Mark Goldstein, June 2006
Published by: Uniblue Systems
Requires: Almost any PC running Windows 98, Me, 2000 or XP
MSRP: US$99.95

The Windows Registry is a single, central database file containing all of the information needed to configure a Windows PC for general settings and preferences, installed software, hardware drivers and devices. As you change preferences, install and uninstall software and hardware, the registry grows and changes accordingly, becoming more complex, essentially acting much like a policeman, allowing programs to communicate with each other in certain respects, providing a central storehouse for option and configuration settings, and acting as a storehouse to which Windows and various installed programs can refer each time they need to know something about each other. For a comparatively small utility, I'm devoting a lot of space to this review. The main reason is that utility products like Registry Booster are important, basic tools that should be installed on every Windows PC.

As your registry grows, it inevitably stores an increasingly large number of corrupt, redundant, invalid and obsolete entries. Those kinds of entries appear as a result of sloppy uninstallation, poor programming, system crashes and so on. Because information in the registry is used constantly by various Windows components, programs and hardware, keeping the registry in good shape is usually quite important. If the registry is not maintained in a functional and efficient manner, your system is probably going to take longer to boot, software will take longer to start, and shutdowns and restarts will take longer. In extreme cases, a corrupt registry can prevent a computer from booting into Windows, resulting in the need to use Lifeboat, Selkie Data Rescue or a similar utility to get back into your system and rescue data. Registry Booster is designed to analyze, report on, clean up/clean out the registry, and maintain it in a healthy state.


To test and use Registry Booster in a regular working environment, we first had to find a flaky PC. Because we generally take of all the workstations in the medium size network I manage, it was hard to find a messed up machine. Having stated that, a lot of our staff can be relied on to regularly install stuff they shouldn't. In other words, it didn't take long to find a slow booting, comparatively unstable Windows XP PC. It only takes a couple of minutes to install Registry Booster. As a matter of fact, the initial system scan takes longer than the program installation. I used Registry Booster's backup feature to make a reference copy of the registry before doing the initial scan and repair. Too many software programmers big and small (from Microsoft on down to the lowliest solo artist coding in his basement) occasionally take liberties with the respect to how things such as serial numbers and registration codes are stored. One registry cleaner we know of (SystemSuite) recently managed to clean out all of the codes for an installation of Adobe Creative Suite 2, necessitating a lengthy reinstallation of CS2. That was unpleasant. Undertaking this review began with the ingestion of a healthy dose of skepticism.

Prior to installation I used Diskeeper 10 Professional to defragment the system hard drive including the registry. Note that just because the registry is a system file doesn't somehow mean it's immune from fragmentation. After all, it's a data file just like everything else on your hard drive. I did not use Registry Booster's built in registry defragmentation tool until I did some personal lab tests of the software after the review period was over. The built-in defragmenter worked well.

The result of the Registry Booster scan of my problem PC was a long list of useless, orphaned or corrupt ActiveX, COM and data objects, a small pile of useless web browser objects and a long list of file and program entries pointing to items long gone from the hard drive. Whether or not you're familiar with ActiveX, COM and browser objects is of little importance. You're in business to pursue your interests and you use your PCs as tools to those ends—you shouldn't have to deal with this other junk. Using Registry Booster is like have a tune-up mechanic permanently residing in your garage; any time the car is cranky, wake up the mechanic snoozing in the corner and have him change the oil, regap the spark plugs, clean the injectors, change the filters, and so on. Registry Booster does essentially the same job on your Windows registry. It doesn't replace digital parts, it's just cleans up the digital detritus which always accumulates as you use your PCs.

Near the end of the review period, four other staffers approached me with balky PC situations. In two cases, the problems turned out to be a bad video card driver and a corrupt program installation. The other two cases were registry problems however and Registry Booster found and removed another long list of garbage which had built up causing crashes, slow operation and slow booting. QED.

Cons: While Registry Booster is one of the safest utilities we've tried, care and some caution is still advised. Absorb as much of the online help system as you can—spend 15 minutes reading through it—and you'll be much happier and more confident about using Registry Booster. The online help system is extensive but it's not accessible from the main program interface; you have to launch it separately from Start>Programs. The online help system is available through a Help link in each of the main utility sections, but the link is not context sensitive and just takes you the help system's Welcome page. This is a very easy fix, likely less than an hour or two of work for one programmer and the help system writer. It's an important update which Uniblue should take care of as soon as possible. Robohelp X5, MadCap Flare and other help system authoring tools make it easy for programmers and writers to automatically create context sensitive help whether it's XML, HTML, CHM, text-based or what-have-you.

Pros: For the record, despite the warning in 'Cons' above, throughout six weeks of use on dozens of PCs we didn't cause any boo-boos. As a matter of fact, we retired our old favorite, SystemSuite, some time ago because of a distinct lack of attention by its publisher. We've been casting around to find a suitable replacement and Registry Booster seems to be the one. SystemSuite and Symantec Norton SystemWorks move at a glacial pace compared to Registry Booster. Its system scans are quick and accurate, it recognizes the differences between unused, obsolete, orphaned and dormant registry entries and deals with each one properly. We've praised the big, general system utilities (SystemSuite, Norton, etc.) because of their toolkit approach—launch one program to solve all problems. But Registry Booster specializes in this crucial Windows component and it's clearly a thoroughly competent product that you can rely on whether you're dealing with a home PC, busy office PCs or high-powered, high-end workstations. If your computer(s) are crashing from time to time because of messy registries, you have to do something to improve stability and reliability. Registry Booster is a safe and economical choice. Highly recommended.

KSN Product Rating:





© Copyright 2000-2007 All rights reserved. legal notice
home | previous reviews | hot news | about us | search | store | subscribe


Forums Search Home Previous Reviews About Us Store Subscribe