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DO NOT USE REGEDIT!!!!! unless you know how


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A rough approximation of a conversation I had on Tuesday with a guy for whom I had installed NT Workstation about two years ago.

"I can't get my computer to boot."

"OK, what, if anything, has recently been changed on the system?"

"Well, I installed a new driver for my video card."

"OK, this probably is not that big a deal. NT will save your last good configuration as long as you have not logged on. Are you at your system now?"


"Great, I want you to reboot. You're going to see an O/S loader screen that says Windows NT Workstation is loading. It will also give you the option to load the last known good configuration. This will let us set the clock back on the registry and hopefully correct the problem with driver."

"Well I already tried fixing the registry."

"Uhhh, you did what?"

"I tried fixing it already and it didn't work."

"What, exactly, did you do?"

"Well, one of my friends is like this big computer guy and he said I could use this program regedit32 to look for the pieces of the driver and remove them."

"Your friend, the computer guy, said this would be a good idea. Is this guy a systems engineer?"

"Oh, no. He just plays around a lot."

"Plays around. Ummm. I really don't want to ask, but out of morbid curiosity, what did you do with regedit?"

"I went into some local machine thing he told me about and removed some things that said video."

"I see. Yeah, well I really wish you had not done that. When was the last time you did a full backup?"

"That doesn't sound good. Uhhh, I haven't had time to do a backup for, maybe, 5 or 6 months."

"OK, here are your options. By messing with the registry you voided your MS warranty. That means Microsoft will not give you tech support. I can try to fix it, but without knowing exactly what was removed or altered this could take a very long time and may very well not work. I would have to bill you for my hours and that could end up being pretty costly. Option 2 is to reinstall NT, which, as the registry is messed up, we would have to do a fresh install."

"All my work....."



"Yeah, uhhh could you do me two huge favors?"


"First please get in the habit of doing weekly, if not daily, backups. And secondly please don't ever go into the registry again."

"Yeah, I think I can see how those are good suggestions."


Gee, you know I don't have a clue about TV design, but I think for the fun of it, I'm going to open up my set and rewire it to be HDTV. Yeah that would be a real good idea.

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Actually we ended up doing something very similar to that. I brought the HD to a friend who custom builds PCs and has an HD copier.

He didn't lose any of his Doc.s, but a custom inventory forcasting program was all f'd up.

I just reinstalled NT and his app.s and let him take it from there.

I originally did this as a favor for him as he was a friend of a friend. This time I charged him.

I may get a call in the not so distant future as I somewhat limited his user rights. laugh.gif" border="0

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A few times, I have had users call me for tech support and ask me to fix a problem that was caused by their 'computer expert' friend. What I want to do is tell them:


Your friend broke it, so let HIM fix it. Hey, after all, he is a 'computer expert', so why are you calling me instead of him?

The answer to that is, of course, his friend is an amateur, and I am a professional. What's the difference? An amateur may F**k your machine, and walk away from the problem, whereas I and my colleagues have to make it work, whatever it takes.

I have heard too many amateurs in the office, who fancy themselves computer experts. They talk big, use all the jargon, even presume to lecture me on computers. They are quite competent on using computers when the machine is running smoothly, but once something goes wrong, suddenly these 'computer experts' are too busy with something else to try and fix it.

Sorry for the rant - had to get it off my chest.


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After this past week, I fully understand.

And, after my bill, I think the guy I bailed out fully understands too. laugh.gif" border="0

The hard part is figuring out exactly how much in the way of user rights to give these people. Obviously if they are the business owner, and they are going to be installing new applications, you have to cut them some slack.

I set this guy up as a power user this time and restricted his mandatory user profile. It may come to bite me in the ass, but it may also prevent him f'ing up his system again.

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Whatever. I found a little program a while back called RegClean that does most everything I care to do in the registry in Win95/98. Clears out the junk and sometimes helps you restart the clock on shareware trials.


Where to get a copy of RegClean?

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I do not mess around with my registry, because I do not know enough about it. However, I have had much use for the restore command that is in there and lets you choose a previous 'working copy'. To be honest, twice my whole system broke down, could not start up and had to bring the machine to Pantip, where they had a whole afternoon fixing the thing. However, I realize now that the problem I was having at the time, could have been solved by using the restore command. I wonder why they did not try that in the shop at Pantip (they did not rip me off). I do not think there is too much risk involved in doing what I described above. Deleting files by yourself is another matter, because the way things are arranged in the registry, it is not selfexplanatory.

That being said, I once saw a book just concentrating on the registry, still think I should have bought it, because knowledge about this is useful

bar prices

old things

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Originally posted by db_sez_aloha:

Originally posted by TIK28:

[qb]Where to get a copy of RegClean?

A clarification: the program is called RegCleaner.

When I go looking for software, I always start at http://www.tucows.com/ -- if that doesn't work, a general web search should.


It ain't there; I'll look elsewhere. Thanks.

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There is quite a good freeware help file on Windows registery which describes itself as:

"the RegEdit.com and the Windows Registry Guide help file, reveal the hidden settings and features of the Windows 95, 98 and NT registries. With an extensive database of tips, tricks and tweaks that can improve performance, modify functionality and increase system security!"

It can be downloaded from:


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