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Scour Your System
by James E. Powell

The Windows 95 Registry is a great new operating system feature--usually. Applications can store settings and options in the Registry, and Windows itself can store the locations of key files. Unfortunately, though, the Registry can become corrupt after applications are installed, uninstalled and reinstalled. RegClean, a utility included with Visual Basic 4 and available free from Microsoft's Web site, can help.

RegClean analyzes and corrects Registry settings that can affect programs ranging from applications to Win95 itself. RegClean also scrutinizes--and repairs, if necessary--common settings that make it possible for separately built components (such as Word and PowerPoint) to work together. Information in this common location contains cross-references to other Registry sections; RegClean ferrets out these cross-references, too. (However, it does not attempt to replace invalid cross-references.)

Click to enlarge.
Error Eraser. You don't need any elbow grease to clean out your Registry. The RegClean Wizard makes it a snap; click on Options and tell it what to check for.
RegClean first scans, counts and sorts entries in your Registry. Then it launches the OLE Automation Registry Correction Wizard, which concentrates on entries for local and remote OLE automation. Click on the Options button to set the items you want RegClean to check. You'll find most options already checked, but there's no help file to explain them.

On Second Thought

After running RegClean, you may notice some differences in your system. Program icons may return to their defaults, and items may disappear from the New dialog box in the File menu. But you can undo these changes if you don't like them: When it finishes its work, RegClean creates an undo file--UNDO.REG--in the folder that contains the program (C:\PROGRAM FILES\REGCLEAN). UNDO.REG contains a list of every entry that RegClean modified or removed (though it doesn't say specifically if it changed or deleted the entry). To read the list, right-click on UNDO.REG in Explorer and select Edit. To restore all the keys to their original versions, just double-click on UNDO.REG.

You can download RegClean at our Win 95 Free Software site. Click on RegClean to download the file to a folder on your hard disk (it's best to use a new folder). In Explorer, double-click on REGCLN.EXE; the 1.57MB file will uncompress itself and store its files in the folder where you saved it. Run the SETUP.EXE file (a 32-bit-only application), and RegClean will be ready to go. The installation program adds an entry to your Start menu; just select Start/Programs/RegClean to get going.

How's That Horsepower

Copyright © 1997 CMP Media Inc.