OK to prove a point I have been doing some experimenting.
I did a full system backup (using Acronis TrueImage 9) and also a full registry backup so that I can do an instant restore of all registry settings if things go reall pear shaped, I also added a system restore point.
I now ran jv16Power Tools 2005 registry cleaner. I used aggressive mode (simply because the only difference between the normal mode and aggressive is it looks at ActiveX controls).
As I said it found over 1400 High risk errors and quite a few of lower priority. This reflects the amount of installing and uninstalling I think more than anything else.
Deep breath - hit FIX and wait for a bout 10 minutes while it chunters about.
Reboot - and run jv16 PowerTools again - no further errors (which was impressive).
Everything at first sight appears to work fine and maybe marginally quick boot up.
I now ran a registry defragmenter (included in Resplendent Registrar). This reduces the size of the registry by removing space previously used by now deleted entries and does a bit of reorganisation to make the registry access more efficient.
Reboot again - definitely an increase in boot speed, and system seems a bit ore responsive. In particular an annoying glitch where Windows Explorer would occasionally go into dormant mode for a few seconds seems to have disappeared.
I have now been running the system for a couple of days and have been quite impressed that there have been no crashes. And I have been very good and not installed anything much new.
Now any gotchas .....
Surprisingly few, but so far these are problems I have found ...
- I could not link to websites from within OutlookXP any longer. annoying but not life threatening. I ran Office Detect and Repair and that got things working again
- I couldn't change my default browser to Internet Explorer or Firefox ... hmmm
- ACDSee PowerPack 7 started behaving oddly (I noticed there were lots of entries in the faults list). A repair install (from Add/Remove programs) fixed the problems.
- I have a Creative Audigy 2 ZS Pro soundcard setup. The sound still works OK but the remote control no longer works and some of the controls on the external module are behaving oddly. Also links to my Creative Zen Micro MP3 player have become unstable. Fixed by running the webupdate for my creative hardware at their website. This involved over 140Mb of download and about an hour of clicking installation boxes as 19 packages were reinstalled from scratch.
- All extra keyboard buttons ceased to function (I have an MS Internet Keyboard with a row of extra function specific buttons)
- Various things have gone missing from my add/remove programs applet ... notably Microsoft IntelliType and IntelliPoint software which won't reinstall until it has first been removed - which I can't do. Luckily I wasn't running the latest versions so I simply installed the latest version which overwrote the current drivers and reinstall the missing applet entries
- Yahoo Messenger keeps crashing on startup - I have reinstalled it but it is still behaving badly, not sure how to fix this yet.
I haven't noticed anything else yet (but it is early days).
So far what I have experienced have been little more than minor niggles but if some drivers (keyboard/mouse) have been visibly affected what might be going on in the background?
Should I restore my backup to mitigate against future problems. I'm not too sure at the moment ... I am going to give it a while.
Any further cleaning related problems I will report back.