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Last post Author Topic: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?  (Read 10856 times)

tinjaw

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What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« on: June 12, 2009, 02:28:25 PM »
I am well aware that there are dozens of websites (and books) that list Windows registry hacks/tweaks/etc. Most of us are well capable of googling to get a list of them. What I am interested in is your personal experience with any of these sites (books). When you want to make a change to your system via a registry change, for example set your web browser's home page, what source do you look to?

4wd

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2009, 08:08:15 PM »
Only for Windows Services, there can be only one: Black Viper

PhilB66

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2009, 09:20:07 PM »
Had to go through my bookmarks... here is one I tried before:

Registry Guide for Windows

Innuendo

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2009, 09:35:12 PM »
Don't try to use Black Viper's suggestions if you are going to use your PC in any kind of decent-sized network.

A former co-worker thought he'd optimize his workstation using Black Viper's guide. He optimized his way into not being able to see any of the file servers or be able to print to any of the network printers. That was a fun day...

4wd

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2009, 10:47:13 PM »
A former co-worker thought he'd optimize his workstation using Black Viper's guide. He optimized his way into not being able to see any of the file servers or be able to print to any of the network printers. That was a fun day...

He obviously missed the bit that says 'YMMV' and the other disclaimers he puts throughout any of his pages regarding changes to service status.

And yet another example of where pro-active IT support is better, where a simple reboot would have fixed the problem :)

J-Mac

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2009, 12:20:58 AM »
Black Viper is pretty good about saying exactly what each tweak does and why HE uses it, and warns you to make sure you are not removing a service you will use. And to NOT tweak any of it if you are not experienced enough to know the difference!

 8)

Jim

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f0dder

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2009, 08:48:28 AM »
I've only really used Process Monitor (and regmon before that) to manually discover which registry keys were affected by changing settings. Boring manual labor, yes, but at least you know the information is accurate then... unlike so many of those system tweak guides that are based on urban legends.
- carpe noctem

Innuendo

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2009, 09:55:29 AM »
So very true, f0dder. One misstep in the registry and your computer is not going to boot anymore. Maybe it's just me, but I don't see what the allure is with editing the registry on modern Windows systems. Vista and Windows 7 have optimized defaults for most things and mucking around in there when you only have half a clue (I'm looking at you, Black Viper!) is just going to degrade system performance.

Back in the days of Windows 3.11 and Win95, sure...if you wanted a decent performing system you were tweaking the crap out of the registry, but these days it's just not needed unless you have specific wants/needs.

tinjaw

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2009, 12:39:30 PM »
I've only really used Process Monitor (and regmon before that) to manually discover which registry keys were affected by changing settings.
Good idea. I hadn't really though about that. I could filter on the application I was about to make a change in and see what it changes in the registry. Reversing the action in the GUI should see a revertation (new word!  :P ) of the appropriate registry key. I could then script it and see if it had the desired event. Yes, manual labor, but would be valuable knowledge.

AndyM

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2009, 01:51:16 PM »
the allure is with editing the registry on modern Windows systems.

modifying right-click (context) menus

widgewunner

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2009, 03:05:48 PM »
For me, Windows Annoyances started it all.
The original book (for Win95 and NT4.0), which was spawned from this website was great. In addition to demystifying the registry explaining (among other tasty tidbits) how file associations really work under the hood, it also hooked me up with some excellent utilities including UltraEdit32 (which ruled as my favorite text editor for more than a decade - now its EditPad Pro). The Office '97, Win98 and XP versions of the book are/were also good, particularly: Windows XP Annoyances for Geeks. In addition to registry tweaks, these books reveal many other small but useful tips and tricks - e.g. One example: command line options for starting Explorer opened to a specific root folder ("%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n, /e, I:\HOME"). For the authoritative book (closest thing to a Windows Users Manual), however, I also always purchase the "Resource Kit" for each version of Windows (You know, the one that is about 4 inches thick).

I have not downgraded to Vista, so have not looked at that version of the Annoyances book.

tinjaw

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2009, 04:01:55 PM »
It looks like the updated version of Resplendence's Registrar Registry Manager has some nice new features like "a registry monitor which logs changes made to the registry by external programs" and a command-line version. I can probably use the command-line version to make the default tweaks I want on machines based on what I monitor with the GUI. Interesting.

MilesAhead

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2009, 04:05:09 PM »
I have to agree on Windows Annoyances.  Sometimes you can get the tweak on the forum you just can't find anywhere else.  If something is driving you nuts it's good to search the forum for the Windows flavor in question. :)

Also for Vista, esp. 64 bit, I recommend this site:
http://www.vistax64.com/

There are excellent tutorials, most with downloadable .reg files, to fix explorer settings quirks, enable the Administrator account in Vista, and just myriads of other useful stuff.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2009, 04:06:45 PM by MilesAhead »

J-Mac

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2009, 11:47:36 PM »
So very true, f0dder. One misstep in the registry and your computer is not going to boot anymore. Maybe it's just me, but I don't see what the allure is with editing the registry on modern Windows systems. Vista and Windows 7 have optimized defaults for most things and mucking around in there when you only have half a clue (I'm looking at you, Black Viper!) is just going to degrade system performance.

Back in the days of Windows 3.11 and Win95, sure...if you wanted a decent performing system you were tweaking the crap out of the registry, but these days it's just not needed unless you have specific wants/needs.

I couldn't disagree more. There are plenty of tasks that XP simply does not perform as designed. Or maybe it WAS designed that way, but some things just don't work well. E.g., occasionally the system tray (Taskbar Notification Area for you pedants out there!) loses some icons or starts showing the wrong icon for running programs. The ONLY way to get them back is two delete two registry keys, end the explorer.exe process, and start a new explorer.exe process immediately.

As another poster mentioned, changing the right-click menu - for when a few programs you install have wacky developers who decide that you should have four, five, or even six context menu entries for their program.

Another is after uninstalling a program and installing a similar one from another developer - especially security programs - and you can't get the new installed because the old left a number of reg entries behind.

Sometimes you just need to!

Jim

dallee

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2009, 06:29:07 AM »
CCleaner, a free downloadable Windows program from CCleaner.com, has a great registry cleaner with an automatic back-up feature. I have used it for years and it has never caused a problem, unlike other "registry cleaner" programs. The title of the program comes from "crap cleaner," which it does very well.

You access the registry cleaner feature by clicking on the "registry" icon on the left side of the screen, click "scan" to identify problems, and then can "fix" problems one-by-one after reading a brief explanation of the likely source of the problem. You can select the type of item for a scan.

This feature may be a bit unsophisticated for many and not quite what is sought in this thread.  In my experience, it identifies left-over elements from removed programs and similar items which can slow down loading. The program has some other features, including a fast way to modify a start menu.

The website is very informative. This well-established freeware program has had over 300 million downloads.

Innuendo

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2009, 11:25:48 AM »
Quote from: J-Mac
Quote from: Innuendo
Maybe it's just me, but I don't see what the allure is with editing the registry on modern Windows systems. Vista and Windows 7 have optimized defaults...

I couldn't disagree more. There are plenty of tasks that XP simply does not perform as designed.

Jim, I was talking about modern operating systems like Vista and Windows 7. With all due respect, Windows XP is 9 years old now and cannot be considered to be a modern operating system. Microsoft has learned a lot in 9 years in regards to the registry and system performance. Most of the tweaks you need to add to XP are in Vista and Win7 by default.

I'm running Win7 on the same PC on which I ran Win XP and Win7 is faster in every way than XP & I had tweaked the heck out of XP and Win7 is running 'stock'.


MilesAhead

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2009, 12:38:04 PM »
There are some reasons to do it, although I agree not so much for system tuning as for correcting behavior.  One I just ran into is there's no way to change the default 'edit' program for a file type in the OpenWith mechanism that XP had.  You have to tweak the registry or use a utility to do it for you. You could say, just use open, which would be okay for stuff like plain text as it's most likely to come up in a text editor.  But for scripts it could very well run the script instead.  Not always desirable. Also there's still stuff you may want to adjust to preference, such as Tooltip popup delay.

Some quirks of applications are still there.  afik every time I reinstall Firefox I have to delete certain DDE keys or if I try to open a url via FF as default browser via association, I get the "Windows cannot find..." yadda yadda.  So, it ain't all fixed. :)

J-Mac

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2009, 01:32:39 PM »
   <  snip  >  ... With all due respect, Windows XP is 9 years old now and cannot be considered to be a modern operating system.

Please tell me you're kidding! Currently, Windows XP is the dominant OS in the personal computer market. XP: 61.54%, Vista:  24.35%  (As of May 2009. See http://marketshare.hitslink.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=10).

So why - if you agree that XP does indeed require registry cleaning at times - does the age of the OS even come into play? If the vast majority of users are still using XP then registry cleaners are certainly a needed commodity - still. Your statement is probably a valid one in two years, but now now.

Jim

Innuendo

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2009, 03:29:36 PM »
Quote from: J-Mac
Please tell me you're kidding! Currently, Windows XP is the dominant OS in the personal computer market. XP: 61.54%, Vista:  24.35%

Percentage of people using a given OS does not dictate how modern it is, but rather its age.

Quote
So why - if you agree that XP does indeed require registry cleaning at times - does the age of the OS even come into play?

Because the age dictates what kind of optimizations have been put in place at release. It's common sense that Microsoft will learn tricks as time goes on and will make improvements to their code.

Quote
If the vast majority of users are still using XP then registry cleaners are certainly a needed commodity - still.

Now what are we talking about here? Registry cleaners or tweakers? There's a difference in functionality there. Tweakers make actual changes to existing values in the registry while cleaners remove the flotsam and jetsam no longer needed. Regardless, registry tweakers and cleaners are certainly needed for those who are still running Windows XP...but not those running more recent operating systems.

My entire viewpoint is based on not how many people are still using Windows XP, but its age. It's still a fine operating system, to be sure, but it does not have the optimizations and refinements of later, more recent OSes.

sajman99

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2009, 04:21:00 PM »
Those users without extensive computer experience should not go fiddling around in the registry like it's some theme park of thrills. Rather than taking unnecessary risk, those folks (admittedly like myself) are well advised to use established tools like CCleaner and tools which are specifically designed to fine-tune/tweak their systems. For a couple examples:

TweakUI etc. at http://www.microsoft...oys/xppowertoys.mspx  
Tweak N' Tune etc. at http://www.acelogix.com/freeware.html  

tinjaw: Sorry if this isn't the sites/books you were actually seeking, but like they always say "safety first".

Edit: XP user here- perhaps not "modern", but stable and solid as a rock.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2009, 09:59:16 PM by sajman99 »

cranioscopical

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2009, 04:24:16 PM »
It's common sense that Microsoft will learn tricks as time goes on and will make improvements to their code.
Shame it's in such short supply. ;)

PPLandry

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2009, 05:50:41 PM »
My favorite tweak is to change the keyboard layout mapping to be just... perfect  :-*

ref: http://www.microsoft...ive/w2kscan-map.mspx
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present -- Albert Camus -- www.InfoQube.biz

Innuendo

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2009, 09:33:11 AM »
Quote from: sajman99
Those users without extensive computer experience should not go fiddling around in the registry like it's some theme park of thrills.

Laughs...never heard it put quite that way, but it's 100% true. The Windows registry is the OS's central nervous system. One editing mistake in the wrong place will render your OS unbootable. Newbies should tread with care.

Quote
XP user here- perhaps not "modern", but stable and solid as a rock.

I don't think I ever spoke badly of how stable XP is. It's a fine OS and I even recommend some people use it instead of Vista. I was just trying to convey the point that an OS that's 8-9 years old isn't going to have all the capabilities that the latest and greatest has & that some of the things one needed to tweak on XP are no longer necessary.

MilesAhead

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Re: What is your prefered source of registry tweaks?
« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2009, 11:30:40 AM »
Quote from: sajman99
Those users without extensive computer experience should not go fiddling around in the registry like it's some theme park of thrills.

Laughs...never heard it put quite that way, but it's 100% true. The Windows registry is the OS's central nervous system. One editing mistake in the wrong place will render your OS unbootable. Newbies should tread with care.

Hmmmmmm this reminds me learning assembler.  A lot of the books and articles warned that if you made a mistake there would be "unpredictable results" or some other scare phrase conjuring up visions of impending doom.  What it amounted to was if I locked it up, I had to cycle the power, and a file or two might get corrupted(or gasp! I might have to put in the Dos disk and do a sys c:)

You never learn if you never take a risk.  Just back up what you can. It's your machine after all!!(just don't practice while accessing my online banking please) :)