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Last post Author Topic: Registry cleaning software debunked...  (Read 10902 times)

Shades

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2013, 05:27:53 PM »
ERUNT for registry backup is an excellent suggestion. More people should take that to heart. If you really want to speed up your XP/2003 PC, check for partition alignment. Chances are that the partitions on your hard disk aren't. I did do this alignment on my XP PC and it does make a noticeable difference.

Reading and (mainly) writing to an aligned partition can increase the speed of your PC 5-10%. When checking numbers in Process Explorer you do notice that I/O drops (duh!) but also that you lose a lot less of resources on interrupts. Because of the drop in I/O you will also expand the longevity of your (SATA) hard disk as a bonus.

Best of all, with a free tool like 'Minitool partition wizard' you can do the alignment. There are a lot more Partition managers who offer the similar functionality. 'Minitool partition wizard' is just the software that I used for this.

Of course, when compared with an SSD it hardly makes a difference, but for the ones without the funds, alignment does make working just a bit longer with the 'old clunker' more bearable...and will leave more time to save for the real speed upgrade  ;)

tslim

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2013, 07:56:53 PM »
ERUNT for registry backup is an excellent suggestion. More people should take that to heart. If you really want to speed up your XP/2003 PC, check for partition alignment. Chances are that the partitions on your hard disk aren't. I did do this alignment on my XP PC and it does make a noticeable difference.

Reading and (mainly) writing to an aligned partition can increase the speed of your PC 5-10%. When checking numbers in Process Explorer you do notice that I/O drops (duh!) but also that you lose a lot less of resources on interrupts. Because of the drop in I/O you will also expand the longevity of your (SATA) hard disk as a bonus.

Best of all, with a free tool like 'Minitool partition wizard' you can do the alignment. There are a lot more Partition managers who offer the similar functionality. 'Minitool partition wizard' is just the software that I used for this.

Of course, when compared with an SSD it hardly makes a difference, but for the ones without the funds, alignment does make working just a bit longer with the 'old clunker' more bearable...and will leave more time to save for the real speed upgrade  ;)

As far as I know, the alignment matter is as important in the case of SSD. Misalignment can happen when one does not prepare the SSD with Windows itself during setup. That was exactly my case in the past when I transfer my Windows (originally install on a HDD) via Ghost image to SSD.

Btw, I use MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition to help me align my SSD (after transfer) and AS SSD Benchmark to verify whether my SSD is aligned correctly.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 08:03:15 PM by tslim »

f0dder

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2013, 08:22:57 PM »
As far as I know, the alignment matter is as important in the case of SSD. Misalignment can happen when one does not prepare the SSD with Windows itself during setup. That was exactly my case in the past when I transfer my Windows (originally install on a HDD) via Ghost image to SSD.
Indeed - you'll want your SSD partitions to be aligned to the SSDs erase-block size - otherwise you'll both lose performance as well as decrease drive lifetime. XP didn't align partitions properly, Vista and upwards should be doing this automatically. For HDDs, I believe alignment only matters if you've got a relatively new drive with 4096-byte sectors?
- carpe noctem

tslim

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2013, 08:49:07 PM »
As far as I know, the alignment matter is as important in the case of SSD. Misalignment can happen when one does not prepare the SSD with Windows itself during setup. That was exactly my case in the past when I transfer my Windows (originally install on a HDD) via Ghost image to SSD.
Indeed - you'll want your SSD partitions to be aligned to the SSDs erase-block size - otherwise you'll both lose performance as well as decrease drive lifetime. XP didn't align partitions properly, Vista and upwards should be doing this automatically. For HDDs, I believe alignment only matters if you've got a relatively new drive with 4096-byte sectors?
Alignment of HDD matters regardless of the sector size, the bigger the HDD capacity the worse (in term of performance) if a partition is misaligned. I remember I read an article discussing this issue.

However, so far, I have not experienced any HDD misalignment, whether I use a disk utility (e.g. a disk imaging program) or Windows itself to prepare a HDD partition.

I wonder how can HDD misalignment happen?

pilgrim

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2013, 10:22:47 AM »
Someone made the comment earlier that "IMHO registry cleaners are a waste of time and money".
While I would disagree with the first I have never come up against the second.
With free software, giveaways and trials it is a long time since I bought any software.

I have long thought that with many people there are two main reasons why they disagree with the use of registry cleaners, 1) they have used rubbish programs and had a bad experience, 2) regardless of which program(s) they used they had not taken the time to test what exactly it is doing and had an equally bad experience.
That does not include people who have a negative attitude towards them without ever having used one.

Like most arguments discussions there are two sides to it and those who support both of them.
Few types of software produce the same level of passion(?) in opposing sides but if you look around you will find that a lot of software produces opposite views in different people no matter what its purpose.
Much of it is based on personal experience and I am sure that no-one on DC needs me to point out that you can install the same program on what appear to be two identical computers and have two totally different experiences.

Alignment:

I exchanged emails for several months with one of Paragon's tech people when they first brought out their Alignment Tool, at the time I only used XP.
In some respects it had things in common with a registry cleaner in as far as if it did not work it could totally screw up a system and make it unbootable.
The later versions that were openly available had safeguards built-in but I had access to a number that didn't (thank God for True Image).
Also like registry cleaners I found that aligning previously non-aligned partitions on XP made a noticeable difference.
By default it is rare for XP to install in an aligned position, 7 on the other hand invariably does. (I have no knowledge of Vista or 8, both of which I view in the same light.)

When I built my newest PC besides partitioning my SSD I also partitioned and aligned my 2 HDD's before installing anything, I knew the OS would align the SSD.

I now have all the partitions on all internal and external drives aligned and consider it to have been worth the effort which in all except for one partition (the C partition on my old PC) was actually very little.
The exception was the cause of my long correspondence with Paragon and only got resolved (aligned) months later when I just decided to try again one day, the actual problem remains a mystery.

With regard to alignment when recovering images.
Older versions of both Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image worked the same way, if the partition was aligned when you made the image it usually restored that way, if it was not it didn't.
I have no knowledge of recent/current versions of NG or TI but EaseUS ToDO Backup Workstation at least from version 4 has a recovery option to 'Optimise for SSD' which I have always taken to mean alignment.
Although I have no need to try it I can see no reason why the same option should not align an HDD but I am not certain.
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi

tslim

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2013, 11:27:15 AM »
With regard to alignment when recovering images.
Older versions of both Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image worked the same way, if the partition was aligned when you made the image it usually restored that way, if it was not it didn't.
I can't be sure about the above claim because:

1. How an image is created matters. Norton Ghost creates image very differently with different parameters/settings. i.e. disk imaging utility normally won't create byte by byte image unless you specify so.

2. One might restore an image to a new HDD with different capacity. (bigger or smaller or even to SSD).

If a disk utility like Ghost restores an image to a HDD and manage to create all partitions with correct alignment, to me, that simply means the utility knows and have done its part in making sure alignment is right. i.e. it has nothing to do with whether the original HDD (where the image is based on) has all its partitions aligned.

Tinman57

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2013, 07:52:16 PM »
ERUNT for registry backup is an excellent suggestion. More people should take that to heart. If you really want to speed up your XP/2003 PC, check for partition alignment. Chances are that the partitions on your hard disk aren't. I did do this alignment on my XP PC and it does make a noticeable difference.

  I've owned a PC since W95, and the only time I have ever heard about "Alignments" was with the old C64 drives that had head alignment problems over time.  So what exactly is this alignment that you speak of?

f0dder

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #32 on: April 02, 2013, 07:56:24 PM »
Alignment of HDD matters regardless of the sector size, the bigger the HDD capacity the worse (in term of performance) if a partition is misaligned. I remember I read an article discussing this issue.
Got a link to something backing this up? I can't off top of my head think of a technical reason this would be a problem - the smallest unit a HDD can address is a sector, and as long as your requests are sector-aligned you should be going full speed; I've never seen partitions that weren't at least 512-byte aligned (probably because the old-style partition table entries addresses in units of 512 bytes? 8) ).

I've owned a PC since W95, and the only time I have ever heard about "Alignments" was with the old C64 drives that had head alignment problems over time.  So what exactly is this alignment that you speak of?
Up until a few years ago, a sector was 512 bytes - "lots of people" used to hardcode this number when dealing with raw disk access. Then came SSDs and a bit later we got harddrives with 4k sectors. While the tech and reasons are different between the two, both share the same performance property: if you don't access the the drives native block size, performance suffers badly. Reads are bad enough, but consider what happens if your OS tries to write a misaligned 512-byte data block that crosses two 4096-byte drive blocks? The drive needs to read in those two blocks (8k), merge in the modified 512 bytes, and write back those 8k again. Instead of issuing a single aligned 4k block. Ouch.

It's even worse with SSDs - their read/write addressable blocks are large (typically 4k or 8k, I believe?), but then there's the "erase block size" as well - probably in the range of 256k or 512k.
- carpe noctem
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 08:05:53 PM by f0dder »

SKA

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #33 on: April 02, 2013, 10:40:27 PM »
Sorry for dumb q :

Can Min Partition Wizard Home edition be used to align partitions on a disk with XP installed already ? Or align partitions must be done BEFORE install OS/Programs etc ?

Thanks/Ska

Curt

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2013, 01:10:22 AM »
@SKA, you can create partitions "forever", as long as you still have space for it.
But what your said program can do, I don't know.

pilgrim

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2013, 04:36:19 AM »
1. How an image is created matters. Norton Ghost creates image very differently with different parameters/settings. i.e. disk imaging utility normally won't create byte by byte image unless you specify so.

2. One might restore an image to a new HDD with different capacity. (bigger or smaller or even to SSD).

If a disk utility like Ghost restores an image to a HDD and manage to create all partitions with correct alignment, to me, that simply means the utility knows and have done its part in making sure alignment is right. i.e. it has nothing to do with whether the original HDD (where the image is based on) has all its partitions aligned.

Bear in mind that I am talking about NG 10 (and TI 11) both programs have changed and expanded considerably since then.
The number of options available at the time was far more limited than it is now.
Alignment was unheard of to most people, as was 'restore to dissimilar hardware'. (So for that matter were SSD's.)

Another consideration not yet mentioned is, if used, the type of partitioning software.
My original program was Acronis Disk Director Suite 10, one thing it was not was precise, it was impossible to use it to align a partition, if it did finish up aligned it was luck not judgement.
Through exchanges I had with people on a number of different forums I discovered other programs with greater accuracy, the one that stood out the most was Bootit NG, I never got anywhere near all the possibilities of that program even with the help of someone who was very skilled with it.


SKA
,

I cannot answer for the software you refer to either but both my XP computers were aligned with established systems, i.e. OS and all programs installed.
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi

Shades

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2013, 08:26:51 AM »
Yes, you can align when a partition has content already, though it would be advisable to make a backup first (especially of the partition your computer boots from).

It takes a long time though. My 400GByte partition (with over 200GByte of free space) on a SATA2 drive took about 8,5 hours to complete (with Minitool partition wizard).

When you have storage space to spare, you could move data temporarily from partition 1 to partition 2, align partition 1 and move the data again to partition 1. Which method would be fastest, is a good guess and very much depending on (the state of) the hardware in your computer.

tslim

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #37 on: April 03, 2013, 08:43:42 AM »
Sorry for dumb q :

Can Min Partition Wizard Home edition be used to align partitions on a disk with XP installed already ? Or align partitions must be done BEFORE install OS/Programs etc ?

Thanks/Ska
Yes, you can.
e.g. lets say, you have XP on C: and data on D:, just resize a bit C: (say make C: a little bigger and D: smaller or vice versa) and when the program alter the drives, it will always ensure partitions alignment are correct.
Generally speaking only the type of partition matters when doing HDD alignment.

You may also use Acronis Disk Director (latest ver is 11) to do that, but it is not a freeware like the Mini Partition Wizard Home Edition.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 08:55:13 AM by tslim »

tslim

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #38 on: April 03, 2013, 08:59:17 AM »
It takes a long time though. My 400GByte partition (with over 200GByte of free space) on a SATA2 drive took about 8,5 hours to complete (with Minitool partition wizard).
This can't be true. I have alter size of drives on my 500GB HDD (even on my 1TB HDD), the process normally take about 2 hours.

Shades

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #39 on: April 03, 2013, 10:17:47 AM »
I really had to wait that amount of hours, the system was also very slow when doing this...hence my comment about the state of the hardware, which in my case is a 4 year old heavily used common standard (not server grade) Seagate sata 2 disk.

There is also my suspicion that Seagate doesn't ship their best performing commercial grade drives to the South American markets (where I live). Unfortunately, it is also the only brand on sale here in Paraguay. You want a different brand, order it through internet in Brazil or North America (to keep shipping costs a little bit in check), which means I have to wait quite some time for arrival, which also means that I have to travel to the only postal office here in the capital several times to see if it arrived/passed through customs.

Oh, before I forget, I should also mention that Paraguay does not use any form of postal code, so it is not possible to have direct delivery at your house without a local courier service (again adding to costs). Computing hardware is also very expensive here in the capital. When I need to build a system for someone, it is actually cheaper to travel 600 km (1-way!) to a city bordering with Brazil and buy the hardware there.

Yeah, welcome to different world...

Ah well, luckily this country is stacked with beautiful women, parading around during the months that the sun shines (9 months) and beer is sold in 1-liter bottles.  ;)

tslim

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #40 on: April 03, 2013, 11:52:08 AM »
I have firm info from Seagate engineer about their HDD. Unless you go for their high end brand, otherwise you are using sub standard HDD. I only use Western Digital HDD.

40hz

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #41 on: April 03, 2013, 03:59:35 PM »
re:alignment

Although a little dated (and addressed to Linux users) this IBM article offers a very good discussion and collection of tools and techniques for dealing with disk sector alignment. Well worth a read since the underlying technical issues addressed in the article are applicable to all operating systems.

You can also download the paper as a PDF here.

Recommended. 8)

pilgrim

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #42 on: April 04, 2013, 04:24:42 AM »
Thanks for the link.

Reading that brought back some memories and I never knew about the jumper on WD drives before although I never used them at the time.

It also shows how software has moved on since it was written, GParted was one of the programs I used, the latest version mentioned is 0.6.6, the latest is 0.15.0.

Around that time Paragon produced a White Paper on the subject which is still available HERE. It's a direct link to the Paragon PDF download and avoids registration.
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi

kyrathaba

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #43 on: April 13, 2013, 06:20:03 PM »
Quote
I use Defraggler myself.  Really great program that's small and remarkably fast.

Agree with you it's a great program. I like that, after the main Defrag runs, it gives you a list of stubborn files that are still somewhat fragrmented. Check those files you wish (or all of them with a single click to "Select All") and Defraggler will do its best to defrag these (usually quite large) files. It'll fail on some, but succeed on most.

Tinman57

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Re: Registry cleaning software debunked...
« Reply #44 on: April 15, 2013, 08:19:47 PM »
Quote
I use Defraggler myself.  Really great program that's small and remarkably fast.

Agree with you it's a great program. I like that, after the main Defrag runs, it gives you a list of stubborn files that are still somewhat fragrmented. Check those files you wish (or all of them with a single click to "Select All") and Defraggler will do its best to defrag these (usually quite large) files. It'll fail on some, but succeed on most.

  I also like how it shows the fragments, by file and by block.  And the Analysis is so quick too.  The Disk Health provides a huge amount of checks on the drive, very professional looking.  I sent them a donation long ago after experimenting with it for a long time.