On a computer using a Windows operating system there is a very important file called the registry. It contains all the settings and information used by the OS and other software. If this file gets damaged, it can cause real problems with the software or even the computer’s ability to boot.
Registry errors have several possible causes. Though unusual there can be an issue with the hard disk which means there is physical damage to the section of the disk containing the registry. There is a process that should be used to shut down the computer. If the computer is shut down improperly that can damage the data stored on the registry. Bad software with bugs in it can try and use the registry and cause it to malfunction. Malware will also damage the registry because it will add itself and run automatically whenever the computer is on. When you uninstall software sometimes its entries on the registry can be left behind which can lead to registry bloat and even lead to crashes. These left behind files and data can also cause the registry to become fragmented making the system instable.
If you have registry errors there will be signs such as a system slow down and failing programs. You may also get pop up notifications that tell you there is a registry error.
There is registry scanning software you can get to help you fix your registry. It will check the registry and identify the potential problem. If it finds entries that no longer belong, it can remove them. Once this is done and the registry is fixed, you need to create a backup. To do this, following these steps. Click Start on the Start menu and choose Run. Type regedit. A window called the Windows Registry Editor will open. Click on File and choose Export. Another window will open, and it will ask you to save. Select a location where you want the backup to be housed. The best place is a separate folder on a different drive or disk. You will need to name the file. Something like registry_backup should do fine. Before you click OK, make sure that the part that says Export Range has the All tickbox checked.
If the scanning software was not able to fix the errors, you will have to reinstall your operating system. It may sound like a scary thing to do, but it shouldn’t be. Reinstallation will replace all the system files, including the registry, without removing any of your data, though it is still a good idea to backup all of your documents and files.
You will need your OS CD to complete a reinstall. Restart the computer and make sure it is booting from the CD. If you do not know how to do this, it should be in the manual that came with the computer. To avoid further problems with the registry, complete regular scans, only install trustworthy software, run antivirus software, and defrag your computer regularly.