Guide of Registry First Aid
Registry First Aid - Useful Guide
1. Search the registry for words
Registry First Aid allows you to search the registry keys and/or values for words or strings. It can be started from the Welcome page by selecting the Search the Registry for Unwanted Entries radio button and clicking Next.
This feature is useful if you want to find all registry entries that remained from un-installed/removed applications. You can enter a removed program name and it's company name in order to get a list of all entries found in the registry. Then you may delete entries or edit them manually using the Open the registry key with RegEdit command from the right-click pop-up menu.
2. Select corrections for invalid registry entries
When Registry First Aid completes the registry scanning it will begin to search for matches on drives or paths that are listed in the list of search paths. After completing the search, the program will show all found entries with suggested corrections in the found invalid entries listview.
The listview can display found invalid registry entries grouped by error category or by safety level. Clicking on a corresponding item (like Invalid fonts error category or Caution safety level) within the navigation bar at the left side of the window, will open a list with grouped invalid registry entries.
3. Save found entries into a text file
The user can save a list of found entries into a text file.
To save entries as text, right mouse click on the found entries list to access the pop-up menu and select the Save found entries into a text file... command. See a screenshot. The "file save" dialog will appear. Browse for a folder where you want to save a file and type in a filename and click OK.
The created file will contain all entries that you can see under all of the categories. You can open it with Notepad, Wordpad or any text editor program supporting the TXT file format.
4. Make backups before modifying registry entries
On the last page of the wizard, you are prompted to save a backup of the registry file. Only the modified registry entries are backed up. The backup file is a text file of REGEDIT4 format (used primary in Windows® 95, 98, NT4 and supported by Windows® 2000/XP/2003) and has the ".reg" extension.
To roll back all changes that were made to the registry refer to the How to restore registry entries from a backup file topic.
By default all backup files are saved in the folder "C:\Program Files\RFA\Backups\". The user can select the folder where backup files are saved and change backup filenames. The last used backup folder can be opened from the Start menu -> Programs -> Registry First Aid group -> Open Backup folder.
If you do not want to backup the registry, then uncheck the Save the undo file checkbox. Note that if you do this, you will not be able to restore modified registry keys.
It is highly recommended to always create a registry backup file. Otherwise you will not be able to restore the modified registry keys if needed.
Registry First Aid - FAQ
1. Why does Registry First Aid initially show entries as "Delete Entry" and then change to "Leave the entry without change"?
Initially, all found invalid entries are marked as "Delete the entry". Then Registry First Aid searches the hard drives for corrections and decides what correction is the most appropriate for each entry. Registry First Aid makes the decision about which entry can be deleted or not after all available corrections have been found.
If they are then unchecked, it's because they are too complex to be determined what you need to do and they require you to analyze what to do with them. If they look like some sort of system item, it is recommended to add them to the excluded list to leave them intact and not check them in the future.
2. Why does Registry First Aid find fewer invalid registry entries than some other registry cleaners?
The hive [HKEY_CURRENT_USER] is subset of [HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-xxxx] that details out the profile of the current user;
The hive [HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG] is a subset of [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Config] that details the current configuration;
The hive [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT] is subset of [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes] with class definitions.
Registry First Aid scans only one hive of these doubled keys. For instance, it scans [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes] and doesn't [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT]. All corrections applied to only one set will be reflected to another set too.
To avoid deleting of registry entries that are necessary for some programs Registry First Aid has several excluded lists. These excluded lists contain registry entries that should not be deleted or changed. Other registry cleaners may not have that and will find and remove important registry keys.
Registry First Aid has the Excluded Registry Strings List. Into this list, the user can add drive letters of paths to ignore when scanning the registry. For example, if you do not want to remove registry references to files on a CD-ROM that currently is not in a drive or on a removable drive then you can add their drive letters into the this excluded list. Many registry cleaners do not have this type of list and look for all references to all drives. And while scanning you may even see the "Please insert a disk into drive X: (Abort, Retry, Ignore)" message.
3. Why doesn't Registry First Aid recognize all my removable drives in the "excluded" list? Earlier versions put my C drive into "include" and correctly put my A, D and E drives into the "exclude".
The Excluded Registry Strings List is empty by default. This is because a lot of registry entries contain file references to removable drives that will never be used again. We have to give users the ability to view all invalid entries by default. If a user needs to leave some entries unchanged then he/she will have to add strings into the exclusion list (or add entries into the Excluded Registry Keys List). This is a once-only operation. The program saves excluded lists for future runs.
4. does a second run of the program still find a few dozen invalid entries?
Some programs save working information in the Windows® registry every time they are run. That information may be information such as paths to currently nonexistent files. For example, you've created a new file in WordPad, saved it into a temporary folder and then moved it to your documents folder. But WordPad has the saved link to the file in the temporary folder as a recently used file. So if you have successfully cleaned the registry and then were working with your computer, after restarting you may get some invalid registry references again. It is normal situation and there's no reason to worry. The main thing is that you get a lot less invalid references than you had before a first clean. For example, 5-10 instead of 700 invalid entries. To avoid invalid references' accumulation in the registry we would like to advise you to clean registry with Registry First Aid regularly.
5. Why doesn't Registry First Aid scan HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT hive? Is there a reason for this?
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT is the "Software\Classes" subkey of "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" hive.
When Registry First Aid scans HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE it scans all keys that are in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT too.
6. Why after running Registry First Aid, does the program ask if I want to compact the registry? Do I want to do that?
After a short while of deleting, adding and updating the registry data, the data becomes fragmented, with data and free space intermingled. This makes the registry access slow. Registry First Aid allows you to compact the registry with ease. It calls Windows® registry tool "scanreg.exe" for compacting, so this operation is safe.
7. Double-clicking on a .reg backup file does not restore backup. Instead, it runs notepad. How to fix this?
This means that the system has lost their .reg file program association. You can restore this in the following way:
1. open Registry First Aid backup folder in explorer;
2. hold the Shift key on your keyboard and right mouse click on a .reg file to pop-up menu;
3. select the "Open with.." command from the menu;
3. click "Browse.." button (or "Other.." button in Windows® XP) and select "C:\Windows\regedit.exe" file ("C:\Windows\" is a path where your system is installed). Be sure that the box "Always use this program for such files" is checked.
Next time you click on a .reg file it will be imported into the registry with help of regedit.exe that is default system handler for .reg files.