The Windows registry on your PC is a set of files which store all the essential settings for hardware, the operating system, the control panel, application software, user preferences and user profiles, and file associations (which programs run which types of files).
How is Windows XP registry repair done, and why does the Windows registry ever need to be repaired anyway? At the bottom of this article, there is a link to a resource page which gives access to software tools you can use to repair the registry.
Repairing or cleaning the registry can also be done manually, using the program regedit.exe (Registry Editor), which comes with Windows XP, or with reg.exe from the command line. Manual editing is not recommended though, even if you do a backup, because the registry files are absolutely essential for the Windows operating system to run, and it is all too easy to damage them by careless editing. Microsoft Support itself says this – ‘Although you can use Registry Editor to inspect and modify the registry, doing so is not recommended, as making incorrect changes can damage your system.’
If you do damage the registry during manual editing, and your backup does not work either, the only other solution is a reinstallation of Windows XP. You want to avoid this scenario if you can.
So, the use of special software for Windows XP registry repair is recommended (see below). What about the reasons for repairing the registry – why would it be necessary?
The reasons you would want to repair or clean the registry are many and varied. A damaged registry can make a Windows XP machine run erratically, or not boot up at all. After some time has passed since you first got your PC, entries in the registry for old or uninstalled software will remain, making the system boot up slowly, run more slowly and affecting the stability of the whole system – have you had a recent freeze, or have you seen the Windows ‘blue screen of death’ recently? As time goes on, the registry grows in size, often far beyond what is necessary. You may also have many duplicate entries in the Windows registry, degrading system performance. You may also need to restore the previous settings in the registry if the installation of a new hardware driver has made your system unstable.
The good news is that there are many software tools available now which will make repair of the registry fast and painless. Most of them will let you do a free scan of your system, to see if there are any problems. Such tools are called registry cleaners or registry repairers, and are very easy to install and use, and may well make a dramatic improvement in your computer’s performance.