Most computer users, with the exception of optimization junkies and advanced tweakers, never dare to tinker with their Windows Registry. As a matter of fact, most users are clueless when it comes to knowing what exactly the registry does, and amazingly, some are even unaware that the Windows Registry even exists. For the most part, computer users are never required to access or modify the Windows Registry manually, however whenever one changes their computer settings, updates their drivers, or alters an application, they are simultaneously making changes in the registry.
Throughout the week, I’ve been fortunate enough to review Uniblue’s Registry Booster, a dynamic registry scanning, defragmenting, and repairing utility. In the following article, I will detail the features and abilities of this program, test whether or not the Registry Booster improves system performance and stability, and express my personal thoughts toward Uniblue’s Registry Booster.
Update from David Risley on 12/7/07
This review was written in 2006 and we gave this program positive marks (as you will see as you read on). Since then, we have seen a lot of user comments with negative feedback regarding the “free scan” not properly uninstalling from the computer. We specifically asked the company about this issue in an interview with Uniblue. They said the problem has been fixed, and they gave an explanation why it was occurring. Also, we independently checked the free scan here at PCMech since the interview and we have had no issues removing it from our systems.
In my experience, those people who are claiming that Registry Booster is malware and will not uninstall are not that computer literate themselves. In our tests, it DOES remove easily and causes no harm to our test computers. There are differing opinions out there on how effective the software is, but I am confident (at this point) that there is nothing dangerous about their free scan. People need to realize that ANY program that affects the Windows registry has the possibility of messing something up. That is why it is SO important to back up your registry before running any scanning software, whether it be Registry Booster or something else.
With that, I will leave you to read the rest of Ryan’s review…
What is the Windows Registry?
Acting as a dynamic database that stores both settings and system information, the Windows Registry is an essential part of the Windows operating system. Information on hardware, software, and user preferences are stored in the Windows Registry, and the functionality and stability of one’s system relies heavily on the integrity of the registry. While much more could be said about the ins and outs of the registry, the one thing that I feel readers should know before continuing on with the article is that the Windows Registry isn’t perfect. Over time, unneeded registry entries accumulate and it is quite possible that registry errors will develop. Accumulating unneeded and invalid registry entries can hinder performance, and various registry errors can affect the stability of your applications.
Registry Booster Features
Uniblue’s Registry Booster comes packaged with a boat-load of features designed to not only identify and repair registry errors, but to also help enhance system performance and stability at the same time. Some of these features include:
- The ability to scan for and repair:
- Obsolete shared DLLs
- Unused entries
- Traces of uninstalled software
- Repeat entries
- Corrupt Active X/COM Objects
- Undesired browser objects
- Corrupt or missing application IDs
- Unused Start Menu items
- Orphaned, missing, and broken software paths and links
- And more
- A specially designed defragmenting utility, which helps compact and reduce the size of one’s registry by eliminating the fragmentation of one’s current Windows Registry.
- A Windows Registry back-up utility and automatic back-up prompts
- A Windows Registry restore function that allows users to restore their registry to a previously created backup point
- Automatic Scan-On-Start abilities
Uniblue’s Registry Booster System Requirements
Unlike much of today’s software, Uniblue’s Registry Booster installs and functions properly on older computer systems very well. The recommended minimum system requirements are as follows:
- Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 500MHz processor
- 128MB of RAM
- CD-ROM Drive
- 10MB free hard drive space
- Windows Operating System of 98 / ME / NT / 2000 / or XP
Thanks to a wonderfully designed installer, the installation of Uniblue’s Registry Booster was fairly simple and effortless. So simple, in fact, that even the most novice computer user would find Uniblue’s Registry Booster easy to install compared to most other software. Additionally, as the Registry Booster is less than 10MB is size, the installation was extremely fast. Users are permitted to choose where they would like to install the Registry Booster, and whether or not they would like to have desktop and quick launch icons created.
Overall, I was quite impressed with the sleek and intuitive design of Uniblue’s Registry Booster. Using a unique tab-like system, everything was well laid out and easy to find. Having never used this product before, I am happy to say that I was neither confused nor perplexed by the arrangement of features within the Registry Booster’s colorful user interface. As the novelty of the Registry Booster’s interface began to set in, I decided it was time to see how effective Uniblue’s software really was.
Scanning, Defragmenting, Repairing, and Backing-Up my Windows Registry
Scanning: Uniblue’s Registry Booster comes packaged with a highly sophisticated scanning engine that peruses one’s registry in both a thorough and quick manner. I was surprised at how quickly the utility scanned my entire registry, and shocked to see that it had reported a total of 165 registry errors. While most of the errors were linked to missing paths and unneeded entries caused from adding and removing applications, I was completely unaware that my registry contained a total of 165 errors.
Backing Up: Like most performance enhancing programs these days, Uniblue’s Registry Booster comes with a registry back-up utility, just in case something goes awry. Before allowing the Registry Booster to make any changes to the registry, the software will prompt the user to back-up before proceeding. I found the back-up utility to be a little on the slow side, however I’d rather wait a few seconds longer and allow the program to create a fully restorable image of my Windows Registry. Don’t be excessively bold by not making a backup–you might regret it one day.
Repairing: Uniblue’s Registry Booster repairs the errors it finds, and does so in a timely manner. Furthermore, when an error is repaired, it is repaired for good and doesn’t reappear on subsequent registry scans.
Defragmenting: Until this review, I was completely unaware that my registry could even become “fragmented”. However, when I sat down to think about it, it actually made a lot of sense; hard drives become fragmented even after relatively moderate usage, and since we constantly are making changes to the registry, it can develop fragments over time as well. The defragmenting process was also very quick, and according to Uniblue, defragging one’s registry will improve boot times (read on for more). After running the defragmenting utility, the Registry Booster will prompt you to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
Does Uniblue’s Registry Booster Work?
Determined to evaluate the effectiveness of Uniblue’s Registry Booster, I decided to benchmark my test computer both before and after running the Registry Booster’s scanning and defragging utilities.
At this point, I would like to point out that I am only testing the effectiveness of the Registry Booster from within Windows XP. Therefore, I can only assume that similar changes in system performance will occur within other operating systems.
Before testing my machine, I rigorously installed and uninstalled various freeware applications. In doing so, I hoped to create a relatively “messy” registry with various errors, fragments, and missing / unneeded entries. Likewise, after running Uniblue’s Registry Booster it detected a plethora of errors related to the many applications I added and then removed from my system. Most of the errors found were of the missing, orphaned, and unneeded variety. The results of the following tests demonstrate how repairing registry errors (that are associated with adding and removing programs) can affect system performance.
I have developed three unique tests to observe how Uniblue’s Registry Booster affects the performance of Windows XP.
Boot and Start-Up times: How long it takes from pushing the power button to when the Windows XP Desktop loads
Restart Times: How long it takes to restart Windows XP
Add/Remove Program List: How long it takes to load the Windows Add / Remove Program list
|Start Up||Restart||Add/Remove Program List|
|Trial One||46 Seconds||63 Seconds||10 Seconds|
|Trial Two||45 Seconds||61 Seconds||11 Seconds|
|Start Up||Restart||Add/Remove Program List|
|Trial One||43 Seconds||58 Seconds||10 Seconds|
|Trial Two||44 Seconds||57 Seconds||9 Seconds|
As you can see, both start up and restart times were reduced significantly after using the Registry Booster’s scanning, repairing, and defragmenting utilities. However, there was only a one second average increase in loading the Add / Remove program list. From my tests, I feel confident in the performance enhancing capabilities of Uniblue’s Registry Booster. Being an avid computer enthusiast, even the tiniest improvements in system performance make me ecstatic.
Final Impressions and Conclusion
Overall, I was very impressed with Uniblue’s Registry Booster. The software’s appearance, design, and performance enhancing capabilities exceeded my expectations. The scanning, repairing, and defragmenting utilities did exactly what they were supposed to and there was a definite boost in system performance. For a mere $30 download of their software, or $40 if you wish to buy the disk and packaging, I recommend Uniblue’s Registry Booster to all computer users. From what I’ve seen of the software so far, I can imagine that the Registry Booster will help stabilize and improve system performance on even the most erratically-behaving machines.
I give Uniblue’s Registry Booster a 9.5/10.
Update Feb. 8, 2010
Comments for this article have now been closed. This was done because people were using as a means of getting Uniblue support. This article is not an official Uniblue support channel. If you would like to contact Uniblue for support, they can be reached at uniblue.com/support, thank you.