The Dangers of Registry Cleaners and Optimizers

I’ve been asked by a few customers about registry cleaners and optimizers.  Although some are better/safer than others, I usually recommend against using these tools. A good example of why I am against most of these tools has to do with a recent support call I received.

This particular customer was having problems with their system locking up and randomly freezing. The owners friend recommended running one the the more common cleaners that are out there. After the tool scanned and reported what was found, the user went ahead and told the program to "fix" the problems found.  Although the program did ask if he wanted to make a backup, he chose not to do so.  The next morning, when I received the call, another software program they use for their business, functioned sporadically and claimed that there were missing files.

After some sleuthing, I was able to determine what programs were missing, and asked if any backups were made that we would be able to restore to get the missing programs back.  Although there were backups made to tape, none of the files in question had been backed up for some time. Basically there were no backups.  I found a copy of the programs that were missing and was able to put them in place. Then they could continue running their business and get customers out the door.

The moral of the story is that if you do choose to run any system optimizers or registry cleaners, make sure you make a backup of the system before the tool is run.  Always choose to make a backup of what the optimizer is going to remove.  It is a good idea to have someone knowledgeable with the tools to help if you have any questions. Exclude scanning directories that are either in use or are part of mission critical programs of your operation. 

Luckily we were able to get this customer back up and running quick, but this could have been a disaster that could of taken many hours to repair.  Which also brings up having a disaster recovery plan.  See Johns Blog about Disaster_Planing for information about planning for quick recovery.

If you have any system question or concerns, call the CCS Retail Systems Support Department @ 800-672-4806 or email us.


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