That is something that happened after XP. I know they sent me a disk
that had W/XP at SP2 on it and that is probably the disk I am going to
use to reload my new W/7 Lenovo tonight or tomorrow.
I spent a couple hours trying to fall in love with W/7 last night but
it ain't happening. I am going to pull that drive and put it away for
On Sun, 6 Apr 2014 11:13:52 -0700 (PDT), Bob_Villa
That sounds right and I also got a disc full of utilities, the most
useful was the Cyberlink set (Disk burning DVD authoring etc)
Evidently that was the original package with the product code I used.
all for the $10
| PC for 3+ years now. It came free with the HP system and I extended
| the license for 2 more years for $30. That was a good deal
It's a good deal compared to what it used to cost. Not
so long ago it was $70 just for the System Works software.
But now there are several well-regarded AV programs that
cost nothing. (I don't know how or why that makes sense
for those companies, but they are free.) Given the history of
Symantec I think there's no question that they would charge
you a lot more if they could get away with it.
If you don't know anything about Symantec's history
then you have no reason to avoid supporting their business.
But you still paid $30 for two years worth of a product
that's easily available for free. I think that fits with my
characterization of "unwitting". I don't mean to be insulting. I
just hate to see people taken in by sleazy companies.
There are a number of products that one just has no reason
to pay for, yet companies get away with selling those products
at a high price simply because the general public doesn't know
the facts. One can often find such products on the shelves
of software stores. Among them are AV, ZIP programs, CD/DVD
writer software, FTP programs, audio editing programs, music
player software, image viewers and hex editors. In all cases those
programs are available free, and the free versions are among the
A truly bogus category is "cleaners" that claim to power up
your PC by removing bad Registry entries and unused junk files.
But lots of people buy that stuff. Those programs are 99%
useless. (They're 100% useless if you check and clean your
TEMP folder occasionally.) The typical Registry "cleaning"
procedure, removing hundreds of "faulty" entries, is roughly
equivalent to removing an old ballpoint pen from your packed
garage. The pen might truly be rubbish, but disposing
of it doesn't make your garage any more useful or any easier
If you don't think that's true then I invite you to look into
what Registry entries are removed and what their function is.
You'll find that the entries generally fall into 2 categories:
* Settings for software that's been removed. Those settings
are harmless and might be useful if the software is ever
re-installed. They take up less room than the ballpoint pen.
* HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\* These would be settings
for components that have been removed, probably when
software was uninstalled. Again, those settings are harmless.
If some software wants to use the specified component you'll
get an error whether the setting is left there or not, because
the component is gone.
But isn't it inefficient for this extra stuff to be left in the
Registry? No. There are several MB of data in the Registry.
Those unused settings might take up 1-10 KB. If you run a
Registry monitor while starting up Internet Explorer you'll
see that IE accesses the Registry *thousands* of times in
about 1 second when it loads. That's stunningly efficient.
To improve that speed by some fraction of a microsecond
would be trying to improve on the speed of instant.
You wouldn't buy a tool that promises to make your garage
door open faster by removing a ballpoint pen from a shelf in
the back of the garage. That's basically what Registry cleaners
claim to do.
All of that kind of thing could be broadly regarded as crapware.
It's not necessarily all bad software, but it's all stuff you don't
need and definitely shouldn't pay for.
On Thursday, April 10, 2014 10:04:02 AM UTC-4, Mayayana wrote:
It's still probably $70 for Norton Internet Security if you go buy
it retail. You can find it online, eg Ebay for $25 for a 3 PC license.
That's exactly what a business is supposed to do. Maximize
profits. What do you expect? If you had a house to sell, what
would you do?
I've used Symantec products for years. There is nothing that
I've seen that I would characterize as "sleazy". It's just
that you like a different product or a free product. Use what you want,
but don't characterize others that make other choices as "unwitting".
Maybe so. And maybe for $30 for two years of current software for
3 PCs, it isn't worth my time trying to figure out which free antivirus alternative is a good one and which isn't. Nor is it worth it to
screw around with what is working. Antivirus is one of the programs
that people have the most trouble with from a compatibility standpoint
with other apps, etc. If it's not broke, I don't have a compelling
need to fix it to save $15 a year.
The cleaner thing, while I haven't looked into it at great
length, I tend to agree with what you're saying. On the other hand,
there is no question that PCs do tend to slow down over a few
years, eventually start misbehaning, due to specifically what, I'm not
sure it's easy to figure out. And I doubt that the cleaner utilities
are going to solve it. In my experience, at some point, if the
performance has declined, it's behaving erratically and you can't
figure out something that is obvious as the cause, then it's time
to re-install the OS and software, which fixes everything for sure.
I define crapware as pre-installed software on a PC that is totally
unnecessary, useless to most people, and/or intrusive, eg it starts
showing pop-up adds.
You are welcome to your opinion, which is as useless as you claim the
registry cleaners are. Yes, there are many "scareware" cleaners out
there that tell you you have 13,001 errors in your registry and your
computer is ready to die or go in reverse. They are generally either
spammed or advertised on late night TV.
A GOOD registry cleaner program can very often restore a slow computer
to optimum performance - something that just removing the temp files
I use a professional registry cleaner tool on almost a daily basis in
my work as an IT professional. In 10 minutes it can do what would take
me several hours to accomplish on a good day - and it has been YEARS
since I've had to do a "fresh install" of Windows to get a slow
computer back into shape. Solves a lot of BSOD problems as well (and
| A GOOD registry cleaner program can very often restore a slow computer
| to optimum performance
| I use a professional registry cleaner tool on almost a daily basis in
| my work as an IT professional. In 10 minutes it can do what would take
| me several hours to accomplish on a good day - and it has been YEARS
| since I've had to do a "fresh install" of Windows to get a slow
| computer back into shape. Solves a lot of BSOD problems as well (and
Can you give me an example or two of settings
your Registry cleaner removes that make the
difference? I don't know of any.
| > Can you give me an example or two of settings
| >your Registry cleaner removes that make the
| >difference? I don't know of any.
| I don't bother checking what particular files they are, but they DO
| make a difference.
You don't have to take my word for it. Look at
the settings that your cleaner suggest deleting. Then
look into what they are. I think you'll find most or all
are in one of the two categories I listed: Program settings
for uninstalled software and COM registration settings for
missing COM libraries. (For example, ActiveX controls for
software that wasn't uninstalled properly.) Both types of
settings will be entirely ignored except by the relevant
software, so all they do is take up a tiny bit of space.
Next, go to sysinternals.com and download regmon
or procmon. Run it and then start up IE. On my XP
box with IE6 I see about 8,000 Registry access calls
by IE in the 1-2 seconds it takes to start up. (It might
be even less than 1 second. It takes some time to load
all those lines in the monitor window.)
So you have orphan settings, which will likely
never be written to or read again, in a database that
can handle something like 5,000 to 10,000 accesses
per second. That's why I used the analogy of a ballpoint
pen in a packed garage. If you look at it logically it's clear
that removing those settings couldn't possibly affect the
efficiency of Windows. Companies sell those products
because they appeal to our desire to "run a tight ship".
We feel like we're taking care of business when we see
all those Registry "problems" being "fixed".
There are things that will speed up Windows:
* Stop all unnecessary startup programs.
(Use autoruns from sysinternals.)
As part of that, if you must use AV then try to
adjust it so that it's not scanning every file you
touch every time you touch it.
* Stop unnecessary updating and "pre-loading"
by bloated, overproduced software.
* Disable all unnecessary services.
* Delete the IE cache and then set the limit to
a low number, like 5-10 MB. (IE is tied to
Explorer and a very large cache can slow Explorer
to a crawl.)
* Remove any unnecessary browser plugins for IE.
* Clean up TEMP files. (On XP+ they can be in several
The usefulness of each step will usually be in roughly
descending order. In other words, trimming the startup programs
will have the most effect. Though a giant IE cache can, by itself,
make Windows unusable. (I haven't tested that in Vista/7, but
I know it's true in XP and earlier.)
Cleaning the Registry will be unlikely to ever have any effect.
Sysinternals has a program to defrag the Registry, which is
not a bad idea, but I'm afraid your professional cleaner was
just a waste of money.... and like I said above, you don't have
to take my word for it. You can work it out for yourself.
| You seem to have a better understanding of PC's than I do...but I have
heard what you are saying many times in different forums. Even CCleaner will
do a reg. clean-up!
There are so many things I don't know about. (This
morning we were trying to figure out how to keep
woodchucks out of the garden without a fence. Darned
if I know. :)
But home repair and computers happen to be my specialties.
I've made most of my income as a contractor since 1985.
(Carpentry, renovation, cabinetwork, etc.) But around '99
I also got intrigued by computers (or rather addicted) and
ended up teaching myself programming and web design. (It
actually reminds me a lot of carpentry. The handyman/
troubleshooting quality is similar. The fondness for detail is
also similar, at least for me. And all of those endeavors --
programming, web design and carpentry -- turn out better
if one has an eye for layout, color, grpahics, etc.)
I made some money writing shareware during the PC
craze. I make almost no money from it now, but I still
enjoy it. I build my own computers and also do it for
friends. And I still get about 300 visitors/day for my free
software, utilities, components, sample code and information.
(Much of which was originally written for my own purposes.)
A big part of how I learned about the inner workings of
Windows was simply my own impatience. I like to understand
how things work, and I like them to work properly. And not
much works properly with computers if one doesn't understand
a lot about them. Example:
An hour ago I was watching my ladyfriend read a webpage
about woodchucks while some sort of inane Flash cartoon ad
jumped around on the right border of the page. I don't know
how people can stand that when they're trying to read. I last
about 10 seconds before I get fed up and decide to figure
out 1) how the animation works and 2) how I can arrange to
never see it again.
| Can I email you at the "jkp" prefix?
Yes. I check that one. The address on the website
is fine, too, but I filter that for webmail. It auto-deletes
gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc. So if you use one of those
services then jkp is better.
(Weird doings this morning. Eternal September seems
to be down, so I'm using aioe. I see your post but not
Moe and Jerry (especially Moe),
Good suggestion. I am in a similar situation as Jerry and I want to get 2
desktop computers to replace 2 Windows XP Pro SP3 computers that we have
now. This is actually for a small nonprofit that I am associated with. We
don't want Windows 8, but we do want Windows 7.
I will definitely be checking out Microcenter and especially the companies
that sell refurbished second hand PC's. I think there is a Microcenter not
too far from me -- I'll check.
And, with the end of Windows XP support, it looks like we better do some
quick shopping because my hunch is that a lot of other people will also want
existing new or used Windows 7 computers right now before they are all sold
I just saw this thread, and I have not read all of the many posts that are
But, I am like you -- I have two Windows XP computers, and I want to replace
them. I don't want Windows 8. I do want Windows 7. I found a post further
down in the thread from "Moe" and, as I replied, I think his suggestions of
how to find new or used Windows 7 computers are good ones. I am going to
start looking right away.
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