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  • OT - Windows Registry Size

    Just received this email from our IT department:

    "Dear Colleague,

    The Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Operating System (OS) uses a registry to start and operate a laptop/desktop. The optimum registry size is below 7MB. Any size above the optimum level will put the machines at a potential risk of 'crashing' and recovery would require re-imaging of these machines."

    Has anyone experienced such crashing, or is this just more IT department mumbo-jumbo?

    Thanks,

    Ian
    All of the gear, no idea...

  • #2
    I think somebody in IT is smoking something, never heard of that. It does use the Registry extensively. And as far as a "system database" goes, it's a terrible design with no facility for compaction, defragmentation or other seemingly common sense features. Over time the system will grow more and more sluggish as the registry degrades. This is why a system that is otherwise unchanged will seem MUCH faster when you reinstall everything as compared to how it runs after even 6 months to a year of installing, upgrading, and using applications which all tromp through the registry.

    It’s also true that some registry issues can cause a system crash in various flavors and that the only real way to fix a fragmented, obese, or corrupted registry is to reinstall/reimage the system. But I have never heard of some arbitrary size beyond which the registry is going to start brining down the system consistently.
    Russ
    Master Floor Sweeper

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    • #3
      The windoze registry is a terribly bad idea, brought to you by the folks who patented bad ideas. It's the product of a committee flying high on the best stuff money can buy.
      Leigh
      The entire content of this post is copyright by, and is the sole property of, the author. No assignment
      of title nor right of publication shall ensue from presentation of this material on any computer site.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yep. Agree with above. In many cases when something is uninstalled it leaves many entries in the registry that become useless garbage. They are usually ignored by the OS since they are no longer referenced but just add to the size. Not only is it a bad design it is completely unnecessary. There is no reason or sensible justification for allowing an application to change any file that belongs to the operating system. It simply isn't good practice. Proper operating system design requires that applications be restricted to a "sandbox" with no write access to system files.

        As for the size of the registry causing crashing, no. Windows does that just fine regardless of the size of the registry.
        Last edited by Evan; 07-13-2006, 09:21 AM.
        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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        • #5
          if 7 mb is the limit, then my main pc would not operate, it is at 43mb! Yes, it needs to be wiped and Windows 2000 reloaded, but.....

          It is silly that MS allows programmers to use the registry as their own ini file. My opinion is that many new programmers start doing it that way because it is a neat trick that they just learned and then keep it up as a bad habit.
          Last edited by JPR; 07-13-2006, 09:46 AM.
          John

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          • #6
            There is a limit for older os'es but it is much more than 7mb usualy 150mb see

            http://www.webtechgeek.com/Windows-Registry-Guide.htm

            for more info. There is also garbage from people who want to sell you a program to "clean" your registry. If you are worried get a free reg cleaner.

            But unless you are getting warnings, which you wont in XP, don't worry about it. Sometimes cleaning causes more problems than it solves so it is safer to leave it alone.
            Murphy was an optimist

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            • #7
              Just to clarify things, I would like to know what the registry IS good for-- what was its purpose? If it's of no value to me, can I eliminate it, say during a fresh instal of the OS? (win 98se) I'm almost certain the answer is no, but --
              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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              • #8
                It stores settings, like which programs you have, how you like the menus to look which colors, which document spreadsheet you had open last, which program to use to play a mp3 file etc etc.

                When setting up a new computer you can trash it, but it will then remember NOTHING about what you had before. A new registry will be created. And you can not get rid of it and keep on running.

                Oh and for geeks - It is a replacement for those old ini files that win3.11 and the like used.

                Clear as mud? If not ask another question.
                Murphy was an optimist

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                • #9
                  darryl, about the only thing that the registry is truly good for is causing trouble if it gets corrupt, if it does not get corrupt it works just fine. An operating system can be designed which does not require a registry, in which case you will not have one. All versions of Windows except for 3.1 has used this monstrosity, on these OSes it is a required thing. Although it may eventually cause you some trouble, you cannot install the OS without it, and the computer will probably not even boot up if you try to remove it.


                  On the plus side, the registries on Windows 2000 and XP systems do not seem to get corrupt to very easily. I will also note, for those Windows bashers amongst us, that I have quite a bit of experience with Windows 2000 and a little bit with XP, and the systems are almost always rock solid. The only exceptions to this I have seen our computers with defective hardware. Things like hard drives which have developed bad sectors, or memory with a few bad locations tend to make the system a bit unstable, and usually get it to the point will eventually it not boot. Please note, the same problems will prevent any operating systems and working correctly.

                  As to registry size, all the claims that it needs to be small are just pure BS. My current notebook is running Windows 2000, with a whole bunch of software installed on it. The registry size is currently 40 MB, the computer is very responsive and typically goes more than a month between reboots. One of my computers had a registry size of 57 MB, and was also quite fast and stable.

                  As to registry cleaners, just say no! The bad ones will screw in a hurry, the better ones may take a few tries before you're truly F%&#ed. but believe me, they will get you there. Microsoft just have their own registry cleaner called regclean, but even they realize that cleaning and compacting the registry was a hopeless task. All the cleaners on the market are just a method to extract money from your pocket for a product which does nothing at its best, and can really trash or installation at its worst. They are in the exact same class as these" memory optimizer" programs. Avoid at all costs!


                  Ed

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                  • #10
                    Yeah, a history lesson on the registry might be useful.

                    First there was INI files. These were just text files containing configuration and default initialization settings used by programs. Most programs as well as what served as systems services used them. They were everywhere.

                    Then OLE came along (now called COM along with other names not suitable for a public forum) which used something called "the registry" to store it's setting and hook up services among process and the like. This is what enabled Word docs to contain Excel spread sheets.

                    Then some bright bastage in the MS OS group decided, "Hey, we can use the Registry as a system wide place to store all sorts of program and system related data!" And so began the decent into darkness...

                    Microsoft actively pushed "the Registry" as the sectioned place to store most everything except user data (and in some cases even user data!) for several years. They even baked it into the default settings for development tools like Visual C++ and MFC with it's wizards and the like to encourage you to follow the gospel.

                    Now years have passed and the evils of the registry have been accepted as fact by all but the most ignorant of savages. So Microsoft came up with a fantastic NEW technology called config files which allow each program and system service to store it’s configuration and default startup settings as a text file on the file system...

                    Am I the only one getting dizzy?
                    Russ
                    Master Floor Sweeper

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by darryl
                      I would like to know what the registry IS good for-- what was its purpose?
                      Hi Darryl,

                      The original purpose was very simple... to keep track of which programs used common files. The idea being that if you uninstalled all of the referencing programs, the last one out could safely delete the common files since nobody else was using them.

                      The falacy arose when programs used common files without notifying the registry of that fact. Once this practice became commonplace, it was no longer safe to uninstall common files just because the registry said they were no longer used by any program.

                      But the registry becaue the dumping ground for all sorts of things. You'll find icons stored there, and actual executable code, and a million other things that don't belong there.

                      As I said before, a horribly bad idea from the folks who perfected the technology of bad ideas.
                      Leigh
                      The entire content of this post is copyright by, and is the sole property of, the author. No assignment
                      of title nor right of publication shall ensue from presentation of this material on any computer site.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You can also go to the registry editor and export a "good" registry to your hard drive for future use. I have done that along the time my OS has been up incase I either screw up the registry or it gets screwed by no fault of my own. JRouche

                        P.S. mine is about 52meg and never had a prob...
                        My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                        https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                        • #13
                          Of course that isn't the only stupidity in Windblows. I'm not sure which is worse, the registry or allowing applications access to the system directories. Ever since Windows 3.0 the problems caused by applications adding and changing files in the system directories has cause uncountable lost hours of productivity and headaches for IT people.

                          Of course, it is in large part the fault of the developers. It isn't necessary to use the registry or write files in the system directories. None of the software that I use on my servers does this. I run Mercury Mail Transport, Xitami Web and FTP server, F-Prot Antivirus, Netstat Live, Icalendar server, AnalogX Atomic Time Sync, Vallen Jpegger, a shutdown scheduler and a log file analyser and publisher. None of them touch the registry or write anything outside of thier own directories. Not coincidentally, these are all freeware and most are open source.

                          Most developers take advantage of the ability to write the registry and the system directories through plain laziness (or incompetence) and to make their software hard to copy.
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                          • #14
                            As a deveolper, I try to keep stuff away, but have you ever tried to use a dll without it being in one of the "system" directories?
                            Murphy was an optimist

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                            • #15
                              but have you ever tried to use a dll without it being in one of the "system" directories?
                              No problem. If it's a system dll it's already there. If it isn't you need to discover the install path to your application where you keep your custom dll. Then you run it from there. That's where the laziness part tends to come in.
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