PC Doc Pro

logicman
Posts: 378
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 12:58 am

Re: real lack of understanding.

Post by logicman » Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:09 am

"As for a sandbox, its not even relevant to any registry tests and why tests would be different in this environment really puzzles me and shows real lack of understanding."

The relevance is this: I always test websites and downloads in a sandbox. Interwoven with this thread about a scammy piece of software and a scammy website operated by a class A1 scammer is a thread about Sandboxie.

In my sandbox is a virtual copy of my personally edited Windows installation. I have personally edited the registry to make my install secure. To give but one example, I have closed the massive security hole whereby Windows allows remote access to registry settings!

Now - in my sandbox - I am told by the programmer, via his badly written piece of junk, that I have a large number of serious errors. I would, of course, get the same result outside of the sandbox, but then I would have to run an antivirus scan, followed by a manual inspection of my registry - about two hours work. Killing a sandbox takes me two mouse clicks. That is but one of the many reasons why we experienced malware researchers would never, ever, test a suspected application outside of a sandbox.

All of which is irrelevant to the fact that the site promoting this software is itself being promoted by comment spam, self-congratulatory 'articles' on affiliate sites and unethical SEOptimisation. Until earlier today, it was also scooping up yahoo answers pages by the bucketload and pretending to have a forum. That ploy was used in order to lure naive web users into thinking that some well-respected members of the site reviewing and anti-malware community were members of pcdocpro's forum. Just how scammy does a web site have to be before people stop using it?
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Protect and Surf.

Guest

This topic of Registry

Post by Guest » Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:57 am

This topic of Registry Cleaners keeps coming up - mostly from novices or people promoting scam sites. So, I'll trot out my standard comment on them:

On the topic of Registry Cleaners . . . they are no good, and if you take the advice of most experienced users, you will see the same thing . . . DON'T USE THEM. (Read on for the specifics.)

But for novices, and even "intermediate" users, like myself, I would definitely advise against using them.

Here is a link to an article on Registry Cleaners that I'd highly recommend be read by anyone thinking about using one (and since a poster, suspiciously similar to Mr. Perfect, brought the issue up I'll enlarge on that topic):

http://www.edbott.com/weblog/archives/000643.html

The article on this site is titled "Why I don’t use registry cleaners"

An excerpt:

" . . . what possible performance benefits can you get from “cleaning up” unneeded registry entries and eliminating a few stray DLL files? Even in the best-case scenario the impact should be trivial at best. Maybe a second or two here and there, maybe a few kilobytes of freed-up RAM, and I’m being generous. How can you balance those against the risk that the utility will “clean” (in other words, delete) something you really need, causing a program or feature to fail?"

Another excerpt from the same article:

"The Registry is an enormous database and all this “Cleaning” really doesn’t amount to much…I’ve said this before, but I liken it to “sweeping out one parking space in a parking lot the size of Montana” … a registry “tweak” here and there is desirable or even necessary sometimes, but random “cleaning”, especially for the novice, is inviting disaster."

This last excerpt really drives the point home with the parking lot analogy.

And another article says:

" . . . The problem with most registry repair titles is that they are based on the same open source software script . . . they are being sold by companies that didn't develop them - and therefore have no real understanding of their function or even how they work. The result is that you risk installing an inferior piece of software that can permanently damage your computer"

Another excerpt:

"The issue lies in the explosion of spam-review sites which are nothing more then websites promoting affiliate links under the guise of an official " review " site. There main goal is to accomplish one thing - to send you to the site they are promoting and hoping you buy the product they are selling - if you do, they get up to a 75% cut of the sale. In other words, their reviews are up for sale - and are not anything but thinly veiled sales pitches. For example, if you do a search for the term " Paid Survey " or " Registry Repair " you'll notice that the paid listings all include sites that say " read our review " or " warning, don't download anything until you read this..."

Bottom line, Registry Cleaners, even in the hands of experience users, are dangerous tools and any benefit gained, if any at all in that Montana parking lot, are far outweighed by the risks. I definitely wouldn't let some software from a suspicious and dubious site (like PCDocPro), no matter how sophisticated the algorithm is, have a free hand in messing with my registry.

Galaxyfox
Posts: 191
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:38 am

PC Doc Pro Forum

Post by Galaxyfox » Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:53 am

I just visited the PC Doc Pro Forum today as well as yesterday. Yesterday, it was the forums which as many said was Yahoo! Answers. But the forums doesn't exist anymore today. However, if the software was genuine enough, why would they make the forums from Yahoo! Q & A? Most security software forums like the ones at Symantec are actual forums. In addition, when I visited yesterday, I didn't find any button on the PC Doc Pro forums that actually said POST.
And the "Vista Ready" image on the home page of the site uses an incorrect Vista logo. Most Vista Ready signs would either not have a logo at all or be CERTIFIED for Windows Vista. The logo is generally off. In addition, they have a photo of the PC Doc Pro product box, yet the product is never sold like that in stores except for the online order.
The site is quite unique. Most software sites would not have a huge letter with highlights, bold-faced, italics, and underlines with download links scattered all over the page. Usually, software would simply list key features and system requirements, rather than have a long letter with awkward formatting.
Thank you. I'm still trying to search through the site.

MysteryFCM
Posts: 4912
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:47 pm

Just to note ....

Post by MysteryFCM » Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:03 pm

With regards to registry cleaners, I tend to mostly agree that most shouldn't use them. However, in saying that, if you are experienced and comfortable enough to do such, then using them is a good thing (though I tend to opt for the last freeware version of RegCleaner myself (NTRegOpt is another good one, and also freeware - http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/)).

On the subject of the FSA classification, FSA stands for "Fraudulent Software Application" (it did stand for Security, but that was changed to allow for fraudulent non-security applications). The requirements that define whether a program fits this classification are;

"ll sites engaged in the selling or distribution of bogus or fraudulent security (and non-security) applications."

As mentioned on;

http://forum.hosts-file.net/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=12

To go a little deeper into this, to fit within this criteria, a program must either;

1. Produce F/P's on a reproducable basis (doing so once, then not again is not considered as that could simply be a glitch - these things happen).

2. Be installed through fraudulent means (whether thats misleading a user or being installed through exploit)

On the subject of the first run of PCDocPro, yes that produced F/P's, however, these were not reproduced on the second or third run of the program. Further to this, I also ran other (free and non-free) applications, and they all found errors within the registry on a clean installation (note my tests were on XP SP2).

With regards to their forums, these are not something I checked, nor generally check when considering an application for inclusion. As far as why they were removed, you'd need to ask Neurosoftcorp (neurosoftcorp.com), who are actually in charge of and develop, PCDocPro.

With regards to the price, again, though grossly expensive*, this is not something that is generally considered as that would then exclude bogus but free applications (yep, those exist too).

Kay Brenner advised me that the cost is expensive as it includes live (remote access presumably) support. As quoted below;

"I appreciate your comments on price that you have made. I have responded to
this previously when I stated that we include live support (specifically
remote support) to solve unresolved PC issues. If clients do not use this
live service, then we happy to given then a new key to continue to use the
service ( I have not stated this before but this is how in practice our
service works)"

Regards
Steven Burn
Ur I.T. Mate Group / hpHosts
it-mate.co.uk / hosts-file.net

metrosense
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:47 pm

Re: sandbox test

Post by metrosense » Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:47 pm

Hi logicman

Since you say you ran the program in a sandbox, what makes you think that your 'virtual' registry wont have errors? Even if you edit this yourself or lock it down, the registry is still a collection of hives that load up in memory, or this is case into sandbox

Have you tried other registry downloads? If you are not bias, then please download a couple of leading registry cleaners in your sandbox and post the results

Try Registry Supreme - 5 star rates from JV16

http://www.macecraft.com/regsupreme/

Try its aggressive mode, would love to know what it found

If you have time, please also try some others

Registry Booster
http://www.liutilities.com/products/registrybooster/

Registry Mechanic (Symantec)
http://www.pctools.com/registry-mechanic


Guest

Whoa metrosense

Post by Guest » Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:43 pm

Whoa . . . whoa . . . hold on there metrosense. I can't speak for logicman, but your whole question ("Have you tried other registry downloads?") seems to assume that logicman WANTS to use Registry Cleaners, AND ENDORSE THEIR USE.

Some of us are of the firm opinion that Registry Cleaners will NOT enhance performance appreciably and any benefit far outweighs the risk, In fact Mark Russinovich (Author of the "Bible", Windows Internals, co-founder of Winternals and Sysinternals, and since both companies were bought by Microsoft, now a senior Microsoft employee) has said:

" . . . even if the registry was massively bloated there would be little impact on the performance of anything other than exhaustive searches (ed. of the registry itself).

On Win2K Terminal Server systems, however, there is a limit on the total amount of Registry data that can be loaded and so large profile hives can limit the number of users that can be logged on simultaneously.

I haven't and never will implement a Registry cleaner since it's of little practical use on anything other than Win2K terminal servers and developing one that's both safe and effective requires a huge amount of application-specific knowledge."

And this from Bill Castner, MS-MVP, Aumha VSOP & Moderator, Auhma forum:

"There is the central argument made by Mr. Russinovich: only if the registry cleaner has a sophisticated database of all application software installation registry changes would it have a chance of being safe to use. There is to my knowledge no such animal out there. And the Microsoft Knowledge Base has a lot of articles on how to repair the damage created by using these utilities."

The whole registry cleaning lie is based on the false idea that Windows has to search through all those blank entries to find something. That is not the way it works.

Say you go to a restaurant and your table is on the opposite side from the door. It will make absolutely no difference (provided that all are seated and don't stop you to chat) how many of the other tables are filled--the speed that you go to get to your table is the same. The other guests are irrelevant.

If you have a registry problem, a registry editor (NOT a registry cleaner) is the only thing that should be used. You don't use shotguns to kill flies--you might just hit things you don't want to. And to use a registry editor, you need to be VERY eperienced.

So, for logicman to want to test registry cleaners assumes he even thinks they are worth the test.

As I said in my opening statement, I can't speak for logicman . . . so . . . logicman??

MysteryFCM
Posts: 4912
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:47 pm

BobJam

Post by MysteryFCM » Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:49 pm

You actually hit the nail on the head there - the only reason I personally use them, is to cut down on time searching through when I've got to do it manually. Windows itself does not need to search through the entire registry, nor do any programs that use it - they know where everything should be.

However, I tend to go through the registry to locate keys and such, that have been left behind by programs that for whatever reason, failed to remove their keys/values. But I'm very picky and don't like things being there that serve no purpose.

Regards
Steven Burn
Ur I.T. Mate Group / hpHosts
it-mate.co.uk / hosts-file.net

metrosense
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:47 pm

Really - so why Microsoft include a registry cleaner in Onecare?

Post by metrosense » Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:17 pm

BobJam care to comment why Microsoft's Onecare has a registry cleaner then?

Seems rather odd their employees do not recommend using a registry cleaner, which they produce one themselves. Next they will recommend don't use Windows!

Seems kind of odd does it not, especially considering Onecare is targetted at corporate and home users? Is Microsoft lying here and its employees don't recommend using its own products

' . . . even if the registry was massively bloated there would be little impact on the performance of anything other than exhaustive searches (ed. of the registry itself).'

So would they sell a product that cleans the registry?

They strongly recommend against advise manually fixing the registry in the manner you have suggested

'Windows Live OneCare safety scanner offers a free registry cleaner. Running this scan is a great way to rid your PC of clutter and keep it running at its speediest.'

This is from Microsoft's own site

'The Windows Live OneCare clean up scanner will find and remove any invalid registry items on your PC. It's easy—it’s part of a full-service Windows Live OneCare safety scan. Or, for a targeted approach, click Clean Up Scan in the Clean Up Center. The clean up scan will check your registry and locate any items that can be removed safely. You can then choose to remove all the items the scanner finds or select items individually for removal.'

Please see
http://onecare.live.com/site/en-Us/article/registry_cleaner_why.htm

Then please see what they have to say about fixing the registry manually

'Can't I just delete registry items on my own?

We don't recommend trying to remove registry items on your own. It's often difficult to determine which items correspond to which applications, and by attempting to remove items yourself, you might accidentally remove a valid registry item, causing software crashes and errors.'

All I have requested that fair tests are done with a number of applications. If you going to use a Sandbox, dont assume the registry is 100% free of errrors, it cannot be. Then run the suggested applications so the the comments here are fair

Please try some scanners in a fresh install and see what you find - without or without sandbox

Try Registry Supreme - 5 star rates from JV16

http://www.macecraft.com/regsupreme/

Try its aggressive mode, would love to know what it found

If you have time, please also try some others

Registry Booster
http://www.liutilities.com/products/registrybooster/

Registry Mechanic (Symantec)
http://www.pctools.com/registry-mechanic

Guest

Yes, I will comment on the

Post by Guest » Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:30 pm

Yes, I will comment on the OneCare registry cleaner . . . it's crap!!

And here's why: The onecare cleaner offers no chance to backup what is removed and whatever it removes is gone, forever. Should it mistakenly remove a key or value needed by your operating system or software it's gone along with your program or operating system. I've seen onecare's registry cleaner completely hose systems.

Citing Microsoft's opinion on it's own software is like the fox guarding the chickens. Of course they're going to say their registry cleaner is good. Do you think they're going to say it's not???

And as far as deleting registry items on your own, as I said in my previous post, that is only for VERY experienced users and even then it's risky (that is the "manner" I suggested). Having software do it for you and relying on that software is taking a similar risk for very little benefit, as I've said before.

And as far as Microsoft saying "It's often difficult to determine which items correspond to which applications", that's TRUE. And it's also true of registry cleaners. Registry cleaners will take a help file that points nowhere, and assign it to the next application in the key. A hit or miss "fix" if ever there was one.

And, since we're citing Microsoft, I'll repeat (from my previous post) what one of their own senior employees, Mark Russinovich, has said:

"I haven't and never will implement a Registry cleaner"

This from the guy that wrote most of the Sysinternals software, NOT Steve Balmer . . . a salesman.


Guest

Oh . . . one more thing metrosense

Post by Guest » Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:36 pm

You asked me to try some registry cleaners. If you don't know what my opinion on registry cleaners is by now, then apparently you haven't understood what I've been saying.

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