PC Doc Pro

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

So Microsoft is lying

Post by metrosense » Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:46 pm

I am asking you to comment on your opinion of Onecare - but why Microsoft would sell a registry cleaner and its employee says that he would never use one?

BobJam, I am not asking you to test registry cleaners, but logicman and cotojo who ran tests on a Sanbox

Guest

Yes, Microsoft is lying . .

Post by Guest » Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:21 pm

Yes, Microsoft is lying . . . the euphemism is "aggressive marketing".

And I gave you MY opinion of Onecare, and ALL automated registry cleaners for that matter. Read the post again. And if you meant to say "I am NOTasking you" instead of "I am asking you", and the question is "why Microsoft would sell a registry cleaner and its employee says that he would never use one?", then my answer is as it was above . . . Steve Balmer is a salesman, and Microsoft is in the business of SELLING software and not anything else.

Another cite, from a Microsoft MVP no less, and a moderator on the very credible Aumha site:

"Steer well-clear of Windows Live OneCare's Cleanup scan (which BTW is included in OneCare's Full Service Scan), as well as all other "Registry cleaners". ~Robear Dyer (PA Bear), AumHa VSOP, Admin & Moderator; MS MVP-Windows (IE, OE, Security & Shell/User) since 2002

BTW, I was incorrect when I said Onecare does not do a registry backup. It didn't at first, but they received so many complaints, that in the latest iteration it does. HOWEVER, that STILL doesn't make Onecare a reliable tool.

Here's why:

The "Export registry" function is USELESS (!) for making a complete backup of the registry. Neither does it export the whole registry (for example, no information from the "SECURITY" hive is saved), nor can the exported file be used later to replace the current registry with the old one. Instead, if you re-import the file, it is merged with the current registry without deleting anything that has been added since the export, leaving you with an absolute mess of old and new entries.


Guest

WAY off topic . . .

Post by Guest » Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:28 pm

We've gotten WAY off topic here. The fact remains that WOT and it's users have rated PCDocPro as RED and Untrustworthy. Definitely a credible rating in my opinion, and one that is overwhelming in the empahasis of experienced members that have rated it

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

Registry programs like PC Doc Pro are not malicious

Post by metrosense » Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:08 pm

The statements in this post are misleading and really lack insight with all due respect here about the registry, no pun intended on anyone.

The fact is that registry cleaners will find heaps of entries on a clean install and its plain wrong to assume that a fresh install will not have registry errors as everyone is incorrectly assuming here.

I have tested scores of registry applications and to a different degree they found entries that could be removed even in a fresh install as Windows does a poor job of keeping it tidy. There is nothing malicious about it.

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.

I just ran Registry Supreme, 5 star rated and a favorite amongst users. In an aggressive scan found 1500 errors on a fresh install. The interface is quite basic but the scan was the highest of any scan I have seen. More than 75% were classified as medium severity and less than 6% as low. And this was a fresh install! Registry health was rated at 60% and this is a fresh install

If anyone wants to download it and run test for themselves – please try and select aggressive mode
http://www.macecraft.com/regsupreme

Claims over false negatives do not apply and this assumption is grossly incorrect. These registry programs like PC Doc Pro hunt for invalid entries produced by the Windows registry with more generated and left behind the registry after uninstalling programs and clean this up.

Programs have different error counts and this depends on how aggressive they are when it comes to the registry and what they scan for. Some freeware ones like ccleaner are quite light and don’t scan all the hives of the registry and probably the safest to run because it wont affect anything serious

If the registry is not cleaned properly then it can lead to unpleasant issues especially if a backup is not made. An affective registry program safely removes invalid entries and makes this judgement about what is good to remove without causing harm to your PC

It would have been more appropriate for wider tests of registry programs for effectiveness on ‘well run in’ machines, rather than a fresh install and sensational claims on a single application run on Vista Ultimate.

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

Not off topic - claims here are sensational

Post by metrosense » Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:09 pm

BobJam

Its not way off topic. There is no consensus view about registry cleaners. I appreciate your viewpoint and some MVPs but I what I have raised here is not way off topic.

Microsoft employees deny there is any problem with the registry but the company still sells a registry cleaner - this is interesting. I am going to run tests on Onecare on what it finds on a fresh install of Vista

I believe registry cleaners are excellent at cleaning the registry compared to manual editing. As long as they make backups and have an excellent whitelist, they have tremendous value

If a user here claim that PC Doc Pro produces false positives, then please do thorough tests of other registry programs before making this claim

The point here is that anyone runs any registry cleaner even on a fresh install of Windows, the scanner will find something to fix in the registry. Registry cleaners will find heaps of entries on a clean install because of the way the registry is designed. Its not a single file but a bunch of hives loaded to form the registry

I have tested scores of registry applications urge other users in this forum and they will find registry errrors even on a brand new PC.

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

Try Registry Supreme - 5 star rated from JV16 and download.com

http://www.macecraft.com/regsupreme/
It found over 1500 errors in a fresh install and gave registry health of 60%

Try its aggressive mode, would love to know what it found on a brand new system or fresh install of Windows

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

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

The fact remains -

Post by logicman » Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:45 pm

I have never yet found a registry cleaner that didn't show false positives. I reserve my wrath for those that show excessive false positives, make alarmist staements about that, ask for money to 'cure' the problem, promote their software and website using the same tricks as door-to-door conmen, and most especially: argue with honest reviewers about their poor ratings.

The safest way of editing a Windows registry is to buy a good book on the subject, learn everything therein, and practise, practise, practise. Alternatively, if you have sufficient computer knowledge, read a hijackthis tutorial such as: http://www.merijn.org/htlogtutorial.php - an excellent guide to the registry and other Windows install essentials.

There is a simple-to-understand reason why no registry cleaner program can work for all users: except in the case of an administered network with cloned workstations, every Windows install is different. Every user installs a different selection of software.

The maths:
Suppose the average user installs Windows straight from the CD with all default selections.
Suppose now that he or she installs a further three programs only.
How many programs, in all version numbers are there on the web? Millions? let's be conservative and say there's only 10,000.

That makes 10,000 x 9,999 x 9,998 <possible>variations</possible> in the registries of all those computers.

So now we have a registry cleaning program capable of analysing 998,701,120,000 permutations?

I don't think so.

metrosense: regarding http://www.liutilities.com/products/registrybooster/
Why would I want to download a file from that site? Click on the 'Microsoft Gold Partner - learn more' area. Being a gold partner is NOT a product endorsement from microsoft, please see: https://partner.microsoft.com/40013031 Now, see the 'hacker Safe' logo? Click on it.
Oops! Now read the ICE wording - that's an award for e-marketing, not for producing good software or giving customer satisfaction. There goes that website's reputation! Shall I review some more web sites for you? I say 'for you' because as at the moment I write this you have only posted on this forum. What about some site reviews?

As for the comparative testing of a number of registry cleaners:
My stated position is that I do not use registry cleaners and do not recommend the ordinary computer user to use one. If I conducted such a test as is proposed it would be an otiose exercise, and a waste of my time. If I were to conduct such a test for money, then that would merely show the world that logicman has forgotten the meaning of the word 'ethics'.

I wholeheartedly concur with BobJam: "The fact remains that WOT and it's users have rated PCDocPro as RED and Untrustworthy. Definitely a credible rating in my opinion, and one that is overwhelming in the empahasis of experienced members that have rated it"
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Protect and Surf.

Guest

Last comment for me

Post by Guest » Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:03 pm

OK . . . lemme see if I can put this "discussion" to bed, because metrosense (AKA Mr. Perfect or Kay Brenner??) is not going to convince me that registry cleaners are good . . . not because I'm close minded, but rather because I haven't seen any arguments that are convincing, besides the same old tired "Please try some scanners in a fresh install and see what you find - without or without sandbox", which really isn't an argument at all but a plea to test crap against crap . . . and I'm not going to convince metrosense to stop selling the product or take down the web site.

And since I'm not a "last word freak", metrosense can respond however he/she wishes . . . but I'm done . . . any further discussion by me is pointless. Unless of course metrosense comes up with something that resembles a cogent claim for registry cleaners, or says something provocative. And the provocative thing would have to be WAY over the top, 'cause I don't intend to get into a flame war or pointless discussion.

If others wish to carry on the discussion, fine . . . but as far as "testing" registry cleaners "with or without a sandbox", I think logicman and I are pretty much out, so your only other tester, metrosense, may be cotojo . . . who hasn't responded yet.

Now to put this thing to bed, let me take metrosense's last post sentence by sentence.

"There is no consensus view about registry cleaners."
That depends on who you're talking to. If you are talking to experienced users, there IS a consensus . . . and it is NOT TO USE THEM. For example, see this thread on the AumHa forum: http://aumha.net/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=28099&st=0&sk=t&sd=a . I think any statistical analysis of this thread would show that the overwhelming majority of experienced users (the "CONSENSUS") are against using registry cleaners.

And you can visit any other credible forum, Tech Support Guy for example, and see the same thing.

Now if you are talking to novices, then you are correct . . . "There is no consensus view about registry cleaners."

Which would anyone with common sense give more credibility to on computer issues . . . a novice or an experienced user??

And, yes, there are some experienced users who endorse registry cleaners, but we're talking about a CONSENSUS here, NOT a minority.

"Microsoft employees deny there is any problem with the registry"
I don't know about the ALL of the employees, but the experienced one's will admit it is flawed . . . and even Russinovich says it works pretty good without registry cleaners. Only when the OS switches to the .NET framework and XML will the registry database be obsolete. And then there will likely be "XML cleaners".

"I am going to run tests on Onecare on what it finds on a fresh install of Vista"
Don't bother . . . I can tell you already that it will probably find less "errors" than PCDocPro. But that doesn't prove anything at all.

Fred Langa started with a standard PC, imaged it, and ran 10 registry cleaners. He ran each three times on an image:

Highest number of items that needed to be "fixed": 800
Lowest number of items found to be "fixed": 59

All that result tells you is that what needs to be fixed is not at all certain.

There are several reasons for the disparity in those error counts. First there's the matter of simple semantics: At one end of the spectrum, there are Registry errors that -- if not corrected -- may make a system unbootable or unstable, or that may cause some of your software to crash or to malfunction. But at the other end of the spectrum, there are trivial, transient Registry items that are intended for short-term use, that harm NOTHING when they go out of date, and that are ultimately self-correcting via normal Windows housecleaning. Naturally, counting these latter as "errors" drives up the count and lets a given piece of software generate impressive-looking stats; but removing those "errors" doesn't mean much in terms of a REAL PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT.

The fact that your own results will likely vary is even more cause for concern (which was logicman's point). There simply is not a reliable way to test if a registry entry is valid or not. This requires a trained eye and not an automated tool. Langa cites the worst possible case for registry trash: a computer upgraded from Win98 to XP. The computer received regular scans from Norton's "WinDoctor" and ToniArts "EasyCleaner." When given to a group of XP experts, they manually removed over 3,000 entries.

"As long as they make backups"
Do the backups of the registry include the system hives?? Read my previous post on that subject. Or is it just a backup of the NTUSER.DAT file. If it's just a backup of the NTUSER.DAT file, then if there are multiple users, each has a different NTUSER.DAT file, and the backup would have to include them all to make the machine usable by all the users. To restore the registry you need to restore the System hives. Only then would any individual user's NTUSER.DAT have context and meaning. Corrupt any of the System hives, and all users have an issue. Corrupt an individual user's NTUSER.DAT then only that effected individual is in trouble.

"they have tremendous value"
That's NOT a very convincing argument . . . it's more like an opinion not supported by facts. If you are disputing something I'm saying, I need a little more to go on than just "they have tremendous value", or your repeated "test mine against my competitors". As I said in the opening, that really isn't an argument at all but a plea to test crap against crap. Convince me that registry cleaners . . . ANY, not just yours, are viable.

"If a user here claim that PC Doc Pro produces false positives, then please do thorough tests of other registry programs before making this claim"
ALL registry cleaners can produce false positives . . . it just depends on how you define errors. As I said before, it's a matter or semantics. If there's a trivial or transient registry error, some might view that as a false positive. It really depends on how you define "false positive". In registry scanning, there is no standard like you would find in virus scanning. If a virus scanner detects something that's not really a virus, THAT's a false positive . . . not so with registry scanners.

"I have tested scores of registry applications urge other users in this forum and they will find registry errors even on a brand new PC."
Again, are they trivial or will they disable the machine??

"Please try some scanners in a fresh install and see what you find - without or without sandbox"
You always seem to come back to that . . . so I don't feel so bad repeating myself: I haven't seen any arguments that are convincing, besides the same old tired "Please try some scanners in a fresh install and see what you find - without or without sandbox", which really isn't an argument at all but a plea to test crap against crap.

Done . . . next person??

cotojo
Posts: 2568
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:50 am

Registry and Sandbox

Post by cotojo » Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:01 pm

Surfing within a sandbox and NOT recovering any items, as most users would do on a day to day basis has no impact upon the registry itself.
Sandbox is a virtual environment...it does not exist and when closed, everything within it goes too unless specifically 'recovered' by the user.
Registry cleaners and so called registry optimizers are a waste of time and indeed, money.
To tamper with the registry in any way, the user has to have sufficient knowledge to make necessary changes.
To run a program such as PC Doc Pro, either within or outside of a sandbox, the results are not consistent with NO changes being made and the scan being run again and again.
All registry cleaners will find errors and false positives, just as antivirus/antimalware programs can do, but for the majority of users, the registry can be left well alone.
When uninstalling programs use a program such as Revouninstaller which also removes the registry entries and any leftover files/folders.
Simplicity.....leaving the average user with no need to open the registry, and if they do it is at their own risk.
PC Doc Pro were using their forum to let readers believe that their product was being endorsed through Yahoo. None of the contributors were aware that the forum was using feeds from Yahoo Q&A but happily this has now ceased after complaints were filed through Yahoo, also none of the forum entries mentioned nor endorsed this pile of ****
They want to rip users off with a shoddy program and an expensive one at that!
Colin
http://cotojo.wordpress.com - Free PC Security

phantazm
Posts: 4906
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:46 pm

XP2 or XP3..?

Post by phantazm » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:54 pm

MysteryFCM: "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)."

Haven't we all got XP3 by now - or am I mistaken?

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

Not mistaken

Post by MysteryFCM » Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:11 pm

Windows XP SP3 = not available for a clean installation ;o) (Windows XP CD = SP2, if I installed SP3, it would no longer be a "clean" installation)

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

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