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Using overly aggressive registry cleaners can lead to numerous errors. The solution might be painful.

I have a frustrating problem. I use Windows 7 Home Premium, 32-bit and many, many programs have stopped working. Windows is searching for online ways of solving the problem and this kind of stuff. It does it with games or DSpeech with a lot of program. I don't have spyware. I scanned it with three anti-spyware. I used registry cleaners. I'm quite frustrated. The program doesn't write any error. It just closes. It opens for a second and then vanishes away. I'm blind and I don't know what to do with it. I've tried everything.

In this excerpt from Answercast #22, I look at a computer that is giving "Stopped Working" errors. Prevention here is probably easier than the cure.

Programs stop working

So I have a couple of different things to think about here.

One is the fact that you're using registry cleaners. To be honest, it scares the bejeezus out of me because this is exactly the kind of scenario that can happen if the registry cleaner you're using is too aggressive.

Aggressive registry cleaners

I actually recommend in an article, "What's the best registry cleaner?" that you use no registry cleaner unless you are specifically solving a problem.

Registry cleaners in my opinion are typically too risky and often result in exactly the kinds of things you're seeing here.

Spyware and viruses

The other thing I want to mention is that you specified you don't have spyware. Fantastic. Do you have viruses? You're scanning it with three anti-spyware tools.

Anti-spyware tools are not anti-virus tools. So, I don't know if you might, in fact, not be infected with some form of a virus that's causing this kind of behavior.

I would strongly suggest that you go out and take a look at the "What security software do you recommend?" article on Ask Leo! and update to make sure that you are running:

  • An anti-virus software
  • An anti-spyware software and potentially also periodically running
  • Malwareybytes.org's free tool as an additional safety net.

Now unfortunately, that's all well and good in terms of protecting you from the situation or getting into the situation that you're in.

Reformat and reinstall

Now that you're here, I don't have a really good solution for how to fix it. I have a bad solution. A painful solution.

I honestly think that things are messed up enough that you want to backup your machine; reformat and reinstall Windows from scratch. Then, before you start using it, make sure that you've got the latest versions of an anti-spyware software, an anti-virus software, a firewall (and so forth) all installed and running; and that you avoid registry cleaners in the future.

Next from Answercast 22- How can I get rid of ask.com?

Article C5408 - May 31, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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