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Editing Registry Entries

 
 
Jeff Strickland
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      02-23-2009
I'm working on a computer that belongs to my brother in law. The machine
runs v e r y s l o w and tries to complete an
InstallShield installation of some kind on every boot. The Installer says
PREPARING TO INSTALL, and the Title bar says WINDOWS INSTALLER, and
sometimes includes SCAN, but also sometimes omits SCAN.

I went into the Registry and did a search for SCAN, and found dozens of
entires where the value of the field was jibberish. I found some entires
that I do not understand, but the data was not jibberish, I just know more
than I understand. I deleted the values that were nonsensical, and since
doing that, SCAN seems to have gone away from the installer dialog box.

I think I'm on the road to recovery.

What I am having trouble with right now is that the Registry contains
thousands of 32-bit keys (hex entires) that appear to be empty or filled
with bad data. I once worked for a company that was developing an
application, and our stuff genereated these hex entries that I recall the
software guys as being alarmed about and they worked to remove them. I don't
remember clearly, but I recall the problem as coming from InstallShield, and
they worked to find a command to clean up the mess they were making. All of
this was outside of my area of responsibility, so I didn't pay close enough
attention at the time (and the time was ten years ago).

Is there a Registry tool out there that can find and delete the keys that
are blank? Most of these keys are in the section of the Registry that is
headed with INSTALLER or INSTALLATION (whichever ... ).

My thinking is, I have a corrupted Registry entry that is causing my machine
to try to complete a task that can't be completed because the Registry call
is no longer valid.

If I can't clean the unused keys from the Registry (thousands of htem) then
I have to offload My Documents to an external drive, then reformat C: and
reinstall Windows.

Oops, that's Windows XP Pro.


 
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GTS
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-23-2009

"Jeff Strickland" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:gnufva$dqi$(E-Mail Removed)...
> I'm working on a computer that belongs to my brother in law. The machine
> runs v e r y s l o w and tries to complete an
> InstallShield installation of some kind on every boot. The Installer says
> PREPARING TO INSTALL, and the Title bar says WINDOWS INSTALLER, and
> sometimes includes SCAN, but also sometimes omits SCAN.
>
> I went into the Registry and did a search for SCAN, and found dozens of
> entires where the value of the field was jibberish. I found some entires
> that I do not understand, but the data was not jibberish, I just know more
> than I understand. I deleted the values that were nonsensical, and since
> doing that, SCAN seems to have gone away from the installer dialog box.
>
> I think I'm on the road to recovery.
>
> What I am having trouble with right now is that the Registry contains
> thousands of 32-bit keys (hex entires) that appear to be empty or filled
> with bad data. I once worked for a company that was developing an
> application, and our stuff genereated these hex entries that I recall the
> software guys as being alarmed about and they worked to remove them. I
> don't remember clearly, but I recall the problem as coming from
> InstallShield, and they worked to find a command to clean up the mess they
> were making. All of this was outside of my area of responsibility, so I
> didn't pay close enough attention at the time (and the time was ten years
> ago).
>
> Is there a Registry tool out there that can find and delete the keys that
> are blank? Most of these keys are in the section of the Registry that is
> headed with INSTALLER or INSTALLATION (whichever ... ).
>
> My thinking is, I have a corrupted Registry entry that is causing my
> machine to try to complete a task that can't be completed because the
> Registry call is no longer valid.
>
> If I can't clean the unused keys from the Registry (thousands of htem)
> then I have to offload My Documents to an external drive, then reformat C:
> and reinstall Windows.
>
> Oops, that's Windows XP Pro.
>
>


To stop the installation from running on every startup you should remove it
with the tool below.
Description of the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301

I would also recommend that you do some thorough malware checks on that
machine. SuperAntiSpyware and MalwareBytes would be good options (and of
course his up to date antivirus program).

I recommend you leave the registry alone. It sounds like you may not have
sufficient expertise to interpret the entries and would more likely cause
damage then fix problems. Blank entries and entries with a lot of hex data
are legitimately present in various registry areas. There are many
'registry cleaners' around but they often have little value and can be
harmful.

 
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Jeff Strickland
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-23-2009

"GTS" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:gnulv2$mfc$(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "Jeff Strickland" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:gnufva$dqi$(E-Mail Removed)...
>> I'm working on a computer that belongs to my brother in law. The machine
>> runs v e r y s l o w and tries to complete an
>> InstallShield installation of some kind on every boot. The Installer says
>> PREPARING TO INSTALL, and the Title bar says WINDOWS INSTALLER, and
>> sometimes includes SCAN, but also sometimes omits SCAN.
>>
>> I went into the Registry and did a search for SCAN, and found dozens of
>> entires where the value of the field was jibberish. I found some entires
>> that I do not understand, but the data was not jibberish, I just know
>> more than I understand. I deleted the values that were nonsensical, and
>> since doing that, SCAN seems to have gone away from the installer dialog
>> box.
>>
>> I think I'm on the road to recovery.
>>
>> What I am having trouble with right now is that the Registry contains
>> thousands of 32-bit keys (hex entires) that appear to be empty or filled
>> with bad data. I once worked for a company that was developing an
>> application, and our stuff genereated these hex entries that I recall the
>> software guys as being alarmed about and they worked to remove them. I
>> don't remember clearly, but I recall the problem as coming from
>> InstallShield, and they worked to find a command to clean up the mess
>> they were making. All of this was outside of my area of responsibility,
>> so I didn't pay close enough attention at the time (and the time was ten
>> years ago).
>>
>> Is there a Registry tool out there that can find and delete the keys that
>> are blank? Most of these keys are in the section of the Registry that is
>> headed with INSTALLER or INSTALLATION (whichever ... ).
>>
>> My thinking is, I have a corrupted Registry entry that is causing my
>> machine to try to complete a task that can't be completed because the
>> Registry call is no longer valid.
>>
>> If I can't clean the unused keys from the Registry (thousands of htem)
>> then I have to offload My Documents to an external drive, then reformat
>> C: and reinstall Windows.
>>
>> Oops, that's Windows XP Pro.
>>
>>

>
> To stop the installation from running on every startup you should remove
> it with the tool below.
> Description of the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility
> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301
>
> I would also recommend that you do some thorough malware checks on that
> machine. SuperAntiSpyware and MalwareBytes would be good options (and of
> course his up to date antivirus program).
>
> I recommend you leave the registry alone. It sounds like you may not
> have sufficient expertise to interpret the entries and would more likely
> cause damage then fix problems. Blank entries and entries with a lot of
> hex data are legitimately present in various registry areas. There are
> many 'registry cleaners' around but they often have little value and can
> be harmful.


Thanks, I know the difference in a hex value and pure and simple crap.
You're right though, I don't know enough about the hex data to know what I
need and what I don't.

I was thinking that the empty ones were bad in terms of slowing my machine
down. If an empty entry is not automatically bad, then I haven't enough
knowledge to know which empty entries I can delete and which I need to keep
around.

I'll try the link you gave to see if it cleans up my installer issue. Thanks
....


 
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Jeff Strickland
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-24-2009

"GTS" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:gnulv2$mfc$(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "Jeff Strickland" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:gnufva$dqi$(E-Mail Removed)...
>> I'm working on a computer that belongs to my brother in law. The machine
>> runs v e r y s l o w and tries to complete an
>> InstallShield installation of some kind on every boot. The Installer says
>> PREPARING TO INSTALL, and the Title bar says WINDOWS INSTALLER, and
>> sometimes includes SCAN, but also sometimes omits SCAN.
>>
>> I went into the Registry and did a search for SCAN, and found dozens of
>> entires where the value of the field was jibberish. I found some entires
>> that I do not understand, but the data was not jibberish, I just know
>> more than I understand. I deleted the values that were nonsensical, and
>> since doing that, SCAN seems to have gone away from the installer dialog
>> box.
>>
>> I think I'm on the road to recovery.
>>
>> What I am having trouble with right now is that the Registry contains
>> thousands of 32-bit keys (hex entires) that appear to be empty or filled
>> with bad data. I once worked for a company that was developing an
>> application, and our stuff genereated these hex entries that I recall the
>> software guys as being alarmed about and they worked to remove them. I
>> don't remember clearly, but I recall the problem as coming from
>> InstallShield, and they worked to find a command to clean up the mess
>> they were making. All of this was outside of my area of responsibility,
>> so I didn't pay close enough attention at the time (and the time was ten
>> years ago).
>>
>> Is there a Registry tool out there that can find and delete the keys that
>> are blank? Most of these keys are in the section of the Registry that is
>> headed with INSTALLER or INSTALLATION (whichever ... ).
>>
>> My thinking is, I have a corrupted Registry entry that is causing my
>> machine to try to complete a task that can't be completed because the
>> Registry call is no longer valid.
>>
>> If I can't clean the unused keys from the Registry (thousands of htem)
>> then I have to offload My Documents to an external drive, then reformat
>> C: and reinstall Windows.
>>
>> Oops, that's Windows XP Pro.
>>
>>

>
> To stop the installation from running on every startup you should remove
> it with the tool below.
> Description of the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility
> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301
>



The Installer Cleanup appears to have done the trick, thank you very much.

If I understand this correctly, I have a large number of programs that show
up in the Utility. Can I safely remove everything that the utility finds and
be left with the actual program intact? I guess my question is, the Utility
finds crap that got away from the respective installer, and this crap is not
needed by the actual program that left it behind. Is that right?





 
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GTS
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-24-2009

SNIP

>> To stop the installation from running on every startup you should remove
>> it with the tool below.
>> Description of the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility
>> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301
>>

>
>
> The Installer Cleanup appears to have done the trick, thank you very much.
>
> If I understand this correctly, I have a large number of programs that
> show up in the Utility. Can I safely remove everything that the utility
> finds and be left with the actual program intact? I guess my question is,
> the Utility finds crap that got away from the respective installer, and
> this crap is not needed by the actual program that left it behind. Is that
> right?
>


You're welcome.
It's best to only remove problem items with the clean up utility like the
incomplete installation you had. As I understand it, items on the list
have an installation routine registered which may sometimes be involved in
program updates or uninstallations. Removing them may sometimes cause a
problem.

 
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