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System Cleanup Tweak Guide for Windows 9x and 2000 (Page 4/4)

Posted: July 27, 2000
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan

Step 4 - Compressing the Registry

Windows 98 and Windows 2000 (however, not Windows 95) will automatically compress the registry when there is 500 Kb of wasted space in the registry files - however, I am of the opinion that that threshold is too high, and the process is disabled if automatic registry scanning is disabled during startup, so I will give the instructions on how to manually compress the registry. Please keep in mind that it can be very difficult to manually compress the registry in Windows 2000 and it might be advisable to allow Windows 2000 to compress the registry on its own. If you are still running Windows 95, you will need to follow some extra steps due to some problems with the included copy of regedit for Windows 95.

Windows 95 users: Download both FixReg and a new version of Regedit before continuing.

Windows 98 users: No extra files necessary.

Windows 2000 users: No extra files necessary, but there is no guarantee it will work. Continue at your own risk.

Restart the computer in command prompt mode and run the following console commands:

Smartdrv (Win9x only)
regedit /e all.reg
regedit /c all.reg

Then restart your computer. If you are running Windows 95, make sure you run the Fixreg program on the all.reg file you created to include certain keys that the Win95 regedit program doesn't include. You can then delete the all.reg file.


When you are cleaning up your computer, there are some other things you should do at the same time. Personally, I'd look at the System Startup Tweak Guide and look into cleaning out your start-up files. Also, another thing to look into would be to try some other registry cleaners, including but not limited to the ones includes along with the McAfee and Norton suites. There are also some free ones available (including the ones that I mentioned in the original system cleanup guide over a year ago) that catch a few more bad keys then regclean does. The reason they aren't recommended in this revision of the guide is because they aren't 100% compatible with Windows 2000 - and that was an important criteria I had when working on this guide. That doesn't mean that they shouldn't be used, just that I wanted this guide to be as universally useful as possible.


Hopefully, this guide has helped your system run faster, leaner, and generally just better. Performing these steps can remove some of those Windows 'quirks' that pop up from time to time, and generally lengthen the life of a windows installation - even a Windows 2000 installation. Windows 2000 might be a much better OS than Win9x in various aspects, but it still has its problems and it does die every once and a while. As always, if you have any comments or questions, feel free to email me.

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