I have one Windows system left in an otherwise all-Macintosh home. I have BootCamp running on my mid-2007 iMac so we can go into Windows if needed. It is a simple installation with very little software, no games, people don’t read E-Mail, or do FaceBook and most of the time we spend with the computer booted to Mac OS/X so it does not get a lot of spyware or adware.
I installed it back in 2007, and pretty much left it alone.
Recently, it developed a really annoying problem of hanging on any kind of application startup – even pressing the “Start” button would hang the system. Windows Explorer and the sidebar application were even getting the spinning wheel of death as soon as you clicked on them. Interestingly they behaved better after you clicked on them and restarted them. But this was kind of disquieting to the Windows users in the home. Their solution was to go buy a special computer just for Windows because “Macs Suck”.
Needless to say, buying a new PC just for Windows was not one of the options I considered seriously. I think that Macs run Windows better than purpose build hardware like HP, Dell, etc – because Mac’s leave their hardware alone and quick tweaking the dang drivers. Mac is some of the only hardware that can run Vista, XP, and Windows-7. But enough of that – back to my main train of thought.
So I decided I would find the daemons that inhabited my Windows partition! My suspects were:
Not enough memory so I went and bought 2GB so it went from 1GB to 3GB. Did not solve the problem.
Not enough free disk space it only had 3GB free and that sounded like not enough so I went in and started uninstalling software and blasting large temporary files and got it up to 12GB free. That should be enough. Nope – that was not it.
Did not install Service Pack 1 – I figured since this would hardly ever be used – I had never installed Vista SP1. So I installed Service Pack 1. One hour and three reboots later, the upgrade was stuck at the third (of three) step at 70% complete and seemed to be hung. First I left it sit for 30 minutes to see if it would unhang itself. Then I had some errands to do and then I was gone for 2.5 more hours and when I came back it was still at 70% – so I power-cycled it and somehow on the next boot, the service pack finished. And then when I log in and try to launch Windows Explorer – Fail (again).
Too many programs in the system tray – So I went into Task Manager and Resource viewer (very nice by the way) and methodically de-installed stuff that was no longer used and then prohibited a few more things from being starting. I wanted it to come up quickly, cleanly, and I wanted the dang disk to stop being hit after 30 seconds or so. I got down to the absolutely minimum of auto started stuff ( I even shut off my network printer monitors in the system tray) and that did not do it.
Now I am 8 hours into the mission and $80.00 into the problem – and the system looks really clean (I *am* liking that) and comes up quickly but it still cannot launch Windows explorer from the start button. Sheesh.
So in desperation, I go to Google and type “registry repair” and one of the top-three links is glarysoft.com and their registry repair tool. At this point, my next step is to format it all and install Windows-7 (the disk was at my office an hour away) so there seemed little harm in risking a registry patcher.
So I downloaded their free Registry Cleaner / Registry Repair tool and installed it. It is free but it wants to install the ask.com toolbar. I knew I could later remove the toolbar so that was OK with me.
When I ran the registry cleaner, it took a long time and hung at several points in the process but then recovered and made its way through. It found 1287 errors in my registry. I skimmed them but at that point, I figured what the heck and told Glarysoft to “fix them all”.
I rebooted and immediately Windows Explorer was happy again. I ran Glarysoft’s registry cleaner three more times with a reboot in between to get it squeaky clean – until the registry cleaner reported no errors.
The system now works flawlessly – everything comes up quickly and launches without error. Wow! Of course all of the other cleanup I did and the extra 2GB of RAM is a plus and with a nice disk defragment treatment – everything is very snappy again. Thanks to Glarysoft.
Now, I did remove the Ask.com toolbar and set my default search back to Google and then I even de-installed Glarysoft (I wanted things to be squeaky clean).
But I did want to write a blog post publicly thanking www.glarysoft.com for saving me from a full reformat of my Windows instance.
Note: This is simply a review of the products in this blog post. There has been no compensation for this review or my links to Glarysoft.