Freeware: Glary Registry cleaner; DriverMax driver updater

By Poppa Bear
Apr 29, 2009
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  1. For all you freeware geeks. I have found these totally free programs to be very safe and extremely effective. Have used them on XP Home, Pro & Vista Ultimate. They both come highly rated in PC magazine reviews.

    1. Glary Utilities for registry & general cleaning..


    • Auto creates a back-up to any deleted registry items.
    • Very user friendly.
    • Allows you to preview items before deleting.
    • Includes a heap of other ancillary functions.
    • The only item I found I needed to untick when cleaning is: "Shortcuts fixer". It removed a few I didn't want removed.
    • Download site link: http://www.glaryutilities.com/

    2. DriverMax for updating existing drivers.

    It's similar to Everest but limited to drivers only, not operating system info.

    • Scans your whole operating system, and lists available driver updates for everything.
    • Downloaded drivers can be run, saved, imported or exported. Very useful save if ever doing a reload of OS.
    • Includes a user review on every driver.
    • A bit tricky to use at first but provides good help menu options.
    • Download site link: http://www.innovative-sol.com/drivermax/
    This program is brilliant for that hard to find driver that is the exact match for your hardware. An example of this is a Compaq laptop for which the web site listed 14 different sound drivers. After downloading and unsuccessfully trying the first five, DriverMax ID'd and installed the correct one first off. However, you must have a driver installed to begin with. It won't do fresh driver installations.

    Hope this may prove useful. :grinthumb
  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,400   +832

  3. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 688   +67

    A useful post.

    Personally, I don’t believe much in registry cleaners in general. I don’t think they solve problems, but they can create some. I’d only use the most conservative, which I consider CCleaner, if at all.

    As regards DriverMax, though I knew about it, I welcomed the short review, because finding the correct drivers can be tricky. Similarly looking versions can have subtle differences and cause problems.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,400   +832

    @ Bobcat; actually "Tweak Now" is quite gentle, and has never caused me any problems at all. I haven't had the positive experiences with CCleaner that many others claim. The newest version of "Spybot SD16" provides a temp file cleaner upon launching a scan, so I suppose these 2 programs together offer a variant of the CCleaner strategem.

    Spybot seems to have lost some of it's status in particular as a purely antispyware program but, the "Tea timer" function prevents registry changes, it has a really decent start-up manager , and the "immunization" function offers a hosts file method of protection which is similar to "combo Fix" in it's function.

    When Nero 6 is installed, it leaves about 120 bad registry entries! In keeping with your assessment of registry cleaning, Tweak Now finds them, and it can remove them for you. But, since ignorance is bliss, I'm uncertain as to whether removing them helps, or leaving them there hurts anything. Placebo effect maybe?

    Glarysoft's products enjoy a positive reputation, so if someone is inclined toward instaling a reg scrubber, their software is probably worth a shot.
  5. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 266

    Risks of Registry Cleaners

    Better be careful here, I'm at risk of becoming a "forum post addict" LOL! Top o' the mornin' to ya Cranky :)

    Totally agree Bobcat, at one point I stayed right away from registry cleaners because they caused more problems than they solved. And that's why I wanted to highlight Glary. It's one of the few I've come across that has proved to be totally safe... at least on the operating systems and programs I use.

    In the event that Glary does create a problem, it's very simple to reverse the entries removed using the recovery console; assuming of course that your OS is still bootable after cleaning.

    It is also possible to preview the entries it has listed for removal and edit it. However, unless you're a programmer, most of the entries listed are meaningless... well certainly to me. In reality we're pretty much at the mercy of the program creator for what parameters are used to decide what should be removed. In the event of a problem you can trouble shoot which removed registry entry caused it, by replacing them one by one. But it's a tedious task and the item restored has to be edited out of the removal list every time you clean the registry again.

    As has been mentioned before, there's no one program that effectively & safely removes all invalid registry entries. I've found you really need a collage of programs. In this respect I clean the registry once a week using Glary, CCleaner and EasyCleaner by Toni Arts. And there is no question it makes the PC run a lot quicker. If I get into real trouble, I have the luxury of restoring the entire system with an Acronis back-up image of my OS. It only takes 10 minutes to restore an entire 14GB system, and all you have to do is sit there watching it restore. Absoutely stoked with Acronis, but that's another story.

    I've experimented with the three programs mentioned, by running one after the other in different order, and found that no matter which one you run first, or second, either of the other two will remove items that the first one or two did not. Overall Glary is the most comprehensive.

    Some of the features included in Glary modules include a Registry Defragmenter, Recovery function for accidentally deleted files, File shredder, File Splitter and many more.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,400   +832

    That's part of the sublime irony of registry cleaners, you 're never quite sure that they're having any effect until they break something.

    I would still mull over the Spybot "Tea Timer" thingy. It is reasonable to suggest that pre-emptively preventing changes, is possibly more effective than reversing them after they happen.
  7. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 266

    Spybot

    Yeah Capn', totally agree with your comments re Spybot:

    I used to use this program but found it removed items that corrupted certain programs, even it's own! After using it and removing what it suggested, the Spybot window would only display in large size and could not be reduced to half size. Used the recovery console to put back the removed files and the problem disappeared.

    I kept it for awhile just for the tea timer and more the Immunisation function, and used Adaware as well for spyware protection. Eventually ditched it altogether and now use AVG and Super Anti-Spyware.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,400   +832

    I actually rarely use Spybot as a scanner. I use the Adaware as a scanner to get rid of tracking cookies, and rely on the AVG for active protection. So far, so good.

    All these programs really need to state, "your results may vary". Spybot has never given me any of the problems you describe, but we more than likely have an entirely different software roster. SB may not want to play well with a couple of your programs.
    On the other hand CCleaner was a bit of a nemesis for me.
  9. Poppa Bear

    Poppa Bear TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 266

    Test

    As a test, ran TweakNow, then EasyCleaner and finally GlaryUtilities on Vista to clean the registry.

    TweakNow removed 7 entries.

    EasyCleaner removed an extra 3.

    GlaryUtilities removed an extra 1 on top of the previous 10 removed.

    Not really a lot in it.
  10. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 688   +67

    That’s another one of your gems cap’n, I am saving it in my collection. :)

    You might also say that gentle registry cleaners are ineffective, while aggressive ones are harmful. Take your choice.

    True, but the problem is that the vast majority of registry junk is left by uninstalled programs, which aren’t very keen on leaving, let alone clean the place behind them.

    As regards Spybot, I am all for its immunization, but its Tea-Timer was more of nuisance value to me and I deactivated it. I am now waiting for something to break to see if this de-activation has had an effect. For the time being, I get sufficient head-scratching from my firewall messages about “components have changed".
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,400   +832

    To which captaincranky replied, now beginning to think of himself in the third person; "I probably have a much more stable software environment than many, if not most of the people in the forum". Take that to read, "I'm an old stick in the mud". Accordingly, the only time Tea timer rears it's pointy little head on me, is when there's a flash update in the wind.
     
  12. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    if you like open source software then try

    sourceforge.net
  13. ZoeButton55

    ZoeButton55 Newcomer, in training

    Glary Utilities is what I use now. Its other functions are satisfying, especial the function of Encrypter. Thanks to it!
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