My system is very slow and freezing up. I know that I have 913 problems in the registry as well as an overload of spam and many errors. Sometimes weird stuff happens such as lines instead of text or something else will show up that wasn't there before. It's never acted like this before. Can I just run the tools? I don't know much about them.
Running Registry Cleaners
Sounds like you've used a free registry scanner to detect the 913 registry problems. That's a good first step, but at this point it is informational only. Most free registry scanners are evaluation tools that give you an idea of the health of your registry so that you can decide whether or not to upgrade to the full, commercial version of the product. With nearly a thousand known registry errors, your computer is a candidate for a good registry cleaning.
Filetonic recommends RegCure from ParetoLogic Software. I use this registry cleaner on my daughter's computer and can vouch for its effectiveness at cleaning out the junk and speeding the computer up.
How Registry Cleaning Works
The Windows registry is a big index of information about your computer and everything on it. The operating system refers to this index regularly to carry out its functions. When the registry is "clean," Windows can easily find the information required and move on. When it becomes excessively large, it takes longer for Windows to find what it needs therefore operations become sluggish.
To make matters worse, invalid information and corruption within the registry leads to odd behavior and computer errors. For example, if a registry entry tells Windows to load a particular program but the program no longer exists, Windows will do its best to load the non-existent program, often delaying other processes while it searches for it. When the missing program can't be found, you may see an error message.
The registry is an ever-evolving entity. As you add and remove programs and hardware, the registry is changed. When you change user preferences on your computer, these changes are reflected in the registry. Other programs, like spyware and computer viruses, also make changes to the registry.
Windows comes with a built-in registry editing utility called regedit. However, making manual changes to the registry tool is extremely risky and shouldn't be attempted for large scale cleaning (especially if are working with as many errors as your computer has). Registry cleaning software is programmed to make the necessary changes safely and quickly.
Investing in a registry cleaner such as RegCure is an inexpensive way to speed up a sluggish computer and keep it running smoothly through regular cleanings. Cleaning the registry is a good first step. If after the cleaning, your computer still experiences weird happenings, I would be concerned with malware. Viruses and spyware can also corrupt your registry and slow your computer.In addition, you mentioned an overabundance of spam which increases your exposure to scammers, phishers, and malware. If you don't have a good antivirus product on your computer, this is another investment that you won't regret.
We reviewed some of the top antivirus products for 2009 earlier this year, several of which are free. Look for a complete solution that takes care of viruses, spyware, and spam. Using a reputable computer security product and cleaning out the malware and viruses will also improve slow computers.