Gaming Advanced SystemCare...is it safe?

GeekyGuy

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Someone recommended this software to me, and though the vast majority of user reviews were glowing, there were a good 400-500 reviews that warn it is an unsafe, sort of scam software that virtually hijacks your system. Anyone have experience this thing?
 

Rydian

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If you install a program, it scans and then tells you there's a bunch of issues, but it won't tell you where or what exactly they are, then wants to charge you to remove them, it's a scam. Not always an infection, but it's a good way to trick you out of your money. These programs can almost be classified as "scare-ware".

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/256986
The registry is mostly text data. The size of it should not really concern you, a modern computer can deal with a registry three times normal size without much of an issue at all. I had a windows install that was over five years old, and my registry measured a little over 65 megabytes. It's not like I never did anything, my "program files" list was pages long on the screen, too.

There are parts of the registry that could be cleaned up sometimes, and there are errors that can happen, however they fall into one of two categories.

1 - The first are generic things, like useless file extension entries, incorrect uninstall information, things like that. Those are quite common and any registry cleaner will be sure to get them. These are not critical things, but they are nice to keep in check. Cleaning these things can speed up things like how fast your uninstall programs list from the control panel starts up, and other system menus like that. They can also speed up startup time by up to a few seconds.

2 - The second type are bad, critical errors. These are the things that most paid registry cleaners try to scare you with, and they do happen, but they are usually a symptom, not a cause. The root cause itself should be treated, and not by a mindless program.

The only registry cleaner I can personally recommend is CCleaner (which is a general computer cleaner that has registry-cleaning on the side). It will take care of the first type of errors, and properly alert you to the second type without charging you for information about your own computer.

QUOTE said:
Registry cleaners are one of those PC optimization products that I place in the 'snake oil' class of usefulness, an impression that seemed to be confirmed by a PC Pro review I saw of Norton Utilities 14:

QUOTE said:
To test the registry tools, we installed Norton Utilities on an XP system that had seen several years of heavy use, and which was now so bogged down it took 1min 10sec to boot even with a Core i7 CPU and 3GB of RAM. Norton found and repaired 907 errors in our registry, and the defragmenter then compacted its size by 3%. Afterwards we found our boot time had actually increased significantly, to 2min 12sec: not an encouraging result.
Unless you know exactly what you're doing and why you're doing it, leave the registry alone.
 

SifJar

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I have used that software, and it seemed fine to me, Microsoft Security Essentials never complained about it. I can't remember it trying to charge me for anything it did, although I do think there was a Pro version, but it didn't diagnose the problem, then tell me to use the Pro version to fix it, it just didn't check for the stuff only the Pro version could do IIRC. But I really didn't notice any performance difference after having used it.
 

GeekyGuy

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Rydian said:
If you install a program, it scans and then tells you there's a bunch of issues, but it won't tell you where or what exactly they are, then wants to charge you to remove them, it's a scam....

One those, eh?

Thanks for the replies, guys, and thanks for the help, Rydian. I'll steer clear.
 

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