Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Solutions: Registry files not really a problem

I have a 6-year-old Toshiba Satellite computer with Windows XP Service Pack 3 that has worked like a gem. The only problem is that it is filling with registry files that are taking up a lot of gigabytes. I found this to be a problem for others in the past and it is related, I think, in the Windows Installer folder or thereabouts. There was a computer utility cleanup program provided by Microsoft, but Microsoft discontinued offering it. Do you have any suggestions?

I think the two things you're describing is the Windows registry file and the Windows $NTUNINSTALL and $NTSERVICEPACK folders in the Windows directory. The registry is a nonissue. Yes, I know there are all kinds of registry cleaners available for download that promise great speed savings, but that simply is not true. While there may be a few references to nonexistent files or DLLs in your registry, there is no measurable savings in time by removing them. A good portion of your registry file is cached in memory anyway, where access time is measured in nanoseconds. My recommendation is to leave the registry file alone.

The $NTUNINSTALL and $NTSERVICEPACK folders in the Windows folder can safely be deleted on a Windows XP system as long as you do not plan to roll back to a previous update or service pack.

I changed the battery for my Vista Windows desktop. Now when I boot up I get a message: "Diskette (drive seek failure) press F2 for set up." I followed the instruction to no avail.

Then I pressed F1 to continue. When I do, another message comes up that says boot from a CD. I do not have one. If I just let it go for a few seconds, it proceeds to boot up normally. How can I stop these messages or get rid of them?

It sounds as if the boot sequence in your CMOS BIOS settings needs to be set. Next time press F2 and enter the BIOS program. All BIOS utilities are a little different, so you will need to look around to find the setting for boot sequence. It may also be called boot order. There are menu settings at the top and instructions for navigating within the BIOS screens on the bottom. If you don't see the boot sequence on the main general screen, try a menu option like Advanced Options or Advanced BIOS Features. When you find it, change the order placing Hard Disk as the first choice. F10 is usually the key that saves the change and exits out of the BIOS utility and proceeds with a boot.

I'm running Windows 7 with Yahoo as my email carrier. My problem is that quite often I get things that are all scrambled and I can't read them. How can I change a PDF file into a HTML file?

You shouldn't need to convert a PDF to an HTML. Go to and install the free Adobe Reader (on the right side of the window). The scramble test you are seeing is the binary code of the file. It displays when the associated program is not found on the system.

Send questions to or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Registry files not really a problem 03/22/13 [Last modified: Friday, March 22, 2013 9:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Two boys in critical condition after Largo crash


    LARGO — A 7-year-old boy was thrown from a car in a head-on crash on Starkey Road, and both he and a 6-year-old boy were in critical condition Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  2. Trump's new order bars almost all travel from seven countries


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a new order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Sunday upon his return to the White House in Washington.
  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. In Mexico City, hopes of finding quake survivors dwindle


    MEXICO CITY — Five days after the deadly magnitude 7.1 earthquake, the hulking wreckage of what used to be a seven-story office building is one of the last hopes: one of just two sites left where searchers believe they may still find someone trapped alive in Mexico City.

    Rescue workers search for survivors inside a felled office building in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City on Saturday.
  5. GOP health bill in major peril as resistance hardens among key senators


    WASHINGTON — The floundering Republican attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act met hardening resistance from key GOP senators Sunday that left it on the verge of collapse even as advocates vowed to keep pushing for a vote this week.

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate, said Sunday that it was “very difficult” to envision voting for this health-care bill.