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. What to watch this weekend: Grateful Dead documentary, 'House of Cards' returns Tuesday


    The Grateful Dead: Long Strange Trip

    Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in Season 5 of House of Cards on Netflix.
  2. Florida TaxWatch calls out $180 million of questionable spending in state budget


    Florida TaxWatch, a Tallahassee thinktank, has released its annual "budget turkey" list that calls on Gov. Rick Scott to veto nearly $180 million in special projects tucked into the budget, mostly in transportation.

    Kurt Wenner, Florida TaxWatch's vice president for research, presents the organization's 2017 turkey list.
  3. U.S. plans first test of ICBM intercept, with North Korea on mind


    WASHINGTON — Preparing for North Korea's growing threat, the Pentagon will try to shoot down an intercontinental-range missile for the first time in a test next week. The goal is to more closely simulate a North Korean ICBM aimed at the U.S. homeland, officials said Friday.

    n this May 21 file photo people watch a TV news program showing a file image of a missile launch conducted by North Korea, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. With North Korea's nuclear missile threat in mind, the Pentagon is planning a missile defense test next week that for the first time will target an intercontinental-range missile.
  4. A breakdown of the proposed new state budget by the Florida Association of Counties.
  5. Gradebook podcast: Budgets, pre-k, achievement gap and more


    As classes let out across Florida, school district leaders continue to analyze how they're going to balance their budgets given the constraints proposed by state lawmakers.  Reporter Jeff Solochek and editor Tom Tobin discuss the concerns district finance officials are raising as they look at the budget while …