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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]
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