Hello, I'm a huge fan of the freeware for Reg/Disk cleaner and use it often.
My primary machine is a Windows 7 (64bit, UAC disabled, always elevated privileges).
My secondary machine is a Windows XP (32bit, always elevated privileges).
But this is regarding an issue I had after using RegCleaner on a friend's laptop and how I solved it.
This information may be useful to the developers. It's not fully intended for other users to use as a solid solution to any given problem.
I believe my problem may have been purely circumstantial and rare.
DISCLAIMER: I don't claim that it will work 100% or for all situations. Please consult with a technician for precise support and advice. If you proceed to try, try at your own risk as I assume no responsibility.
Disclaimer #2: ...I have next to zero knowledge about Windows 8.
Settings: Deep scan, no back (never caused problems before)
Pre-configured/Pre-installed, Easyhome, Gateway, Windows 8 (64bit)
However, I used a portable version on my friend's laptop (Windows 8, 64bit, always elevated privileges).
The regular scan went fine. I even looked at the "Unsafe" registry pointers and felt they were safe enough to add to the wiping process. They pointed to games no longer installed.
I then did a scan for the Registry Defrag process and it took only less than 2 seconds to scan.
The percentage said it could defrag up to 92%!!!
I hadn't cleaned his registry in a long time (using older versions) so I thought this was just accumulated over time from installing/uninstalling software/games.
I proceeded to reboot the machine and it caused a fatal error where it wouldn't load Windows.
Instead of showing his user account to sign in, it just said "Something went wrong: critical_process_died"
The laptop began an endless cycle of rebooting and terminating prior to the log in screen with the same fatal error message.
"Something went wrong: critical_process_died"
Unable to boot into "safe mode"
Unable to boot into "Debugging mode"
Unable to boot into "Logging mode"
Windows Restore unavailble
Windows Explorer could not be opened
NOTE: This boot menu may be different for other users! This is a pre-configured laptop!!!
Command Prompt was available
No files were actually altered/removed
I took his laptop to my home (he has no internet) and googled for similar issues, starting with "registry disappeared".
I found a great deal of talk about "Regback" so I googled that next and found several recommendations that repeated multiple times.
I was able to change the boot options to allow me to enter the Repair/Diagnostic function.
From there I accessed the "Command Prompt" which allowed me to see that all the files were indeed still there, just that I couldn't run any program.
Since no files were deleted or anything else altered, I figured that the registry had been completely (or nearly all of it) had been wiped.
I was able to open "regedit" from the CMD in the diagnostic mode.
Sure enough, the "Software" folder for several of the main entries were missing!
This lead me to believe that RegCleaner misinterpreted the size it could actually defrag somehow and wiped a lot of vital information.
Including system registry entries that allowed programs to be executed, windows explorer to be opened and even for Windows OS to boot and "Safe Mode" to not boot at all.
So I went back to the google search results and read over the details of other people's problems and how successful they were.
Some reported to use "Windows Restore" but that was not available. CMD was available so I looked over the "RegBack" option several times before trying it out.
It was completely successful! Upon reboot, I was shown the screen to sign into his laptop and access the desktop.
Windows explorer opens, software executes properly.
Everything was 100% operational again.
Disclaimer #3: I don't claim that it will work 100% or for all situations. Please consult with a technician for precise support and advice. If you proceed to try, try at your own risk as I assume no responsibility.
Although the solution was for Windows 7, it proceeded to work on Windows 8.
If you were to google about Windows 7/8 and "regback" together, you'll stumble upon the same recommendations.
Website (Microsoft website) with details on semi-related issues with RegBack solution.
"Computer will start, but it doesn't load Windows 7... and it keeps restarting."
The RegBack process: (Spoilered for size)
I have no idea if this has happened to any Win8 users before or if it's just something from this version.
I've cleaned and defragged with Deep Scan/No Backup before and had no issues.
After having restored the backed up registry from Windows\System32\config, I did changed the settings in WRC.
"Show Safe Only"
"Create backup before cleaning"
The cleaning process goes without a hitch.
However, the scanning for defrag still shows a 92% reduction size.
Here's a screenshot of what WRC shows it can reduce...
I'm not going to defrag it, in fear of having to do the RegBack process all over again.
I'm going to do several virus/malware scans to see if there's an infection of any kind.
Is there any way to confirm if this is a bug in the most recent version? (7.82.51)
Would a virus/malware infection lead to WRC to wiping out an extremely large portion of the system registry?
Is there anything else I can provide to further help with the understanding of the problem?
I wouldn't know where exactly to look for pertinent logs that would better indicate the source.
Thank you for your time and wonderful programs.
I hope this serves useful.