While I was cleaning up a computer recently and removing the
unwanted toolbars, adware, malware, and other goodies, I was presented
with this popup ad for FastAgain PC Booster. Wow! Pretty graphics with
the top line reading "We highly recommend this download." and its
developed by a Microsoft Partner Gold ISV. This has to be good right?
Well, the marketing is good, although there is no mention of WHO
exactly recommends this download, and the way its presented tricks your
mind into thinking this is a product from Microsoft. When its not!
Everyone knows I don't like "registry cleaners" because in most cases
they can cause more harm than good. I'm also not a huge
fan of programs that allow you to download a trial, but you can't
anything until you pay for it. In this case, that price is $29.95. The
reality is there are numerous free programs that
generally do a better job than these types of programs.
site owned by Activeris Software in Scottsdale, AZ. Enough about
the marketing, let's look at whether FastAgain can perform magic with
program is a registry cleaner type software. It installs and scans
your computer for "problems", then shows hundreds of issues in hopes
that you will believe all the hype and purchase the product. I ran
Hijackthis and CCleaner before installing the software on an older
Windows Vista machine. After installing the software, it proceeded to scan
my computer as shown below.
scan finishes and displays the following screen showing a total of 462
errors on my computer. Unfortunately, that would probably someone into purchasing the software.
after examining the errors that the software found, it becomes clear
how these errors are discovered. The software searches for run lists,
these are the "recently opened" lists in various software programs and
if you've moved the file this is an error. Well, I have several
programs that create files and then yes I move them so I can use them.
This isn't an error its just an old to-do list that hasn't been
updated. The software also finds issues with programs like Microsoft
Visual Studio 8 or Microsoft SQL. These are programs that are used by
other programs not directly and its a good idea to just leave them
alone. Many times, these keys are
placeholders and will contain data at different times. If I remove it,
this could cause a problem in the future with that particular software
program. For this reason, I am not a fan of removing empty
registry key or trying to "fix" a program like Visual Studio or SQL
that isn't used by me directly. Just so we are clear: deleting the
wrong items in the
registry can cause a system to have problems or not boot at all.
This is also why I'm not a fan of almost all registry cleaners.
The chance of removing something that is needed is too great,
especially by a novice computer user.
Ok, so what steps do you
go through if you really want to buy this registry cleaner? When you
click the Fix Errors button, you are presented with a popup for
registering the software.
have to click the "register your software" button if you don't have a
license key already. Then comes the part I don't like...Instead of
being presented with a price and a way to buy the software, you are
presented with a squeeze page asking for your name, email, and zip
code. Common on! You are going to charge us for something but before we
buy you want to add us to your mailing list so you can email us if we
didn't buy it! Not cool!
just so we feel we are getting a good deal, we are presented with a
coupon that of course expires today (or any day you visit the site)
with a "discount". This is to seal the deal for the gullible Internet
buyer who must buy it this minute or lose out on the deal.
reality FastAgain PC Booster downloads nothing more than a registry
cleaner, it won't add memory to your computer, give you a bigger hard
drive, or a faster processor. It simply deletes entries in the registry
like a free program CCleaner
. So, you can buy FastAgain or download a free tool that will help just as much. For
this reason, I would recommend that you don't download it and use a
variety of free tools like CCleaner
to get the job done.
Finally here is a link to instructions from Fast Again's website giving you instructions on how to uninstall FastAgain PC Booster
If you don't want to read that, find the FastAgain program icon in your
All Programs link under the Start menu and click on Uninstall
FastAgain. After removing it, you may want to run Ccleaner to see if
FastAgain left anything behind in the registry ;-)