My computer has been sluggish lately. I put it down to the weather. Then I found a free piece of software (lets called it “Cleanup”) that offered to check my system for “Registry Errors”. The CNET logo was prominently displayed on the sales page, so I assumed the software was endorsed by CNET, and decided to give it a whirl. It found 305 Registry Errors and invited me to buy a reduced “Cleanup” package to correct all those nasty Registry Errors. I bought the reduced package ($25), downloaded, installed and ran it.
Over the next few days I noticed the system slowing down again. I rebooted, and used TaskManager to see what was running. I found “Cleanup” was running, although I hadn’t started it, and concluded that it must be set up to run automatically at start-up. I killed the process and went about my business. A couple of reboots later (due to MS updates or McAfee restarts) I got a pop-up message from “Cleanup” that I now had 480 Registry Errors and should take immediate remedial steps (including purchasing the complete “Cleanup” system package). I became suspicious. How could I have so many Registry Errors after such a short time? Five minutes later, I got another pop-up message to say my system now had 79 Registry Errors. At that point I knew I’d bought a pup. I stopped what I was doing and uninstalled the “Cleanup” package. Hopefully, it’s gone from my system.
Beware these packages. I’m convinced that it was deliberately slowing my system down to encourage me to make further purchases.