Thursday, February 24, 2011

XP Registry

Introduction To Windows registry

            A central hierarchical database used in Microsoft Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows NT, and Windows 2000 used to store information that is necessary to configure the system for one or more users, applications and hardware devices.

The Registry contains information that Windows continually references during operation, such as profiles for each user, the applications installed on the computer and the types of documents that each can create, property sheet settings for folders and application icons, what hardware exists on the system, and the ports that are being used.

The Registry replaces most of the text-based .ini files that are used in Windows 3.x and MS-DOS configuration files, such as the Autoexec.bat and Config.sys. Although the Registry is common to several Windows operating systems, there are some differences among them.

A registry hive is a group of keys, subkeys, and values in the registry that has a set of supporting files that contain backups of its data. The supporting files for all hives except HKEY_CURRENT_USER are in the %SystemRoot%\System32\Config folder on Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Vista. The supporting files for HKEY_CURRENT_USER are in the %SystemRoot%\Profiles\Username folder. The file name extensions of the files in these folders indicate the type of data that they contain. Also, the lack of an extension may sometimes indicate the type of data that they contain.

 In Windows 98, the registry files are named User.dat and System.dat. In Windows Millennium Edition, the registry files are named Classes.dat, User.dat, and System.dat.

Note: Security features in Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Vista let an administrator control access to registry keys.

The following table lists the predefined keys that are used by the system. The maximum size of a key name is 255 characters.

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