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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Know Your Windows Registry

tips and trick, registry, windows
Understanding the Windows Registry. Registry is a collection of databases relating to all settings of Windows and all applications installed in it. Changes in registry can be risky disrupt a computer system as a whole when we make a mistake in the "modify" this registry. Therefore, before doing the modification, it is advisable to back up first. Thus if an error occurs in making modifications, we can restore the registry back to its original state.

Storage Location Registry

In Windows 95, 98, Me, the registry is stored in hidden files in Windows, namely USER.DAT and SYSTEM.DAT.

In Windows 2000 and XP, the registry is stored in the folder \ windows \ system32 \ config and \ Documents and Settings \ (username).

Registry Structure

Registry has a hierarchical structure like a directory on your hard drive. Each branch (denoted by a folder icon in the Registry Editor) is called a Key. Each key can contain other keys and the Value-Value. Each Value contains the actual information stored in the Registry. There are three types of values String, Binary and DWORD and the use of all three depending on the context.

There are six main branches (five in Windows 2000 and Windows XP), each containing a specific part of the information stored in the Registry. Six branches are as follows:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT>> This branch contains all type (type) our files as well as OLE information.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER - this branch points to the part of HKEY_USERS Appropriate for the current user. HKEY_CURRENT_USER>> This branch points to the section of HKEY_USERS appropriate for the current user.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE - This branch contains information about all the hardware and software installed on our computers. Because you can specify multiple hardware configurations, hardware configurations currently specified in HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG.
HKEY_USERS>> HKEY_USERS - This branch contains certain preferences (such as colors and control panel settings) for each computer user. In Windows 95/98/Me, the default branch contains the currently logged user. In Windows 2000/XP, the default branch contains a template that will be used to add new users.
HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG>> This branch points to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE in accordance with the existing hardware configuration.
HKEY_DYN_DATA (only on Windows 95/98/Me)>> This branch points to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, which is used for system Windows Plug-&-Play.
Using Registry Editor

Registry Editor (regedit.exe) is a tool that is included in Windows that allows you to view and edit the contents of the registry. When we run the Registry Editor tool, we will see a window divided into two panels. Left side panel shows a branch with a folder and right-hand panel shows the contents (value) of the currently selected folder (key).

To expand a certain branch, click on the small plus sign [+] to the left of each folder, or just double-click on the folder. To display the contents of a key (folder), just click the desired button, and look at value-value listed on the right side. We can add a new key or value by selecting New from the Edit menu. We can also rename any value and almost any key with the same method used to rename the file, right click on an object and click rename, or click twice (slowly), or simply press F2 on the keyboard. Finally, you can delete the key or value by clicking it and pressing Delete on the keyboard, or by right clicking and selecting Delete.

I end this article about the registry, although quite late, but I hope this can be useful for others especially those still newbie.

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