What is it?


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Windows Registry - What is it?

Windows Registry tells the Operating System how to handle files and their operational parameters...
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Notice for the series of registry tutorials

It uses a set files when combined in memory it is called the 'Windows Registry' each program, security, or device has an entry in these files to control how the Operating System loads and the parameters for the operation of the program or driver.

It is split up in different five sections:


These individual sections are called hives (a Microsoft nickname) because each one has a nest of sub keys.

Note: Each sub key also has a set of sub keys, the number of sub keys is unlimited, you could go down through numerous sub keys to find the parameter you are looking for, be very careful to not modify a higher sub key heading, miss typing or changing a heading will cause corruption, and possible a BSOD!

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Under each section may be more sections such as:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ AppEvents\ EventLabels\ BlockedPopup

The final section of the key BlockedPopup will have the parameters for the key.

To modify the it you have to use a special editor, either regedit or regedt32. (Do not use notepad.exe to modify a these files, if you miss align a parameter it may cause your OS to BSOD!)

A some things to keep in mind when working with the registry:

  • Always back it up before you make any modifications (backing it up to an external device is the best choice)
  • Any modifications take effect immediately, how ever there are a few exceptions that require a restart.
  • Any security changes to the registry you have to use regedt32.exe, regedit does not have any security functions.

The main thing to remember about this is it does not take much to BSOD your computer! So any changes you make to the registry be sure you know what you are doing!

Note: Use care with the so called reg cleaners, most do more harm than good - you maybe reloading your operating system if you use the wrong one, I suggest you read any reviews of the program before paying for one or even using it!

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Before making any changes you should know how to back up these files and if you do have a problem how to restore it!

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