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Baidya Nath Pandey

Roll No. 11
Brief History of Registry
• MS-DOS got its configuration data from
Config.sys and Autoexec.bat. The primary
purpose of Config.sys was to load device drivers,
and the primary purpose of Autoexec.bat was to
run programs, set environment variables, and
more, to prepare MS-DOS for use.

• Every application that ran on MS-DOS was

responsible for managing its own settings.

• But Neither of these configuration files is useful in

• Windows 3.0 alleviated the limitations of
Autoexec.bat and Config.sys by providing INI
(initialization) files for storing settings.

• INI files, are text files that contain one or

more sections with one or more settings in
each section.

• The main problems with INI files:-

-Provide no hierarchy
-Storing binary values are cumbersome
-No standard for storing similar types of
• Major problem with early versions:-
Windows had the number of INI files
that floated around on the average

• Every application had its own INI files.

• All the configuration file’s inability to build

complex relationships b/n applications and
the operating system.
• Windows 3.1 introduced the registry as a tool for
storing OLE (object linking and embedding)
settings, and Windows 95 and Microsoft Windows
NT 3.5 expanded the registry into the
configuration database that Windows XP and
Windows Server 2003 use now.

• Even though INI files are no longer necessary

because applications now have a far better way
to store settings, you’ll always find a handful of
INI files, including Win.ini, on any computer.
What is Registry?
• Windows stores its configuration
information in a database called the

• The registry contains profiles for each user

of the computer and information about
system hardware, installed programs, and
property settings. Windows continually
references this information during its
• The registry is a hierarchical
database, which can be described as
a central repository for configuration
data (Microsoft’s terminology) or as
a configuration database.

• You can do nothing in Windows that

doesn’t access the registry.



The registry is a hierarchical database that contains most Windows settings.

Actual view of Registry in
Classification of the
•The registry is divided into six broad
sections, one for each root Key.
These are as follows:-

• It is mainly used to keep track of file

extensions and their associated
applications, documents and OLE

• This root key contains information

specific to the user. If user profiles
are enabled, it relates to the user
who is currently logged on.

• It is the home of all the computer-

specific information, including details
of the hardware configuration and
any machine-specific settings for the
installed applications.
• This root key contains a sub-key for
each user profile. There is a further
sub-key, named .Default, which
provides default values for new user
profiles. If user profiles are not
enabled, .Default stores the settings
for the actual user.
key is an alias for the current
hardware profile. Its content is
therefore identical to
, where nnnn is the profile number.
• This final root key (which is not
present in NT) is a memory-resident
copy of certain other registry items.
It contains information which
Windows needs to retrieve
particularly quickly.
• With every click, Windows consults the
registry. Every time launch a program,
the operating system consults the registry.
Every application that we use looks for its
settings in the registry.

• The registry is certainly the center of


• Due to this, the registry is “the

operating system’s heart and soul.”
• For example, when you right-click different
types of files, you see different shortcut
menus. Settings in the registry make this
type of context-sensitive user interface

• The settings for each user who logs on to

Windows are separate from those of other
users—again, because of the registry.

• The ability of Windows to use different

configurations for laptop computers
depending on whether they’re docked or
undocked is due in large part to the
registry. Even Plug and Play depends on the
High Level Overview

• Logical:
– Registry = “a FS within a file”
– Keys = directories
– Values = files

• Physical:
– Registry=collection of Hives
– Hive = collection of Bins
– Bin = collection of Cells
– Cell = unit of allocation (contains raw
Advantage of Registry
• The biggest advantage of the registry is more
exciting and very real: you can customize Windows
and the applications that run on it in ways that
aren’t otherwise possible. Windows has thousands
of settings that you’ll never see in any dialog box,
but that you might want to customize.

• For example, you can redirect your Favorites folder

to a different location, improve your Internet
connection’s performance, and add commands to
any type of file’s shortcut menu.
Globally unique identifiers
• Globally unique identifiers are better
known as GUIDs (pronounced goo ids).
They are numbers that uniquely identify
objects such as computers, program
components, and devices.

• These objects often have names, but their

GUIDs remain unique even if two of the
objects have the same name or if their
names change.
Structure of GUIDs
• All GUIDs have the same interesting format. They’re
16-byte hexadecimal numbers in groups of 8, 4, 4,
4, and 12 digits (0 through 9 and A through F).

• A dash divides each group of digits, and curly

brackets enclose the whole number.

• An example of a real GUID is {645FF040-5081-

101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}, which represents the
Recycle Bin object that you see on the desktop.

• The GUID {127A89AD-C4E3-D411-BDC8-

001083FDCE08} belongs to my computer.
Dword (doubleword variable)
Just for Fun……
• Pop up banner when windows boots

• Create your own tips.

• Add a command prompt right click to

every folder.

• Disable the shutdown option

How we edit the registry?
• Tools used are:
-Microsoft regedit.exe
-Third party registry editors

Registry commander
Registry workshop
How do we see the registry?
• For the security purpose microsoft
has hidden the direct view of the
registry because it makes possible
the failure of windows to work or
misbehave to users.

• The registry application is seen in

c:\windows\system32 and its editor
can be accessed from c:\windows.
Remember !
• Editing the registry is not as tough as
you might think, but you need to
understand what you’re doing, and
it’s essential to make a backup
before you make any changes so
that you can back them out if