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WHAT IS WINDOWS REGISTRY?

It all started with Win95 and onwards. Windows registry is system-defined repository or simple database that contains all the details of your computer. These details include Hardware connected to the computer E.g. Printer, Hard Disk, Keyboard, Mouse, etc

  • Software installed on the computer E.g. Windows Office, Games, Photoshop, etc
  • System preferences E.g. Desktop background image, etc
  • Startup application details E.g. Yahoo Messenger (starts when PC restarts). etc
  • Memory structure of the system E.g. 1GB Virtual Memory, etc

Registry is modified when we install new software, delete existing software and modify system preferences. Sometimes simple changes in control panel also causes windows registry to be updated. Thus, any change made, knowingly or unknowingly, can modify the windows registry. Also, windows provide utility called regedit.exe that helps you to modify the windows registry manually. But, we strongly recommend not using this utility unless you are aware of it since it can badly damage your computer.

Hence, we normally encounter windows registry error after any installation or uninstallation of software or when any system parameter is changed.

Microsoft has defined windows registry to consist of following six parts:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE: This section contains all the information and settings related to the hardware, installed software and the operating system.

HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIGURATION : This section contains all the information about the setting of the display and the printer.

HKEY_USER
: This section contains all the user information about each user on the system

HKEY_CURRENT_USER
: This sections contains all the information about the preferences of the current user logged onto the system

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT:
This section contains all the information about the various file extensions supported by the systems and the Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) information

HKEY_DYN_DATA
: This section contains all the information related to the performance of the system

Ever wondered how Computers & Software programs use the registry for their functioning?

Registry is basically collection of keys. Applications use registry to modify these key according to the requirements. Applications have the capability to add information to the registry by either creating or modifying existing keys on the system. After the data is entered in the registry, it is mainly sorted in two possible ways depending on the user or the system. Thus, data is sorted by computer-specific or user-specific manner. Sorting data by user is essential to maintain different user preferences and hence help to support multiple users. Applications has the ability to create the key, add the data into the key, delete the data from the key, close the key and delete the key when not required