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Microsoft® Windows Server 2003: Administrator’s Companion by Jason Gerend, Sharon Crawford, Charlie Russel

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Introducing the Registry

The registry is a binary database that organizes all of a system’s configuration settings into a hierarchy. Applications, system components, device drivers, and the Microsoft Windows kernel all use the registry to store their own preferences, read them back again, and obtain information about the system’s hardware configuration, the current user’s preferences, and the default settings that should be used when no predefined settings exist (such as when a new user logs on to the machine for the first time).

The Origins of the Registry

Back in the days of Microsoft Windows 3.1, applications and Windows stored configuration information in .INI files. These files were simple to edit, which was both a blessing and a curse—users ...

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