The registry is an interesting part of Microsoft Windows OS. Like others, it’s a good place of interest for me as well. To know more and more about it I have referred many resources from the Internet, E-books etc. Through these posts, I would like to share with you what I have learned about the registry. This article starts by introducing you to the registry, hive files, core parts of the registry, the must known keys and then goes further next posts in the same category) on advanced kinds of stuff.
After sufficient intro and go through you will see many posts on ways you can customize the OS to meet your needs. First time if you open the registry it looks like scary stuff, Lot of keys values etc which does not make much sense. As you start learning about it you will notice its nice and nifty, a cool and smart way to do a thing, You will be excited to know more and more and finally, you will enjoy tweaking it Smile
Lets, cut the long story short and come to the point now ..
What is windows registry
Windows registry is a central repository for the configuration data that is stored in a hierarchical manner. (Microsoft terminology).. huh! confused? well, let me explain it in simple terms which will make more sense.
Windows 3.x and MS-DOS stored configuration settings in text-based files like .ini ,autoexec.bat,config.sys. The registry is introduced to replace most text-based configuration files. Due to the vast amount of information stored in the Windows registry, the registry can be an excellent source for potential evidential data. For instance, windows registry contains information on user accounts, typed URLs, network shared, and Run command history.
Registry plays a key role in all activities we perform on the computer. : The settings stored in the registry determines how windows appear and how it behaves. Ever wondered when you double click on a folder on your computer WHY it “open” it, why don’t the computer deletes a folder if we double-click on a folder. There comes the registry. it tells the computer what to do if we double-click on a file/folder what to do. Even the icon we see for our folders are referenced by registry settings. Wonder When we double-click on an MP3 it opens it in Windows Media Player or your fav Mp3 app.Why doesn’t it opens it in explorer or in notepad? Who controls it? there comes a registry. The configuration settings saved in the registry tells the computer what and how to do things.
The registry is just a big collection of configuration settings stored on your hard drive. : You don’t think about it while you are working on a windows based computer but the computer thinks about registry before it does anything. yes, I said ANYTHING. Once you know more about it, you will see how everything is related with the registry. For now, if you have questions do let me know via comment box below. You can mention an example activity you perform on the computer and I will try to mention how the registry is involved in that particular activity.
The registry is a hierarchical database: Now what does this big word hierarchical means? it means like on hard drive we store our files the same way registry is organized in hives/root keys/keys/Subkeys/Value/value data and value data type. We will discuss on this on upcoming posts in details.N ext posts will shade more light on this hierarchical stuff.
A registry is a base: The Microsoft Windows OS is now based on the registry. Your most familiar Windows XP and every application installed on top of Microsoft’s latest Operating systems do nothing without consulting the registry first. when you double click on your favorite song to play it, it consults with the registry to figure out what to do. registry tells it – “Hey! the file type you are trying to open is a having MP3 extension. In my database, .mp3 files are registered to open with windows media player. The media player executable is located at c:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe.You can call this program with required parameters and it will play the nice music the user just wanted to hear.”
Doesn’t all this make it Heart of windows?
In the next posts, we will see how to open the registry editor and then getting familiar with the registry editor interface…
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