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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: ICT
  • Word count: 3284

What is a computer registry?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What is a computer registry? The Registry is a database full of files of how to configure your system. It can be used for one or more uses. It was invented as a result of DOS not being good enough to hold all configuration files so it was invented to improve the efficiency and speed of the computer. It is nowhere near perfect yet but hopefully, will improve in the future. There is a programme to clear up any unnecessary files within this database which gets rid of any unwanted files. Without the Registry, the computer would not be able to function properly. The Registry can hold information about what is in the computer such as the hard drive and graphics cards. The other information it has is what documents you can collate, the personal settings, e.g., background, mouse settings and colour schemes and also it has the programmes which are on the computer, such as Word and Google Chrome. The Spyware and Viruses and the rights of these, changes your Registry for malicious purposes, so Anti Virus and the other Anti programmes work on the principal that there shouldn't be any unauthorised access to the Registry and that its own databases of all malicious programmes has helped to identify the unwanted programmes. The Registry is a database and within the database it has pre-defined keys, such as HKey_Users which have the relevant files for the active user. If one user locked their account and another logged in, the HKey_Users will drop the locked account for now and load up the current account. Changing the Registry is possible but risky and unless you know what you are doing, is not the best idea. If you are editing the Registry, for whatever reason, make sure there is a recent backup so you can restore the Registry if there is a mistake. I suggest before you get to this stage, you try System Restore which will not damage the computer as much as the Registry would. ...read more.

Middle

HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG Contains information about the hardware profile that is used by the local computer at system startup. Note The registry in 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Vista is divided into 32-bit and 64-bit keys. Many of the 32-bit keys have the same names as their 64-bit counterparts, and vice versa. The default 64-bit version of Registry Editor that is included with 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Vista displays the 32-bit keys under the following node: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\WOW6432Node For more information about how to view the registry on 64-Bit versions of Windows, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 305097 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/305097/ ) How to view the system registry by using 64-bit versions of Windows The following table lists the data types that are currently defined and that are used by Windows. The maximum size of a value name is as follows: * Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows Vista: 16,383 characters * Windows 2000: 260 ANSI characters or 16,383 Unicode characters * Windows Millennium Edition/Windows 98/Windows 95: 255 characters Long values (more than 2,048 bytes) must be stored as files with the file names stored in the registry. This helps the registry perform efficiently. The maximum size of a value is as follows: * Windows NT 4.0/Windows 2000/Windows XP/Windows Server 2003/Windows Vista: Available memory * Windows Millennium Edition/Windows 98/Windows 95: 16,300 bytes Note There is a 64K limit for the total size of all values of a key. Collapse this tableExpand this table Name Data type Description Binary Value REG_BINARY Raw binary data. Most hardware component information is stored as binary data and is displayed in Registry Editor in hexadecimal format. DWORD Value REG_DWORD Data represented by a number that is 4 bytes long (a 32-bit integer). Many parameters for device drivers and services are this type and are displayed in Registry Editor in binary, hexadecimal, or decimal format. ...read more.

Conclusion

You can use WMI to automate administrative tasks (such as editing the registry) in an enterprise environment. You can use WMI in scripting languages that have an engine on Windows and that handle Microsoft ActiveX objects. You can also use the WMI Command-Line utility (Wmic.exe) to modify the Windows registry. For more information about WMI, visit the following Microsoft Web site: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa394582.aspx (http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa394582.aspx) For more information about the WMI Command-Line utility, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 290216 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290216/ ) A description of the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) command-line utility (Wmic.exe) Use Console Registry Tool for Windows You can use the Console Registry Tool for Windows (Reg.exe) to edit the registry. For help with the Reg.exe tool, type reg /? at the Command Prompt, and then click OK. Restore the registry To restore the registry, use the appropriate method. Restore the registry keys To restore registry subkeys that you exported, double-click the Registration Entries (.reg) file that you saved in the Export registry subkeys section. Or, you can restore the whole registry from a backup. For more information about how to restore the whole registry, see the "Restore the whole registry" section later in this article. Restore the whole registry To restore the whole registry, restore the system state from a backup. For more information about how to restore the system state from a backup, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 309340 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/309340/ ) How to use Backup to restore files and folders on your computer in Windows XP Note Backing up the system state also creates updated copies of the registry files in the %SystemRoot%\Repair folder. If you cannot start Windows XP after you edit the registry, you can replace the registry files manually by using the steps in the "Part One" section of the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article: 307545 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545/ ) How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting ?? ?? ?? ?? Joe Alt Saturday, 13 November 2010 What is a computer registry Page 1 of 9 ...read more.

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