Tuesday, 8 November 2011

What is the Windows Registry?

The Windows registry is a database that Microsoft designed to store configuration settings and options for the operating system (OS). It increases OS speed and also contains settings for hardware components, end-users, and system software to help ensure that the highest possible quality of service is delivered to th user. The registry is used as an entrance point or gateway for the Windows OS kernel and has been in use for a number of years. Although significant improvements have been made to the registry, it is still susceptible to getting bloated with time and is a common target for computer malware attack.
How to Backup the Windows Registry

Before modifying the Windows Registry, Microsoft recommends that a file backup is made in case the change corrupts the registry file.

Step 1 – Choose “Start” and “Run.”

Step 2 – Enter “Command” in the search text field then press “Enter.”

Step 3 – Enter “regedit” at the DOS prompt, then press “Enter” to open the Windows Registry Editor.

Step 4 – Select the “Export Registry File” from the primary file menu, then select the folder to save the backup registry file to, and enter a file name. It is a good idea to save the file to a portable medium such as a USBjust in case the hard disk cannot be easily accessed due to registry corruption.

Step 5 – Click “Save” and the backup of the Windows registry file will be saved.

*Note* Users may save the “System.dat” and “User.dat” files found on the computer’s hard drive through the search function on Windows Explorer if they do not want to use the above steps.
How to Modify the Windows Registry

Step 1 – Start the Windows Registry Editor.

Step 2 – Enter the registry key to be modified in the search function in the tool by selecting the “Edit” and “Find” menu options.

Step 3 – Left click the registry key to be modified then right click the registry entry.

Step 4 – Select the “Modify” menu option then enter a new data value in the “Value Data” box.

Step 5 – Click “Ok” to exit the Registry Editor.

Step 6 – Alternatively, users may delete a registry key after selection by pressing the “delete” key on the keyboard.

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