Chapter 29. Manipulating Files and the Registry


  • Exploring the directory structure

  • Moving, copying, and deleting files and folders

  • Reading and writing text in files

  • Reading and writing keys in the registry

  • Reading and writing to isolated storage

This chapter examines how to perform tasks involving reading from and writing to files and the C# system registry. Microsoft has provided very intuitive object models covering these areas, and in this chapter, you learn how to use .NET base classes to perform the listed tasks. In the case of file system operations, the relevant classes are almost all found in the System.IO namespace, whereas registry operations are dealt with by classes in the Microsoft.Win32 namespace.


The .NET base classes also include a number of classes and interfaces in the System.Runtime.Serialization namespace concerned with serialization — that is, the process of converting data (for example, the contents of a document) into a stream of bytes for storage. This chapter does not focus on these classes; it focuses on the classes that give you direct access to files.

Note that security is particularly important when modifying either files or registry entries. Security is covered entirely in Chapter 21, "Security." In this chapter, however, we assume that you have sufficient access rights to run all the examples that modify files or registry entries, which should be the case if you are running from an account with administrator privileges.


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