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Windows® 98 Unleashed by Paul McFedries

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Understanding the Registry Files

If you installed Windows 98 on a fresh partition, Setup creates the Registry and uses it to store, among other things, the options you chose in the Setup Wizard's dialog boxes and the hardware information gleaned by the Detection Manager during the hardware detection phase. (Recall that if you upgrade over Windows 95, Setup uses the same Registry files.)

To create the Registry, Setup actually creates two files: USER.DAT and SYSTEM.DAT. These are hidden, system, read-only files that sit in your main Windows folder. Each file takes care of different aspects of the Registry, as described in the next couple of sections.

The Registry, Part I: USER.DAT

The USER.DAT file is designed to store user-specific information. ...

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