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Windows Server® 2008 Bible by Jeffrey R. Shapiro

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Chapter 9. The Registry

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • The purpose of the registry

  • The registry structure

  • The registry editors

  • Securing the registry

The registry is the core repository of configuration information in Windows Server 2008, used for storing information about the operating system, applications, and user environment on standalone workstations and member servers (nondomain controllers).

The Purpose of the Registry

Early versions of the Windows operating system family (such as Windows 3.x) stored most of their configuration information in initialization, or .ini files. These files were text files containing various sections that stored settings for a variety of properties such as device drivers, application and document associations, user environment settings, and so on. Windows applications also used .ini files to store their configuration settings. Even today in Windows Server 2008 and applications, .ini files are still sometimes used for storing user, application, and operating system settings. A quick search of your hard drive for .ini files will illustrate that fact. I might add that XML-based configuration files have gone a long way to returning us to the days of text-based configuration files.

Although they provide a simple means of storing and retrieving settings, .ini files offer some disadvantages, particularly for storing important OS settings such as device drivers, configuration data, user environment settings, and so on. First, Windows Server 2008 needs a fault-tolerant system ...

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