Was The Windows Registry A Good Idea?

This technology has evolved since it was introduced in Windows 3 and has been known as Object Linking and Embedding (OLE), ActiveX and Component Object Model (COM). Components installed on the computer are registered in the Registry so that other programs know they are there and are able to make use of them. An example of this is Internet Explorer, whose browser component can be used by any program that needs to display web pages or other HTML-formatted data. Among the software-related data stored in this branch is information about file types and the actions (Open, Print and so on) that can be performed on them.

RegFileExportRegFileExport is a small console application that allows you to easily extract data from offline Registry file located on another disk drive. RegFileExport read the Registry file, ananlyze it, and then export the Registry data into a standard .reg file of Windows. You can export the entire Registry file, or only a specific Registry key.

The Registry Editor presents a graphical, Explorer-like view of the Registry. The left-hand pane contains a collapsible tree view of the key hierarchy. When a key is selected in the left hand pane, the right hand pane displays the values it contains and any sub-keys. We shall use the Registry Editor as our principal exploration tool in the course of this article. Things go wrong, and the only way to fix them may be to make manual changes to the Registry.

Fortunately, Microsoft has provided a tool specifically designed for the purpose. Its filename is REGEDIT.EXE under Windows 9x and REGEDT32.EXE under Windows NT. If you’re confident of your ability not to wreck the entire Registry you can save time by creating a backup of just the branch you’re about to change. To do this, select the key whose contents you want to back up in the left-hand pane of the Registry Editor and choose Export Registry File from the Registry menu. This will create a copy of the contents of the branch as a REG file.

For example, when you install an application that allows TIFF image files to be viewed, information linking this file type (with a .TIF extension) with this application will be stored here. How the Registry is stored is of little interest, except for backup purposes. It is more useful to understand the logical view of it as seen by Windows and by applications, and as presented to you by the Registry Editor. In the remainder of this article we will explain what you can see and what use you might make of this information.

  • If you are exporting the entire registry, it can take a few minutes, and the file size can be up to 100 MB or more.
  • If this registry setting is present and non-zero, then EFT Server determines if an upload will delete (overwrite) an existing file.
  • In EFT Server version 5.1.1 and later, you can create/edit a registry key to set the "dwFilter" parameter that is passed into the function "ReadDirectoryChangesW()", which is the core of the Folder Monitor feature.
  • If you are exporting just one key, the file size is approximately 1 KB.
  • If this registry key is present and set file to "1", EFT Server will find and kill any EASServer.exe processes.
  • If a file already exists, EFT Server does an additional check for Delete permission.

How Is The Registry Structured?

Registry data that is currently in use is cached in memory to provide better performance. This system worked pretty well, and is still used by some Windows programs, but it turned out to have a few disadvantages. INI files were slow to access and limited in size to 64Kb. There was also just one INI file per program per computer, making it difficult to have different settings for each user of a computer.

So for Windows NT and Windows 95 Microsoft introduced the Registry. You can think of the Registry as a database for storing and accessing configuration data. Like all good databases the Registry can store different types of data. Data is stored in a hierarchical manner rather like the folders on a hard disk.

In addition to simply storing application settings, the registry is the means by which programs and components locate other programs and components. Ultimately, I think this is why its centralized into a single database as opposed to spread across thousands of text or xml files. However, with the data in the registry, you can use a common installer package (WIX, InstallShield, etc.) that will handle the uninstall/reinstall of files without touching application settings.