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Friday August 17, 2018           

WHAT IS THE WINDOWS REGISTRY?

The Windows registry is one of the central components of the Windows operating system. It is required for Microsoft Windows to be able to operate. The registry was developed to provide a central location for computer hardware and software data that had previously been scattered throughout the Windows system, primarily as INI (.ini) files. The Registry replaces most of the .ini files that were used in Windows 3.x and MS-DOS configuration files, e.g., Autoexec.bat and Config.sys.

The Windows registry acts as a central database in Windows 95/98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. Even though all of these versions of Windows uses a registry system, they each structure it somewhat differently.

The Registry contains information that Windows continually refers to while operating, including each user's profile, all software programs on the computer and what types of documents they can create, settings for folders and program icons, hardware within the system, etc.

ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES OF THE REGISTRY

There are a number of advantages to using a registry based system. These include the computer's configuration being separate from each user's configuration, setting group policies is simpler and easier for administrators to control and manage, the registry can be accessed as a single group of files via a network, and the registry can be backed up readily due to the size and consolidated location of all the files.

A centralized registry, however, can present many problems as well. The registry is considered a single point of failure and improper revisions to the registry can create serious problems. The consequences can result in sluggish performance, boot up problems, freezing, and more.

In extreme cases, data could be damaged or lost and a complete re-installation of the operating system would be necessary.

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