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Was The Windows Registry A Good Idea?

I would like them to add automatically, then if I do not want them I can remove them from the Start Screen. I have spoken with several people who find it extremely annoying that upon installation they have to go to the View All Apps section to find what they have added. It is MUCH easier to delete what I don’t want then to ADD what I do.

Windows Registry

From the point of view of other tools (like our hivex tool) we have to write exactly the same bits that Windows would write, to be sure that Windows will be able to read it. Any mistakes we make, even apparently innocuous ones, are silently punished. Now, anyone who has the file .Reg file can make these registry tweaks by double clicking the file and selecting Yes if prompted.

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer from Russia who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Subkeys can have inherited permissions from their parent key.

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and HKEY_USERS are real Registry keys; the others are aliases.
  • Whereas INI files store only string configuration data, the Registry stores a variety of data types in a value entry.
  • Aliases are just shortcuts to branches within HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE or HKEY_USERS that make accessing a particular set of configuration data easier for programmers and users.
  • You’ll find six root keys in the Windows 98 Registry (take another look at Figure 24.1).

For further references on the Registry binary format, follow the links in the hivex README file. libguestfs on Fedora now provides the tools you need to manage the Registry in Windows virtual machines. For more details, see hivexsh and virt-win-reg documentation. Strings are also stored in REG_BINARY fields (in various encodings), but also raw binary data is stored in these fields.

Each registry field superficially is typed, so REG_SZ is a string, and REG_EXPAND_SZ is, erm, also a string. No, because what counts as a “string” is not well-defined. The only way to know is to know what versions of Windows will use the registry. I also found Registries containing unreachable blocks (and not, I might add, ones which I’d tried modifying). I find it very strange that relatively newly created Windows 7 VMs which don’t have any sort of virus infection, have visible Registry corruption.

Compare this to using an established filesystem format, where everyone knows the rules, and consistency (eg. fsck/chkdsk) matters. The upshot of this is you can easily hide stuff in the Registry binary which is completely invisible to Windows, but will be apparent in other tools.

Backup, Add, Modify And Delete
Registry Keys And Values

Put a "-" in front of a key name if you wish to delete the entire key and all keys and values underneath it. Don’t do .dll this unless you’re sure you’re not deleting something important. David H Johnson Does anyone have a mod for windows 8.1 which would restore the Start Screen behavior of Windows 8. I am specifically looking for a registry modification which would enable apps to automatically be added to the Start Menu. I do not like to add them after I install an application.