Inside Windows Registry

If you’ve read this far, you’re already further along than most admins. I’ll tell you now it isn’t a life saver, but it could come in handy. Each time your computer boots normally there is a backup made of the Hkey_Local_Machine\System\CurrentControlSet tree and its’ sub keys. Choosing Last Known Good Configuration causes Windows to load that backup in place of the current registry file during boot. If the original problem was a registry issue that affected that tree and/or sub keys then you may be able to recover by choosing that option.

  • If instead you prefer a “clean installation,” all your files and applications will be deleted.
  • The official Microsoft policy is that you should be extremely careful when using Windows registry-editing software.
  • Click Download update When you are ready to download the update.
  • In the list of Software subkeys, open the subkeyMicrosoft, then Windows, then CurrentVersion, then Run.

Keep in mind there is help available at Microsoft stores. There are three in Coloradoand the in-store Answer Desk employees, who offer “free 15-minute consultations,” can help you set up Windows.

Duplicate keys are made when you reinstall, upgrade or update software on your machine, including the operating system. Registry cleaner software will state that your programs will be confused by the duplicate entries, slowing your machines performance, but that is not true. At the end of the day, there is no ideal approach for storing operating system and application configuration data. Each option has different benefits, and autorun.dll download users and administrators are often forced to choose between security and ease of use.

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HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE —- Contains computer specific information including installed hardware and software. This is the one users tend to spend the most time in. A .plist file is a configuration file that contains a list of properties in either plain text or binary format.

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However, it is easier to merge REG files into a Registry by right-clicking the file and choosing “Merge”. On many machines the default left double-click on a REG file will also create a merge. I prefer to change the double-click action to “Edit” so that accidental mergers do not happen. REG files do not replace keys but add to them, something to keep in mind. Anything extra that you may have added is not deleted. Some experienced PC users prefer to do any actual editing in the exported REG file and then to merge the edited file. This prevents accidentally doing something to the wrong key.