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Chapter 3. The Registry

Chapter 3. The Registry

Whenever you change your system colors, install an application, or change a setting in Control Panel, the relevant information is stored in your Registry. The Registry is a database of all the settings for Windows Me, as well as the applications installed on your system. Knowing how to use the Registry effectively is important for improving performance in Windows, troubleshooting all kinds of problems, and, most importantly, customizing Windows Me beyond what is possible with the dialog boxes scattered throughout the interface.

All of your file types (also known as associations; see Section 4.2.2 in Chapter 4) are stored in the Registry, as well as all of the network, hardware, and software settings for Windows Me and all of the particular configuration options for most of the software you've installed. The particular settings and data stored by each of your applications and by the various Windows components vary substantially, but you can use some special techniques to figure out undocumented settings and uncover hidden functionality. What's especially helpful is that most of the settings stored in the Registry are named in plain English rather than with obscure codes and acronyms. You shouldn't take this fact for granted, but it does help quite a bit in finding settings and troubleshooting problems.


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