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Chapter 20. The Windows XP Registry > A Brief History of the Windows Registry

A Brief History of the Windows Registry

Before there was the Registry, Microsoft operating systems used simple text files to control system settings. In the early days of MS-DOS, configuration of the operating system was controlled using the following two files:

  • Config.sys contained configuration information required by MS-DOS to operate. This information was mostly general settings for hardware that multiple applications would use, such as how low and high memory was handled.

  • Autoexec.bat was a batch file used to automatically execute startup procedures when MS-DOS was finished loading.


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