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Chapter 35. The Registry > How the Registry Is Organized

How the Registry Is Organized

The Registry leaves the plain text files of AUTOEXEC.BAT and WIN.INI far, far behind. It is a specialized database organized a lot like a hard disk: It has several partitions, and its hierarchical structure looks just like a directory structure with folders and files. In fact, the Registry Editor navigates through the Registry using the same expandable list display that Navigator uses to display a disk.

Just as a hard disk contains partitions, the Registry contains separate sections called hives. (The reason Microsoft chose the word hive is unclear. It had something to do with busy bees, but more than that, the folks there won't say.) In each hive is a list of named keys that correspond to the folders on a hard disk. Each key can contain subkeys and values, which hold information such as numbers or text strings.


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