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Chapter 24. Working with the Windows Reg... > Understanding the Windows Registry

Understanding the Windows Registry

Windows 98 stores the entire contents of the Registry in two files: SYSTEM.DAT and USER.DAT. These are binary files that you can't view with a text editor (as you can INI files). Windows 98 also turns on the Read-only, System, and Hidden attributes of SYSTEM.DAT and USER.DAT so that you can't accidentally replace, change, or delete these files. SYSTEM.DAT contains configuration data specific to the computer on which you installed Windows 98. USER.DAT contains configuration data specific to the current user.

Take a look. SYSTEM.DAT and USER.DAT are located in C:\Windows. The location of USER.DAT will be different if you've configured the computer to use profiles, though. In that case, Windows would have created a new system folder called C:\Windows\Profiles under which you'll find a folder for each user who logs on to the machine. For example, C:\Windows\Profiles\Jerry contains my configuration data, and C:\Windows\Profiles\Pompy contains my dog's configuration data. Each user's profile folder contains an individual copy of USER.DAT. You'll still find a default USER.DAT in C:\Windows, which Windows uses as a template for new users.


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