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Last Updated January 22, 2004

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Windows 2000 Registry Books Reviews

A good registry reference can be worth its weight in gold when you're trying to tweak the Windows 2000 Operating System from inside out. Although the registry can be a valuable mine for some administrators, it can also spell disaster for others. We don't believe that a single definitive reference exits for the Windows 2000, so you'll probably end up getting more than one book to meet your needs. All of these books are excellent, they just have different strengths and focus. We hope you'll find our review to be helpful.

Note: Most links on this page will take you to the books description on Bookpool is an online bookstore similar to, but they specialize in Technical books (and they are less expensive.) This is not a paid endorsement, and we do not receive sales commissions from We just think they're the best place to buy our books. We hope you'll agree!

Think we missed an exceptional book? Let us know at

Newest Reviews

Microsoft Windows 2000 Registry Handbook
Jerry Honeycutt. Published by Que, June 2000. Paperback 366 pages, ISBN 0789716747 If you're looking for a book that will actually teach you the art of managing the registry instead of just providing page after page of hacks, this is what you should be reading. The book is divided into 5 parts and 15 chapters, plus an index. The first 2 parts cover the basics of understanding, managing and editing the registry using Regedit and Regedt32. The next section explains how to customize Windows 2000 using the registry, and includes an excellent chapter on tracking down registry settings using a variety of tools. Part 4 includes two well written chapters on Troubleshooting, diagnosing and repairing the Registry. The last section is a Reference of file associations, as well as per-user and per-computer settings. Each chapter includes plenty of examples, useful tips, author's notes, and the occasional screenshot as needed. The author does a great job of presenting the information you'll really need. It's an easy to read, well-organized reference that is balanced and actually useful. Highly recommended.

Admin 911: Windows 2000 Registry
By Kathy Ivens. Published by McGraw Hill, October 2000
. Paperback 354 pages, ISBN 0072129468 A very hands on and useful reference for Administrators looking to get a grip on a variety of registry tweaks. After the obligatory chapters which provide an overview of the registry, maintenance and editing tools, the book dives right into entire chapters which outline various settings for the control panel, networking, computer startup and policies, and configuring user environments. The most valuable sections (in our humble opinion) were the last 2 chapters which covered "Tweaking and Troubleshooting Application Settings" (which focuses on MS Office and IE), and an excellent chapter on analyzing the subtrees within the registry. One of the strengths of this book is the format of the "Admin911" series which includes plenty of tips, author notes, and special "Code Blue" callouts to help you avoid critical pitfalls. Read a sample chapter here
Our Recommendations...

Mastering Windows 2000 Registry
By Peter Hipson, Published by Sybex February 2000. 725 pages. ISBN 0782126154. Designed for experienced administrators, this should be the only Win2000 Registry reference you'll need. The book is well organized, and illustrated. It also includes lots of side notes and tips by the author that we found insightful and very useful. The early chapters of the book are sorted by function (basics, backing up and restoring the registry, advanced functions, and MS Office Registry.) The last half digs straight into each of the registry hives one by one, making it easy to find what you need. Strongly recommended.

Windows 2000 Registry (Little Black Book Series)
By Nathan Wallace, Published by Coriolis Group, February 2000, Paperback 454 pages, ISBN 157610348X One of the things you'll notice right away when you pick up this book is that the chapters are organized by task rather being alphabetized, or separated by subkey. We had mixed feelings about this finding it useful in some cases, and annoying in others. We also disliked the repetitive instructions on how to open Regedt32.exe (shouldn't once be enough?). What we did like was its compact size and the sheer number of tips and registry tweaks. We also liked the quick reference pull out cards on the inside cover. Now if it only came with a searchable CD-ROM....
Managing the Windows NT Registry
By Paul Robinchaux. Published by O'Reilly and Associates. April 1998 Paperback 416 pages. ISBN 1565923782. A "must have" as far as we're concerned. Paul is a well respected author, and his experience with NT shows well in this book. After a well written introduction, Paul dives right into backing up the registry, the differences between RegEdit and RegEdit32, Policy Editor, Programming, and administrating the Registry. The last 2 chapters covers the Registry layout and core NT Keys, and Registry Tweaks that any admin will find useful.
Windows NT 4.0 Registry: A Professional Reference (w/ CD)
By Steven Thomas. Published by McGraw Hill, Jan 1998. 760 Pages. ISBN 0079136559 A fairly large "tome" that's tough to read cover to cover, but an excellent and complete reference to the NT 4.0 Registry that belongs on your desk. This is the most comprehensive resource yet and the CD includes full  database from the book in a searchable format. The only downside is its $59.99 retail price, but you can get it for $35.50 at
Where to find great books at great prices....  
Everybody knows about, but Bookpool is frequently less expensive, and they specialize in Technical Books. They carry MS Press, O'Reilly, Que, Osborne, SAMS, and others.  
Another online professional bookstore. Although we prefer Bookpool's prices, FatBrain has a better selection in a few categories. Essentially our second stop on the web when looking for a title.

Half Price Computer Books
Another source for great deals on computer books. Much cheaper than Amazon and B&N

O'Reilly and Associates  
Publishers of some of the best books in the industry. Well written, concise, accurate, and great cover art!. If I'm looking for a reference book, I always check O'Reilly first. I've never been disappointed. (This is not a paid endorsement!)

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