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Last Updated December 10, 2003

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Managing the Windows 2000 Registry

For those new to Windows 2000, the Registry is where the Operating System stores most of its configuration data. Almost everything you do in the Windows 2000 GUI, is ultimately translated into an entry in the Registry. Fortunately, Microsoft allows Administrators the capability to edit the Registry directly to fine tune parameters and make some custom tweaks.  On the down side, haphazard edits to the Registry is the surest way we know to cripple a perfectly good system.
 DO NOT edit the Registry if you don't know what you're doing. And always back it up first. You've been warned.
Articles and Whitepapers
Administering The NT Registry
Chapter 8, Managing the Windows NT Registry, published by O'Reilly & Associates. When you're responsible for administering computers-whether one or many-you quickly find that much of what you do on a daily basis is miscellaneous. You create new accounts, remove old ones, figure out why your backup tape drive is dead, and so forth.

L0pht Heavy Industries' BOTOOL plug in for Back Orifice 2000 gives you a GUI-based interface for file and Registry management control. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine (Nov 1999) 

Care and Feeding of the Registry © 
To safely edit your Windows NT Registry, you must know how the Registry is organized, how to back up and restore system files, and how basic editing works. By  Source: Windows & .NET Magazine (Dec 1996)

Enhance Security Through Registry Permissions
You can restrict users' permissions to Registry keys as much as you restrict users' permissions to files and directories. Here's how! Source: Windows & .NET Magazine (June 1999)

Foil Attacks on Your Registry
The NT Registry is the Achilles' heel of your system's security. Here are three common hacker's goals and some tips about safeguarding your server's Registry. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine (July 1997)

How NT Protects Its Hives
Windows NT has some built-in methods for protecting system hive files. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine (Dec 1996)

HOW TO: Backup, Edit, and Restore the Registry in Windows 2000 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 322755 - This step-by-step article describes how to back up, edit, and restore the registry in Windows 2000. Microsoft recommends that before you edit the registry, you back up the registry and understand how to restore it if a problem occurs.

How to Maintain Current Registry Backups in Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 318149 -  The solution that is described in this article is not supported by Microsoft. Use this method at your own risk.

HOW TO: Use Group Policy to Audit Registry Keys 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 315416 - This article describes how to use Group Policy to configure auditing of Windows registry keys. 

HOW TO: Use the Registry Size Estimator Tool (Dureg.exe) 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 317382 - This step-by-step article describes how to use the Registry Size Estimator tool (Dureg.exe) to determine the size of the registry on a Microsoft Windows 2000-based computer. Dureg.exe is included in the Microsoft Windows 2000 Resource Kit, and is also available for download from here  

How to Use Regini.exe to Set Permissions on Registry Keys 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 237607 -
This article describes how to use the Regini.exe tool in the Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Resource Kit to modify registry permissions from within a script. 

NT 4.0's Registry Hives
A table that lists the standard NT 4.0 Registry hives and their corresponding support files.  
Source: Windows & .NET Magazine (Dec 1996)

Registry Maintenance
Sample Chapter 2 from Osborne's Admin 911: Windows 2000 Registry. If your registry becomes corrupt, confused, or misguided, it affects the health of your computer and your software, and it hinders your ability to get any work done. Sometimes a sick registry is the result of user action, caused by somebody mucking around without the proper respect for the delicacy of the registry. Just as often, registry problems occur as a result of software installation procedures, hardware configuration, or general system configuration changes. If you plan registry maintenance properly, and execute that plan regularly, you can rescue your computer from the clutches of a registry that no longer works properly. That's what this chapter is about.

Registry Tweaks to Tune Your Network
Change Registry values to maximize the efficiency of the NT Browser service and your domain controllers' synchronization process. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine (May 1999)

Remote Access to the Windows NT Registry
Source: MS Press Resource Link

Selecting audit events for Windows NT 4.0 registry keys
Source: CERT

Set Sail For Uncharted NT Performance
This treasure chest of Registry gems lets you explore a major contributing factor to an NT system's overall performance: the disk subsystem. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine (Sept 1997)

The Regback Profile Quirk.
Learn a method to handle this quirky resource kit utility. By Sean Daily Source: Windows & .NET Magazine (Nov 1999) (Subscribers Only)

Uncovering New Settings in the Registry
Enable full SAM database synchronization when NT starts, control logon parameters, and resolve networking issues.  Source: Windows & .NET Magazine (March 1998)

Registry Tweaks
Sample Chapter 9, Managing the Windows NT Registry, published by O'Reilly & Associates. this chapter contains a list of Registry settings you can use to change the way your computer behaves.

Windows NT Workstation Registry Keys
This appendix, from Windows NT Registry: A Settings Reference, contains a complete listing of the Windows NT Workstation Registry keys, except for the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key

Getting Rid of the Unwanted
Sample Chapter 8 from Mastering Windows 2000 Registry, published by Sybex, Inc.

System and Startup Settings 
Sample Chapter 6 from Windows 2000 Registry, published by Prentice Hall, PTR. The Registry has much to do with the successful startup of Windows 2000. Once Windows 2000 starts, there are a number of settings you can modify in the Registry to control how the core operating system works, as well as to customize the startup process.

Misc. TechNet articles

Changing IconVerticalSpacing in Windows NT Registry
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 102536 - IconVerticalSpacing specifies the number of pixels that appear vertically between icons. Windows NT determines the default based on the icon title font and the display you are using. Windows NT versions 3.5 and 3.51 does not include a graph

How to Disable the Persistent Connections Registry Parameter
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 238852 - This article describes how to disable the Persistent Connections registry parameter on your computer.

How to Enable NetBIOS Scope IDs in Windows 2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 244438 - You cannot configure NetBIOS scopes on a Windows 2000-based computer by using the graphical user interface (GUI) or with Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP).

How To Export WinNT Registry Entries from a Command Prompt
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 168589 - The contents of the Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 registry can be exported to a text file without starting Registry Editor.

How to Use the RestrictAnonymous Registry Value in Windows 2000
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 246261 - This article describes how administrators can use the RestrictAnonymous registry value on a Windows 2000-based computer to restrict access over anonymous connections.

Understanding and Configuring Registry Size Limit (RSL)
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 124594 The total amount of space that may be consumed in paged pool and disk space by Registry data (the Hives) is limited by the Registry Size Limit, or RSL. RSL is a kind of "global quota" for Registry space.


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