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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to A+ (A+ 4 Real)
 9  Chapter 1: What are Operating Systems and How Do They Work?
      9  The Registry
           9  Registry Tools - RegEdt32.EXE

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Chapter 2: Windows XP New Category View
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Dangers in Editing the  Registry

To complete the tour of the Registry, we will look at one of the more bizarre and potentially dangerous vagaries of the Registry tools. Let us perform a little Registry magic trick. Make sure the CompTIA key is selected, open the “Edit” menu on the RegEdit32 menu bar (no right-click context menus, unfortunately) and select the “Add value” option. The “Add Value” dialog appears. Set the value name to “Registry Magic!”, and the data type to REG_MULTI_SZ. Click “OK” to create the value.

Figure 200: Simulated Registry Changes (ReGEdit32.EXE) – Step 3

 


You will be prompted to provide some data for the new value. Enter any text you like, and click “OK” to create the value.

Figure 201: Simulated Registry Changes (ReGEdit32.EXE) – Step 4

 


When the value has been created, take a close look at the RegEdit32 display.

Figure 202: Simulated Registry Changes (ReGEdit32.EXE) – Step 5

 


The REG_MULTI_SZ named “Registry Magic” is clearly there. Now, watch closely as this key vanishes before your very eyes!

Close RegEdit32, and open RegEdit. Navigate to HKLM\Software\CompTIA, and take a close look. Abracadabra, the REG_MULTI_SZ value has vanished!

Note

This trick may not always work, depending on which operating system and service pack is installed.


Whilst this may not be a particularly impressive trick, it does illustrate one important point. If you use RegEdit for your Registry manipulations, be aware that when viewing the contents of keys there may be values you cannot see. This is especially important when preparing to delete registry entries and keys.

Two Versions?

The original intention Microsoft had in mind, was to offer only RegEdit. Just before the release of Windows 95 they realized this was not a workable plan, so they included RegEdit32 as well


Why has Microsoft not merged all the features into one tool instead of forcing administrators to use both RegEdit and RegEdit32? Another good question and one that only Microsoft can answer. It does seem somewhat illogical to require two tools where one will suffice, but that is the situation. As a recommendation, this author finds RegEdit far easier to work with for every day use, and only uses RegEdit32 when its features are specifically required. Providing you are aware of each tool’s limitations, the decision is simply personal choice.


Previous Topic/Section
Setting Registry Key Permissions
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Pages in Current Topic/Section
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Chapter 2: Windows XP New Category View
Next Topic/Section

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Version 1.0 - Version Date: March 29, 2005

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