The default location for storing the Windows Registry is in the system root (usually C:\Windows\System32) folder. This folder contains the main configuration file, called “Registry”. Inside the Registry folder, there are a multitude of keys and values that can be edited to modify the behavior of the operating system.
The Windows Registry consists of several subkeys which are organized into two hierarchical levels. The higher level consists of five predefined keys. The names of these keys are:
Each of these keys is further divided into several subkeys, creating a tree-like structure. These subkeys contain various settings that control the behavior of specific parts of the system. For example, the Control Panel subkey may include settings that determine which programs appear in the control panel, while the Network subkey may contain settings that control network connectivity.
In the lower level of the registry, there are further subkeys that contain more specific settings. These are generally related to individual programs or hardware devices installed on the system. Each of these subkeys will contain different settings such as program options, hardware device drivers, and other attributes.
When a user deletes a program or hardware device from their computer, the related registry entries are deleted as well. However, if the user re-installs the same program or device, the original settings will be restored. This is because when a program or device is uninstalled, the entries in the registry remain even though they may no longer be relevant.
Although the Windows Registry is an important part of any system, it is not designed to be accessed directly by users. Any modifications to the registry should only be carried out by experienced users or through the use of third-party utilities. If the registry is damaged, this can cause the system to malfunction. Therefore, users should always back up the registry before making any changes.