The default location of the Windows Registry is C:\Windows\System32\config. This location is where the Registry settings are stored in Windows. The Registry is a critical part of the Windows operating system, as it stores important system-level configuration information, settings and data. It also contains information about user settings, installed applications, hardware devices and settings, drivers, and user accounts. All of this information is stored in the form of keys, values, and data.
The Windows Registry is divided into five separate sections, called hives. These hives contain the various keys and values that make up the registry settings. The five hives are:
1. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT – Contains information about file types and COM objects
2. HKEY_CURRENT_USER – Contains user settings and preferences
3. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE – Contains hardware settings and system-level configuration information
4. HKEY_USERS – Contains user profiles and settings
5. HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG – Contains settings used to configure the current hardware configuration
Each hive is stored in a different file on the hard drive. For example, the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT hive is stored in the \Windows\System32\config\sam file, while the HKEY_CURRENT_USER hive is stored in the \Windows\System32\config\default file, etc.
The Windows Registry is a very important and sensitive part of the Windows operating system, and is not intended to be edited or modified by end users. Modifying the Registry can result in serious errors that can prevent the operating system from working properly. It’s recommended that only experienced computer users edit the Registry, and only with caution.