Preparing to Edit the Registry

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Preparing to Edit the Registry

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Preparing to Edit the Registry Even though this book is dedicated to the topic of registry editing, remember that an incorrect modification or the accidental deletion of an element of the registry element can result in rendering your system unbootable

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  1. Preparing to Edit the Registry Even though this book is dedicated to the topic of registry editing, remember that an incorrect modification or the accidental deletion of an element of the registry element can result in rendering your system unbootable. Before you start editing the registry, pay close heed to the following recommendations: Microsoft doesn't provide any official support for users who want to solve their own problems by editing the registry. However, you can get additional information, and even some advice, by subscribing to Microsoft technical-support services. Modify the registry only when you know that all of the information related to the registry keys, values, and the restrictions for devices and applications that you intend to troubleshoot is correct. Start editing the registry only once all attempts to set or modify a certain function using the Control Panel applets or administrative utilities have failed. Note that using the Device Manager is the best way to modify hardware settings, since this tool won't let you delete any of the required registry keys or make other critical errors. Registry editors don't safeguard you against this type of mistake. When you start the registry editors, remember that these tools are incapable of undoing or redoing your actions. Any changes that you make will be saved automatically (and almost immediately). If you make an error, the only method of quickly undoing a change is to import the previously created registry file before rebooting the system. Tip Never introduce a large number of changes at once. Always try to introduce only one modification per registry-editing session and reboot the system when you're done. This will allow you to test the changes you've made. If you have made a number of changes during a single registry-editing session and, as a result, your system becomes unbootable, it will be difficult to identify which of the modifications is causing the problem. When you are sure that the modification to the registry is appropriate, you may then proceed with further changes. Don't forget to back up the registry on a regular basis. The frequency of the backup depends on the frequency of registry modifications (and on the tool used to edit the registry). Generally speaking, you should back up your registry at least once a week. If you edit the registry every day, create a backup copy at the end of each working day. It is also recommended to maintain the most recent backup copies of the files containing group policies, INF files, and system-policy templates. More detailed information on registry backup and recovery procedures is provided in Chapter 2.
  2. Before going any further, read Chapter 2 carefully and make sure that you haven't skipped anything. Tip Before you edit the registry to make any of the changes described in this chapter, read the appropriate section carefully. You will to decide whether or not you (or the user whose computer you're going to configure) really need this customization and, if so, just how much you (or the other user) need it. The customizations described in this chapter will change the default settings of the operating system. Note that these default settings are satisfactory for most users. Before going any further, export the registry keys that you're going to modify. This will allow you restore the keys if you make an unnecessary change accidentally, or if you are unhappy with the effect of the modifications.  
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