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
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
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
Before going any further, read Chapter 2 carefully and make sure that you haven't
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.