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Can you recommend any introductory material about the Windows registry?

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In what context and with which operating systems? in a domain environment you are not looking at modifying the registry directly; you would most likely use Group Policy or another managment product. –  Richard Slater May 7 '09 at 8:32
    
@Richard: Thank you for the pointer, but my question was intentionally broad. I'm interested in learning resources about the Windows registry in general. Are there that many differences between OS versions? –  guillermooo May 7 '09 at 8:57

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You could start by reading the Microsoft KnowledgeBase article: Windows registry information for advanced users.

You can find a simple introduction here: Introduction to the Registry.

And last, but not least, the Wikipedia article about the Windows Registry, which covers pretty every aspect.

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I think the Microsoft Windows Registry Guide (Second Edition) covers the concepts pretty well.

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Although it may seem like I might as well be recommending a tome on Ancient History I found Inside the Registry for Windows 95 to be really informative when I needed to get a fundamental grasp of what the registry was about. The basics of how and why the registry exists are there in this book (available cheap second hand).

You could use it as a base and then move on to newer xp, vista specific resources.

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A couple more valuable resources are:

Windows 2003 registry reference: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc778196.aspx

Windows 2000 Registry reference: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windows2000serv/reskit/default.mspx

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