Windows Support Menu
Windows 9X Registry
Windows Registry Editor
Getting Started with Registry Editor
Registry Editor is a tool for displaying and editing the registry database. Registry Editor (regedit.exe) is copied to the \Windows directory automatically when Windows is installed.
Making a mistake in editing the registry can cause your system to become unstable and/or unusable.
Whenever possible, use the administrative tools, such as Control Panel or System Policy Editor, to make configuration changes, rather than editing the registry. This is to ensure values are stored properly in the registry when changing the configuration.
If you use Registry Editor to change values, you will not be warned if any entry is incorrect. Editing the registry directly by using Registry Editor can cause errors in loading hardware and software, and can prevent users from being able to start the computer.
To run Registry Editor
Both mouse and keyboard commands can be used to navigate in Registry Editor.
To find specific data in the registry
In the Registry Editor window, double-click any folder icon for a registry key to display the contents of that key
From the Edit menu, click Find. Then type all or part of the text string you want to find, and click options to specify whether you want to find a key name, a value name, or data.
After Registry Editor finds the first instance of the text string, you can press F3 to search for the next instance.
The values of the active key appear in the right pane of the Registry Editor window. Each key contains at least one value with the name Default. Each additional value for a key must have both a name and a data value.
Valid characters to include in a name are A through Z, 0 through 9, blank, and underscore (_). The values appear under Data. In Windows 98, the size of the subkey is unlimited. For better efficiency, use a file to store large amounts of data (subkeys over 64 KB), and then maintain a pointer to this file in the subkey. Individual values within a subkey are restricted to 16 KB of data.
Before modifying registry values, always back up your system.
Dell Computer Corporation does not support editing the registry. Do not edit the registry without consulting a Technical Support Mentor and without taking into account the level of experience of the end user (customer).
To change any value
To add a new value
A new entry called New Key #1 is inserted into the registry. New Value #1 represents the value type you chose in step two.
To delete any entry
Registry Editor does not have an Undo function. All changes are written directly to the disk. If you want to remove an item from the registry, consider renaming it as opposed to deleting it. However, use caution when renaming because this can affect system functionality.
To rename an entry
Accessing the Registry in Real Mode
Registry Editor runs in MS-DOS real mode. If you can boot your computer to MS-DOS mode, you can access Registry Editor. The file Regedit.exe is on the Windows startup disk and in the \Windows folder. For more information about using Regedit, type Regedit with no command line option at the command prompt, and a help screen appears advising you how to use this tool.
REGEDIT [/L:system] [/R:user] filename1
To import a registry file into the registry in MS-DOS Registry Editor
REGEDIT /L:system /R:user filename
For example, the following command will import the contents of Global.reg into User.dat and System.dat: