The Windows registry can be a bewildering collection of
hives, keys, and values, particularly for the uninitiated. However, the
registry is a vital part of Windows. Without it, Windows would not function.

You can accomplish most configuration changes in Windows by
using Control Panel applets or other methods that modify the registry
indirectly. Although it often is not necessary to modify the registry directly,
only a direct modification can accomplish some configuration changes.
Understanding the registry’s structure and function can help in these
situations and also give you a better understanding of how Windows works.

A document included with the Windows 2000 Resource Kit can
help you learn more about the registry and its components. To view this
particular document, go to Start | Programs | Windows 2000 Resource Kit | Documentation | Registry Reference. The resulting Help
document describes each registry hive and offers a description of subkeys and values under each. The document also includes
an alphabetical listing of registry elements to help you understand the
registry’s components in better detail.

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