Our next meeting will be our annual summer social evening, and sees us return to the excellent Tower Hotel in Dovercourt. Royal Moore has kindly arranged the evening for us once again, and I hope as many of us as possible can attend for what is always a very enjoyable evening.
"The Windows Registry is a hierarchical database that stores configuration settings and options on Microsoft Windows operating systems" - Wikipedia
The registry in Windows essentially merges data found in a large number of operating system and application specific .ini files in Windows 3.1 and earlier into a single repository of systems settings stored in the form of key and value pairs.
The Registry is separated into a number of different areas known as hives, covering local machine config (HKLM), current config for the local session (HKCC), classes root for registered applications and file associations etc. (HKCR), current user for all settings specific to the current logged in user's environment (HKCU) and more. The "Current User" registry settings can often be imported from a central server in an office environment using roaming profiles.
The registry often needs updating when applications are installed, and this would normally be dealt with automatically using .reg files in the application bundle. It is possible however for a user with sufficient permissions to edit and add keys into the registry using Regedit. Great care must be taken when using this tool as it is possible to cause significant damage to Windows if not careful. Using Regedit you can also backup the registry to both binary and ASCII text files, either the entire registry or a specific portion if you are editing specific keys.
It is also possible to edit the registry under Linux using the Off-line NT Password and Registry Editor which is included on a number of Live/Recovery CDs based on Linux.
The registry is not a single file, but rather a small number of files in binary hive format which is the same format as regedit can back up a registry. The system also maintains running backup copies of the registry files in order to provide some recovery from corruption.
Equivalents of the registry exist on other operating systems. On UNIX global configurations are usually stored as text files in /etc. while user specific configuration is store in hidden . (dot) prefixed files in a user's home directory. On the Mac configuration is often in plist files which follow a defined XML format using global settings stored in /Library or for the user in ~/Library i.e. within the user's home directory. For RISCOS we would often use !Boot.Choices for similar system and application settings.
The registry is often considered a single point of failure as corruption of its binary hive files will often render a system unbootable. It can also make applications difficult to copy between systems, often the only way is a complete reinstall due to the deep embedding of key data with multiple registry areas.
Michael also brought along a CD called the "Ultimate Boot CD" which is a bootable CDROM containing a large number of tools and utilities ranging from BIOS password reset utilities, reset Windows passwords, run stress tests and diagnose faulty hardware, boot managers, partition managers and more. It also contains the Linux based NT Registry editor mentioned earlier.
He also had a tip for a tool called Recuva which can recover files on disks, memory sticks etc. even if they have been deleted or the device formatted providing too much overwriting has not occurred.
In the second half of the evening Michael demonstrated various features of the Ultimate Boot CD.
Firstly we looked at a hard drive diagnostic utility. There are many on the CD but Michael's preference is one from the hard drive manufacturer Seagate. Ideally you would run the long test which checks all the sectors, but with the time limitations of our meeting we could only run the short test. This performs some limited disk analysis and can interrogate the SMART status information of the disk which essentially provides the disk controllers view of the health of the hard disk.
A useful memory test utility on the disk is memtest86. This can test and stress test the memory in your PC and is useful if you are experiencing random crashes to identify if this could be a memory fault.
We then looked at the NT Password and Registry Editor. When the software starts it shows the disks and partitions available on the system. We selected Michael's Windows 7 partition and the software looks for the registry files in the default windows location. The tool then displays the available registry hive files. Selecting SAM Security we could see the systems user's and Admin account and we could then unlock or reset lost passwords.
I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our meal on the 25th for what is always a fun, enjoyable evening with lots of conversation.
I hope in September we can all come together to share the photo management applications we use, and hopefully I can finally find a tool for this task that does everything I need.
|25 August||Social Evening - Venue: The Tower Hotel , Dovercourt at 7:30pm||All|
|15 September||Digital Photography and How to manage your photo collection||Gareth et al|
|20 October||Slide show evening||All|
|17 November||"How to rebuild a RISCOS machine."
-making one machine from parts of two Risc PCs.
|15 December||Gadgets and Party evening||All|
|19 January||Social Evening - Venue TBA||All|
|16 February||Gigabit Networking , USB2 & 3||All|
|16 March||Linux update||Gareth|
|20 April||AGM plus Games||All|
Meetings are now on the Third Wednesday of the month unless otherwise stated.
Our meetings are held at the Bourne Vale Social Club, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE , for a map and other details please see the website. http://icenicomputerclub.users.btopenworld.com
The first visit is free and subsequent visits for non - members is £2·50. The membership fee is £20 due from the AGM date in April, but may be reduced for those joining late in the year.
Continuing our publicity for EAUG events, there is now a full list of meetings up to the end of the year on their website.
Tea/coffee/biscuits usually available.
Visitors pay 2.00 GBP for the evening, which is deductible from the normal joining subscription if you decide to join at a later date.
See the Membership page of the website for more information:
Meetings are at the Great Baddow Village Hall, on the second Tuesday of the month
opening at 7:30 p.m. for a start at 7:45 - 8:00 p.m.
For directions see below (note the new web addresses)
They have now moved to the St. Andrew's Computer Club at Britannia Road, Ipswich. They have picked up a couple of people from the Church and are seeking to include people from the Parish. There's not much about the Computer Club on the website (http://www.ourstandrews.co.uk) but there are a few words. (Ken Tew)
"ICENI does not have any Insurance cover for computers or other equipment so please be advised that you bring machines to the club at your own risk."
However many household insurance policies will include cover away from home often with no increase in premium. (Ed.)
If anyone would like a copy of the CD of our old newsletters this could be arranged.
I am open to suggestions on what people would like to have included in the website.
Our website URL is
http://icenicomputerclub.users.btopenworld.com as a virtual domain,
it can also be reached using http://www.btinternet.com/~icenicomputerclub
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org