Contains information about the hardware currently installed in the machine and the settings for systems running on the machine. You do most of your work in this and the next subtree.
Contains the user profile for the person currently logged on to the Windows 2000 Server machine. Contains user preferences and settings for desktop applications running on this machine.
Contains a pointer to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER subtree and also to a profile called the DEFAULT profile. The DEFAULT profile describes how the machine behaves when no one's logged on. For example, if instead of a blue background you wanted a machine to display a green background when no one was logged on, or if you wanted to display a particular wallpaper when no one was logged on (which I've found quite useful for keeping clear in my mind which machine was which when using a keyboard switch or just a table full of identical-looking machines), then you'd modify that DEFAULT profile.
Holds the file associations, information that tells the system, "Whenever the user double-clicks a file with the extension .BMP in Windows Explorer, start up PBRUSH.EXE to view the file." It also contains the OLE registration database, the old REG.DAT from Windows 3.x. This is actually a redundant subtree, as all its information is found in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE subtree. It also gets placed in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\CLASSES key.
Contains configuration information for the particular hardware configuration you booted up with.
In general, you'll do most of your work in the first two subtrees. Some Registry entries are specific to a machine (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, HKEY_CURRENT_ CONFIG), and some are specific to a user (HKEY_USERS, HKEY_CURRENT_USER, as well as other Registry files that are in the \Documents And Settings\USER ID directories, which you'll meet later—but for now, just understand that the \Documents And Settings folder is where Windows 2000 machines store user preference information). That's important, and it's a great strength of the Registry's structure. The entries relevant to a particular machine should, of course, physically reside on that machine. But what about the settings relevant to a user: the background colors you like, the programs you want to see in your Start menu, the sounds you want on the system? These shouldn't be tied to any one computer; they should be able to move around the network with that user. Indeed, they can. Windows 2000 supports the idea that "roving users" can have their personal settings follow them around the network via roaming profiles, which you will learn more about in Chapter 9.
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