Re: Windows XP question / fragile registry

From: Alfie Costa (
Date: Sat Oct 26 2002 - 01:15:18 CEST

On 25 Oct 2002, at 15:29, Michele Andreoli <> wrote:

> My heart is open. I'm not fanatic. I think registry is
> better then /etc. But I can change idea if someone has better arguments.

Win95's registry is in a few big files, it's fragile -- if the PC crashes, and
the registry was damaged, then the PC may not boot. Sometimes after a bad
crash W95 offers to restore an old backup registry; that can help, but
sometimes makes problems worse.

I've read that W95 (or Wxx?) needs to load the whole registry into memory on
bootup, but I have some doubts if this is true because it sounds crazy. Maybe
some more knowledgeable reader here will set me straight on this. Why load the
config data for a seldom used program every bootup?

W95 reg keys and groups don't have the file attributes that an '/etc' file
does. Such as date, time, user, and so on. If one needs to edit the registry
by hand, it can be hard to know what program made what key, or which programs
depend on it. Unless we expect programmers to be perfect, we ought to expect
to edit stuff by hand.

The registry makes it hard to move programs from one computer to another. Copy
a directory to an almost identical 2nd PC, and the apps in it might not work.
The 'copy' command doesn't copy reg keys. Non-free software vendors might
regard this bug-like behavior as a valuable feature.

Summing up:
1) fragile.
2) wastes memory?
3) hard to tweak.
4) harder to copy some programs.

These problems don't seem necessary though, so maybe a Linux registry can be
made better.

On backwards compatibility: if the newer system was better and had no
substantial added defects, then people who prefer the new system would simply
port what they need over, just as they always have done.

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