The Windows registry of any Windows Vista Computer is a directory containing all the options and settings set up on that particular PC. This registry is a hierarchial-based directory of thousands of keys grouped into sections known as hives. These hives are the HKEY_CURRENT_USER (HKCU), HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT (HKCR), HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (HKLM), HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT (HKCR), HKEY_USERS (HKU), HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE (HKLM), and the HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG (HKCC).
The first two hives the HKLM and HKU contain the true root entries or keys. The HKLM key contains all of the information that has something to do with the hard ware and the soft ware currently installed in your computer, while the information on user accounts implemented on your computer is saved in the HKU key.
The HKCR hive contains information that concerns filetypes, extensions, URL protocol prefixes, and registered classes. All the data in the HKCR key is taken from these 2 keys”HKLMSOFTWAREClasses and HKCUSOFTWAREClasses. If both keys contain duplicate information, it is there in the HKCR. But if there are conflicting data in the two keys, then only the data in the HKCUSOFTWAREClasses is shown in the HKCR.
The HKCU hive contains settings and user-based system information configured for the user who is currently logged on. Details like desktop settings, environment variables, available printers, folders and Control Panel configurations for the user currently logged on is shown in this hive. In reality however, there are no real information stored in the HKCU hive. Rather, it serves as a subkey to the HKU hive, which contains the actual information pertaining to that user.
The HKCC hive consists of hardware configuration settings for the current user. Said key also lacks any exclusive data. No actual data stored in the HKCC hive; it serves as a subkey to the HKLM hive that contains the actual data. In addition, the information on this hive is not saved on disk; the information is being regenerated on boot time.
In summary, the HKCR, HKLM, and HKCC hives are contain information which is more relevant for the user who is currently logged-on to the computer.
The registry is continuously updated as additional keys are being entered by the system. Some of these keys are required by your PC; there are others which contain unnecessary or malicious information which would slow down or even damage your Vista computer with recurrent computer errors.
To make sure that Windows Vista registry problems don’t happen and to keep an optimized, Personal Comuter, it is important for you to scan and purge the Vista registry of illegal, obsolete, and erroneous information. Since Windows Vista has no specific registry cleaner tool, you need to search for the right program on the Internet and install it to your computer in order to perform a registry repair. Fortunately, there are a number of reliable registry tools which are readily available online. These tools, such as the Vista registry cleaner, will help maintain your system registry to its optimal performance and help keep it in shape from possible attacks and other issues which will affect your registry.