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Two Registry Editors in Windows

Just a little question.

I understand that there are two registry editors in windows 2000, regedit and regedit32. Microsoft explain that regedit32 supports a security menu, read only mode, REG__MULTI_SZ and REG_EXPAND_SZ where as regedit does not. However they do not explain why ?

Firstly does anyone know why there are two registry editors and also what are REG__MULTI_SZ and REG_EXPAND_SZ.

Many thanks

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2 Solutions
>>Firstly does anyone know why there are two registry editors

"Historical" reasons. Win9x came with no security in the registry.

>>what are REG__MULTI_SZ and REG_EXPAND_SZ

REG_MULTI_SZ: An array of null-terminated strings, terminated by two null characters., like


REG_EXPAND_SZ: A null-terminated string that contains unexpanded references to environment variables (for example, "%PATH%").

Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
Regedit.exe is the registration editor for 16-bit Windows. It is used tomodify the Windows registration database. The database is located in theWindows directory as Reg.dat. The database contains information about 16-bit applications, and is used by File Manager for opening and printingfiles. It is also used by applications that support Object Linking andEmbedding (OLE). Reg.dat is used and maintained by Windows on Windows (WOW)and 16-bit Windows applications. The WOW layer resides on top of theVirtual DOS Machine (VDM).

Regedit.exe is a 16-bit application that is included in Windows NT forcompatibility with previous 16-bit applications. Regedit provides a methodfor examining Reg.dat under Windows NT. You can migrate the Reg.datdatabase file to the Windows NT registry during the first logon to aninitial installation of Windows NT.
Regedt32.exe is the configuration editor for Windows NT. It is used tomodify the Windows NT configuration database, or the Windows NTregistry. This editor allows you to view or modify the Windows NT registry.The editor provides views of windows that represent sections of theregistry, named hives. Each window displays two sections. On the leftside, there are folders that represent registry keys. On the right side,there are the values associated with the selected registry key. Regedt32 isa powerful tool. You must use extreme caution when you use it to changeregistry values. Missing or incorrect values in the registry can make theWindows NT installation unusable.

The bit you are referring to

"You cannot view, edit, or search the value data types REG_EXPAND_SZ and REG_MULTI_SZ. If you try to view a REG_EXPAND_SZ value, Regedit.exe displays it as a binary data type. If you try to edit either of these data types, Regedit.exe saves it as REG_SZ, and the data type no longer performs its intended function"

Then see

An expandable data string that is text containing a variable to be replaced when called by an application. For example, for the following value, the string "%SystemRoot%" will replaced by the actual location of the directory containing the Windows NT system files:    File : REG_EXPAND_SZ : %SystemRoot%\file.exe

This is a multiple string. Values that contain lists or multiple values in human readable text are usually this type. Entries are separated by NULL characters. For example, the following value entry specifies the binding rules for a network transport:    bindable : REG_MULTI_SZ : dlcDriver dlcDriver non non 50

Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:

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