How to change Registry Settings with Windiff
The goal of this page is to combine Windiff with Regedit to solve a problem. Our mission is to change values in the registry. We need to find the correct registry hive, then create a script to make the change automatically. This mission is difficult and success will depend on attention to detail.
Scenario to Empty the Temporary Internet Files folder
Windiff and Regedit
The method we are going to use involves exporting a section of the registry. In fact we will export the section twice, once with setting on (checked) and once with the setting off (unchecked).
Now we are ready to open the WINDIFF utility an detect the difference in the two files. Once we locate the differences between the checked and unchecked files we will know where in the registry the setting is located.
Here is the technique I used:
- Change the settings in Internet Explorer – ‘Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browsing’ so that there is a tick in the box.
- Over to Regedit. Navigate to the section of the registry where that setting is likely to be. HKEY_CURRENT_USER_Software_Microsoft, right-click, then Select Export on the shortcut menu. Choose a suitable filename e.g. tick.reg.
- Then go to Internet explorer remove the tick from the Export Temporary… checkbox.
- Back to Regedit and Export again, this time name your file – notick.reg.
- Finally, launch WINDIFF open both files and spot the changes in the two files.
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Reminder of the Goal
RegWrite – WSH Method
The actual scripting part is controlled by a method called RegWrite. Once WINDIFF told me the correct registry path, it is a matter of taking care with the syntax and using REG_DWORD (not REG_SZ).
There was one last trap to get the tick to appear in Internet Explorer you need to set Persistent = 0. The logic is we do not want any files saved – hence zero. "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Cache\Persistent"
‘ VBScript – contact email@example.com
‘ The script writes to the registry value Empty Temporary Internet Files
‘ The key Method is RegWrite. RegLocate is the name of the variable
‘ Note: REG_DWORD (not REG_SZ)
‘ Note: Logic of 0 (zero = off) means persistent ON – strange but true!
Dim WSHShell, RegLocate, RegLocate1
Set WSHShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
On Error Resume Next
RegLocate = "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Cache\Persistent"
‘ Take great care with the line above
‘ Note the space between \Internet and Settings\
WScript.Quit ‘ Tells the script to stop and exit.
- HKEY_Current_User (not HKEY_Local_Machine)
- Internet Settings\cache (not Internet\Cache)
- Persistent is added to the last part of the path \Cache\Persistent
- Persistent = 0 (Not =1)
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