Windows 2008/3 Registry Hacks

 Registry ‘Hacks’ for Windows Server 2003 / 2008

There are times when you read about a Windows 2008/3 feature but there is no icon to implement it.  So the only way to test the item is to change a setting in the registry.  Another reason to master registry editing is so that you can remotely troubleshoot a machine via Regedit.

The executables to hack the registry are Regedit (or Regedt32).  The W2K version remembers the last place you visited which is extremely useful.  If you have not been to the registry before, go to the START (Button), RUN, REGEDIT, OK (Button).

People give dire warnings about changing the registry.  My view is that changing settings via the registry is no more hazardous changing through the Control Panel.  You may hear that if you make a mistake you can cripple your system; I find that if you type in the wrong key value nothing happens!

Meanwhile, here are a some examples to give you an idea of how and what to change in the registry.

Registry Hacks for Windows 2008

Change Registered to:

The purpose of this registry hack is to change the Registered to: as seen in the system icon

First Objective to get to the CurrentVersion registry hive.

Method  Drill down to: HKEY_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\RegisteredOwner

Alternative Method: Use the Find (menu) in regedit, but be prepared to use F3 if you do not get to the RegisteredOwner at first.

Second Objective change RegisteredOwner

Double Click RegisteredOwner then change the value to what you want.  Re-open the System Icon and check your new value

Registry learning point
  • If you can see a value on a menu, you can use regedit to FIND it and change the value



Download my Registry Hacks eBook only $4.95

What you get in your eBook are detailed examples of registry hacks.  There are lots of  ‘How To…’ sections that describe exactly what to change.  The eBook has screen shots which would be too slow for the web, but show you exactly how to edit the registry.  As a bonus you get a chapters on computer problem solving and Tips on Windows 2000 configuration.

Go for Guy’s eBook and get a printable version with copy enabled and no expiry date.


Turn off CDRom – AutoRun

What do you think about AutoRun?  Some people like it, some hate it.  Tf you wish to disable AutoRun. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ Cdrom subkey. set the AutoRun value to 0.

Registry learning tip – You always have a choice!

N.B. See the latest on AutoRun in Vista here.

Faster kill for applications not responding

HKey\Users\??\ControlPanel\Desktop\WaitToKillAppTimeout default is 20080 milli seconds so try about 5000

As you may guess from the name this sets the timeout on processes that are hanging.  Technically this an interesting hack as you have to set it two or thee times in the registry – keep pressing F3 (Find next).  The reason is that this setting is found on the Current user, Default user and maybe another user where you see a SID value.

Registry learning tip – Particularly with the HKey user registry, you have to make the changes three times.

Registry learning tip – Time values are in milli seconds e.g 1000 = 1 second

Registering the Schema Snap-in

I feel a little bit of a fraud mentioning registering dll’s here.  But because it is so useful I did not want you to miss out.  The problem is that by default you cannot see the Schema, but once you register the dll it appears by magic!:

Run regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll,  the snap-in is now available in the MMC or Administrative programs

Note:  There are many other dll’s you can register in this way, in fact you can right click an UNREGISTED dll, and select Register from the menu. (If the dll is already registered this will not work!)


  • Use Regedit rather than Regedt32 because it has a wonderful FIND
  • Use the REGISTRY Export setting as a precaution
  • Rename settings you do not needed or want, avoid deleting anything in the registry
  • If you are following advice, check whether it says ADD or Change.  With ADD you need an extra step.
  • Practice remote registry editing to prepare for an emergency



See Also