Most users never need to view or edit the registry. You can configure most system services by using the programs provided with Windows 2000, such as Computer Management, Control Panel and Group Policy, or the administrative tools installed with optional services, such as WINS Manager and Internet Service Manager.
If you wish to view the registry or need to change a value that can only be set directly in the registry, use a registry editor, such as Regedit.exe or Regedt32.exe, the registry editors installed with Windows 2000.
To start a registry editor, click Start, click Run, and then type the name of the editor in the Run box.
Do not use a registry editor to edit the registry directly unless you have no alternative. The registry editors bypass the standard safeguards provided by administrative tools. These safeguards prevent you from entering conflicting settings or settings that are likely to degrade performance or damage your system. Editing the registry directly can have serious, unexpected consequences that can prevent the system from starting and require that you reinstall Windows 2000. To configure or customize Windows 2000, use the programs in Microsoft Management Console or Control Panel whenever possible.
To avoid making inadvertent changes when viewing the registry, use Regedt32. From the Options menu, select Read Only Mode.
For information about the registry editors, see Help for Regedit.exe and Regedt32.exe.