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Definition of Registry Value Data Types

This article was previously published under Q101230
SUMMARY
WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious, system-wideproblems that may require you to reinstall Windows NT to correct them.Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the use ofRegistry Editor can be solved. Use this tool at your own risk.

This article describes the different data types for key values in theWindows NT Registry:

  • REG_BINARY
  • REG_DWORD
  • REG_EXPAND_SZ
  • REG_MULTI_SZ
  • REG_SZ

REG_BINARY

This is the raw binary data. Most hardware component information isstored as binary data, and can be displayed in Registry Editor inhexadecimal format, or displayed in WinMSD in an easy-to-read format.For example:
   Component Information : REG_BINARY : 00 00 00...

REG_DWORD

This is data represented by a number that is four bytes long. Manyparameters for device driver and services are this type, and can bedisplayed in Registry Editor in binary, hexadecimal, or decimalformat. For example, entries for service error controls are this type:
ErrorControl : REG_DWORD : 0x1

REG_EXPAND_SZ

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

REG_MULTI_SZ

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

REG_SZ

This is a sequence of characters representing human readable text. Forexample, a component's description is usually this type:
   DisplayName : REG_SZ : Messenger
prodnt winnt
Properties

Article ID: 101230 - Last Review: 10/31/2006 23:28:00 - Revision: 2.1

  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • kbenv KB101230
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