Tip of the Day: Registry Enhancements

Today’s tip…


The Windows Registry was originally designed to handle small amounts of system configuration data; however over time its usage has evolved to become more of a generic system database used by all applications to store data.


With this increase in Registry usage (both in number of lookups and amount of content stored), it affects Windows performance is many ways; some subtle and some not so subtle. The most obvious impact of this is the memory consumption, however there are also other subtle problems like decreased battery life, slower IO for the rest of system, decreased system reliability and increased boot times.

New Features in Windows 8/Server 2012

• Automatic Hive Defrag: A comparison is made when loading hives at boot and during logon between the size on disk and the size in memory. An automatic defrag occurs if a significant number of bytes could be saved.

• Hot and Cold Regions: This will enable the Memory Manager to keep the most frequently accessed keys in memory and page out all the keys which are rarely accessed

• Cached File IO: Cached writes allows the disk driver and NTFS to achieve maximum throughput and minimum effort for the disk drive.

• IO Coalescing: Registry flushes occur less often and only when the IO Power Manager broadcasts it's a good time to flush modifications to disk.

• Reduced Locks: Simplified registry IO greatly reduced the number of locks needed to manage the Windows registry, leading to increased performance and reliability.

Comments (7)

  1. Anonymous says:

    The following links are for the top four tips from the ‘Tip of the Day’ blog during the month

  2. Anonymous says:

    The following links are for the top four tips from the ‘Tip of the Day’ blog during the month

  3. Andrew says:

    Hi Robert,

    This is very interesting, but… What’s the source of your information? Where’s the official documentation on this? I can’t find anything about these features on MSDN/TechNet. Am I missing the obvious?

    How can I verify the information you posted? For example, is there an event in the event log associated with the registry defrag?

    I’d appreciate more details!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robert, and Miroslav too. Since you are discussing favorite blogs, I really loved the http://blogs.technet.com/b/winserverperformance/ blog. Although I am sure much of the information there still apply (and for long will apply in general), I am also sure there have been further improvements in latest Windows kernels. It would be cool to get some reading about those, preferably written by an excited developer, those are the best 🙂

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Robert, I really enjoy the “enhancements” series of blog posts. All I can say is that your blog outperforms the other officially available sources for IT Pros (Microsoft Virtual Academy as an example) which are interested to know about new technologies in depth.

  6. Anonymous says:

    You just named almost all blogs in my rss :D. I loved the askperf, askcore and askds blogs, however the quality decreased from my point of view – but that’s more off topic. My current favs are AskPFE and ntdebugging blogs (and tip of the day, naturally). Your “tiny bits of random knowledge” are actually many times the hidden gems which are so hard to find. These hidden random bits from various sources have been extremely helpful during my career as an IT Pro so far.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Miroslav. I really enjoy publishing the blog. Its nice to know that people are getting something out of it.

    However, Microsoft Virtual Academy is trying to hit a different audience. They are doing more online training. Where as my tips are more geared toward people that just want a tiny bit of random knowledge that doesn’t take a large investment of time.

    If you like the stuff I write, you might be interested in some other Microsoft blogs I’ve written for.

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/askcore/archive/tags/robert+mitchell/ http://blogs.technet.com/b/askperf/archive/2010/12/03/performance-counter-for-iscsi.aspx http://blogs.technet.com/b/joscon/archive/2011/01/06/how-hard-links-work.aspx http://blogs.technet.com/b/joscon/archive/2011/08/26/more-on-hard-links.aspx

    AskCore is normally where I publish to if I get too ‘long winded’ for a tip. 🙂

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