A question about NT Domains

Wolfgang Ratzka ratzka at HRZ.Uni-Marburg.DE
Fri Apr 10 22:25:00 GMT 1998

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote:

> my experience is with Win95, but i expect the same for NT, and have been
> told that it is so by someone who runs NT admin training courses.

On NT it is quite definitely not so. HKCU will always be loaded completely from
the user's NTuser.dat file and unloaded again after logout.
In fact HKCU is not a proper registry hive but a symbolic reference to the subkey of
HKEY_USERS that corresponds to the current user. If more than one user 
is active on an NT machine (on plain vanilla NT this *is* possible if you have
services running as a non-system user; on WinFrame or Hydra multiple users
can be logged in) you will see several subkeys of HKU that correspond to
the active users and don't interfere with each other.

Of course some settings that a user can change do not go into the HKCU hive
but into HKLM, most notably the screen resolution and the number of colours
(you can use policies to prevent user's from changing these).
Some applications put information that should go into HKCU into HKLM instead.
(Hall of Shame: Netscape Communicator, Microsoft Office 97 [User dictionaries!]...).
Others just use plain good old INI files in their program directory or even 
in \WINNT\SYSTEM32. Those changes will not be user specific but machine 
specific and those programs will cause trouble, when one tries to run them
on WinFrame or Hydra... :-).


Q: Will the next user inherit a previous user's additions
   to the HKCU registry hive?
A: Quite definitely not.

Q: Can a user foul up the configuration for the next user?
A: Quite definitely yes!

Q: Is this discussion out of place on the samba-ntdom list?
A: Errr....
Wolfgang Ratzka (dialing in from home)

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