Q: As an embedded programmer I am new to all windows development. And as such I am ignorant of the registry. It seems to play a crucial part in the initialization of the OS (device drivers, services, etc) Do you know of a good source of information about how the OS (not individual applications) uses the registry?
A: Sorry, I don't have any good sources of information to point you at. The registry is sort of a cross between a database and a file system -- the data is stored hierarchically like a file system, in small values with different types. The OS mostly uses the registry for reading in configuration information that you (or applications) can change. There isn't one big document for all registry information that is used by the system, but I know our documentation team has been making an effort to document all the settings on an area-by-area basis. For example,
Most parts of the OS have default registry settings that they use, some of which may be controlled by relatively high-level flags you can set like PRJ_* and IMG*.
The OS should be able to boot and run based on these variables, without you having to tweak many (any?) individual settings. Then you can tweak things to modify OS behavior as needed. The hard question I can't answer is what settings you might want to tweak. I guess you will have to find those out as you go.
Sorry I'm not more help than that,