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Endpoint Virtualization Community Blog

How SVS works with Classes in the Windows Registry

Created: 14 Nov 2005 • Updated: 29 Jul 2010
Randy Cook's picture
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Randy Cook gives us some vital info about how SVS interacts with the Windows Registry. If you're faced with editing the registry of a virtualized app (shudder) this tip could be a life saver.

If you come to a point in life when you need to tweak the Registry of a virtualized application, you'll want to keep this explanation of how SVS works with registry keys within reach.

The HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key is a virtual key that Windows creates by combining the data from HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes. When there is a conflict in this data, preference is given to the data contained in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes.

SVS does not store data in the virtual HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key. Instead it stores it in its real location under either HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes. At runtime, Windows reads the SVS data for active layers from these locations and properly renders HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.

Editing registry keys of a virtualized application is a bit different than editing normal registry keys. Here's how to get started:

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Make sure the application you want to work in is deactivated. Here's how to use the Trinket utility to deactivate version 5 of the Acrobat Reader.

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Launch Software Virtualization Admin

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Double-click the name of the application you want to edit.

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Click the registry tab in the properties in the "Edit Layer" window that opens.

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Make the edits just like you would if you were using the Windows Registry editor.