Restricting access to registry editor

  TimCDC 20:23 22 May 2003

I share my PC running Windows XP home with my two young sons, who love to explore and fiddle around on the hard disk. Which is (kind of!) great, but makes me worry that they might accidentally delete some of my files, or worse, alter the registry settings. One option would be to give them limited user status, but they need administrator status to access some of their games. I have managed to protect my files by restricting access in the sharing tab of my user profile. I know that I can also do something similar in the registry editor by changing access permissions to the keys – but I’m a bit confused by the range of user groups that have access to each of those keys, as shown below:

CLASSES_ROOT: Administrators, creator owner, system and users
CURRENT_USER: Administrators, restricted, system and Tim (me!)
LOCAL_MACHINE: Administrators, everyone, restricted and system
USERS: Administrators, everyone, restricted, and system
CURRENT_CONFIG: Administrators, creator owner, system, users and even Account unknown

My question has several parts. Is it possible to restrict access to the registry so that only I can edit it (if I were brave enough!), and if so which of the above user groups would I restrict or leave open? Would the whole exercise be compromised by having to grant administrator status to the boys so they can play games, or can I protect it so that the only administrator that can edit the registry is myself? And finally, can anyone explain the difference between all those user groups, and in particular what “Account unknown” refers to?

Finally, I’d just like to say thanks in advance. I’ve posted a few times now, and have been really bowled over by the generosity of other people’s expertise and time. Cheers!

  spikeychris 20:49 22 May 2003

If you go to start then run and type gpedit this brings up lots of XP options. Under user configuration click administrative templates then system then prevent access to registry tools, right click it and select properties, click enable and reboot.

You will have to disable it when you get brave and have a bash :o)


  spikeychris 20:51 22 May 2003


  TimCDC 22:54 22 May 2003

Thanks Chris. I've followed your suggestion but simply get a response that Windows can't find that file (with or without the msc extension). I've also used the search to look for it on the c drive, including hidden folders, but no joy. don't suppose you've got any further suggestions?


  hugh-265156 22:59 22 May 2003

is this not only in xp pro?

  powerless 00:42 23 May 2003

Yup! MR gpedit.msc is not available in XP home. Mrs gpedit.msc chucked him out!

  spikeychris 08:05 23 May 2003

Lazy reading again!! apologies, I realised 10 minutes after I had posted but bottle of merlot I had just savoured prevented me seeing the screen correctly, to post again.. :o).

On-route to work so don't have time but will check in latter..


  spikeychris 10:26 23 May 2003

click here and see what you think.


  TimCDC 21:09 23 May 2003

I've had a look at this, and think it will do the job - thanks Chris. But I'm still a bit worried about the whole process - does anyone have any other suggestions about how to protect my system from my two boys curious investigations? The limited user accounts should be the simplest way, but they don't seem to allow them to use certain games.....

  hugh-265156 23:03 23 May 2003

this might help you click here

  TimCDC 18:50 24 May 2003

Hey, thanks huggyg71 - I shall print that off and work my way through. Cheers, tim

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