windows registry: criticized

[[art of unix programming]] points out that Windows registry are sometimes corrupted. Remember the standard advice to always back up the registry before editing it?

When corrupted, the registry “frequently” breaks the entire system and requires a completely reinstall.

weakness — the registry is a centralized hierarchical config data store shared in RW mode by all (dozens of) applications.

weakness — single point of failure

In contrast, Unix config data is decentralized, but I won’t elaborate. Centralized hierarchy sounds plausible but doesn’t work well in practice.

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pitfalls with NTFS junction point

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/manually-creating-junction-points-in-windows-xp/5388706 and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS_junction_point warn —

^^Junction point target must be a local file system directory. Target can’t be a file.
^^Most delete operations are junction-unfriendly. Can damage the target i.e. the real files !
^^DOS command dir can report odd free-space statistics on drives that contain folders acting as junction points.
^^Junction points can cause havoc with certain backup programs, that aren’t junction-point aware.
^^if a target folder C:\a\b\T contains some kind of link (symlink? hard link? shortcut?) then I find it troublesome to move the folder content somewhere and replace C:\a\b\T with a junction point

^^Junction points do not work at boot, so it’s impossible to “redirect” i.e. substitute a hardlink for e.g.:
\Windows
\Windows\System32
\Windows\Config

Nevertheless, it is possible to redirect:
\Users
\Documents and Settings
\Program Files
\Program Files (x86)