Configuring a Registry File to Run an Application at Startup

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Windows Mobile Not SupportedWindows Embedded CE Supported


You can configure a registry (.reg) file to run a module when your run-time image starts up. There are two ways to configure registry files:

  • Modify the registry file before building and downloading the run-time image.
  • Use the Remote Registry Editor after downloading the run-time image to the device.
    Using the Remote Registry Editor changes the run-time image registry, but the changes are not persisted to the registry files in Platform Builder. The next time you download the run-time image, you must configure the registry again.
    For more information, see Registry Editor.

To modify a registry file in the IDE

  1. In Solution Explorer, choose Parameter Files in the OS design hierarchy.

  2. Expand the nodes until you find the folder for the target device you have chosen. For example, if you create an OS design for the Device Emulator, find the Device Emulator folder.

  3. Expand the folder and then select and open the appropriate registry file.

    Typically, this is the Project.reg file. Settings in Project.reg override other registry settings due to the order in which the build system processes the registry files.

  4. Update or add the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Init section of the registry file with the following code.


    The following table shows descriptions of the parameters in the code you must update or add to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Init section of the registry file.

    Parameter Description


    Defines the order that the module is started in, where nn is 00–99.

    Enclose this parameter in double quotation marks (" ").


    Specifies the name of the module to be started.

    Enclose this parameter in double quotation marks (" ").


    Optional. Assigns a dependency that prevents the defined module from starting until another module is started, where nn is 00–99.

    Enclose this parameter in double quotation marks (" ").


    Defines the hexadecimal number of the module that must be run before the defined module is run.

    This parameter consists of the hex keyword, a colon, and one or more hexadecimal numbers, one for each byte of hexadecimal data.

    After your run-time image calls a module using the Init registry value, the application must call the SignalStarted function.

    SignalStarted indicates that the module is ready for the rest of the OS to continue processing.

    The value passed as the parameter to SignalStarted is the value passed on the command line of the module started from the Init key.

  5. If you do not know the hexadecimal numbers for the module dependencies that your application requires, open and search Common.reg for the module names.

    The following registry key example shows how to set your module to depend on the standard initialization modules, which include Filesys.dll, Gwes.dll, Device.exe, and Explorer.exe.

  6. Save and close the registry file.

You have successfully modified a registry file to run a module at startup.

See Also


How to Configure the Registry to Run an Application at Startup

Other Resources

Registry Editor