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SYSTEM.INI

The SYSTEM.INI file stands for SYSTEM INItialization and is a Windows configuration file that describes the current state of the computer system environment. SYSTEM.INI was introduced in Windows 3.0, but is still used in Windows 95/98 and NT primarily for compatibility with Windows 3.x applications.

The SYSTEM.INI file contains hundreds of system settings and internal Windows settings that are read at startup. It identifies the drivers to be loaded and provides details about handling DOS applications.

Information in SYSTEM.INI is grouped by section headers, which are names enclosed in brackets. For example, the [386Enh] section (386 Enhanced) deals with memory management and other system attributes.

Edited Manually
The information in SYSTEM.INI was updated by Windows when settings were changed; however, in order to tweak system performance, the file could be edited with any text editor such as notepad. Most of the time, users never dealt with it. SYSTEM.INI and WIN.INI were the major configuration files in the early versions of Windows.

See also:

SYSTEM.INI
A Windows configuration file that describes the current state of the computer system environment.

WIN.INI
The Win.ini file is used in part to start programs under the older Windows 3.x systems and could still do the same under later operating systems.

AUTOEXEC.BAT
Autoexec.bat is a file that can automatically execute programs when a computer boots up.

The Registry
The Registry is a database of nearly all the settings for Windows operating system and most of your installed applications.