Ever modify the .default registry key in regedit thinking that the next time you login to that system, you'd inherit these rights? Wrong!
The right way to do it is to run regedt32 and open the ntuser.dat from the default user profile directory.
Here are the steps:
1. Run Regedt32.exe and open your local registry.
2. Make HKEY_USERS the active window, and select Registry|Load Hive...
3. Navigate to the %WIN%ProfilesDefault User folder and select NTUSER.DAT.
4. When prompted for the key name, enter (in lower case to differentiate from the .DEFAULT hive that's already there), and click OK.
5. Make the change you need to and then completely collapse the branch when done.
6. With the default key highlighted, select Registry|Unload Hive
This was first published in July 2001