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Windows 7 freezed and then I restarted the machine. while starting up I saw it was applying changes on registry and on login screen it was preparing the changes.

so what is this about?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Windows update could have ran and there was a pending reboot to apply changes. Windows update tends to edit the registry and other things it can not when the OS is fully loaded.

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To clarify on what icebox3d said, certain changes can not be applied to the registry while they have active handles in memory on them. If Windows is actively reading from those sections and depends on them, the only way for an update to change those entries is during the initial boot process when that part of the registry hive has not loaded yet.

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