Ritesh’s Technical Blog

Backup and Restore Registry

Posted on: July 6, 2008

While using registry you should remember that the operations you are performing are live and there is no option for undo. If you use registry incorrectly you can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. So before you modify the registry, make sure to back up the registry and make sure that you can understand how to restore registry if problem arises.

How to backup Registry?
There are numerous way to back up registry, You can use any of the following 3 methods-

  • Using System Restore,
  • Exporting specific keys which you want to edit (I recommend this one),
  • Using third party tool.

Methods of Backing up Registry

  1. Using System Restore:
  2. You can use System Restore facility provided by your Operating System to back up your Registry. System Restore which comes with Windows XP is used to backup registry. It’s so simple to backup the Registry; by just following the simple steps
    • Start => All Programs => Accessories => System Tools => System Restore
    • Check the restore my system to an earlier time option and click next
    • Give name to the newly created restore point
  3. You can make use of this restore point if some thing goes wrong by just restoring your computer to this restore point. Remember you need to reboot after creating the restore point.

  4. Exporting specific keys ( recommended )

Another way is to manually export the Registry. You can export the registry Keys/Sub keys which you want to edit. This is a quick way to backup the Registry and i recommended this one only. To export a registry key follow the underlined steps-

  • Open the Registry Editor (Start => Run => Regedit).
  • Navigate to the key you want to edit
  • Right click on that key and select Export from the right click context menu.
  • Give a name to the Registry file (*.reg) and save it in any proper location.

Now, you have backuped your registry so if anything goes wrong because of editing that key you must double click on your saved registry file and click ok when it ask to merge it.

Note Do not follow these steps to export a whole registry subtree.

3.Export registry keys using a Command Prompt

You can use Command Prompt to edit the registry. To know how to edit, export, import, delete etc registry by using command prompt type Reg/?

The following example shows how you can use the reg export command:

reg export “hkcu\software\microsoft\winmine” c:\data\regbackups\wmbkup.reg

4. Backing up the whole registry (“System state”)

For backing up the whole registry, use the NTBackup utility to back up the System State. The System State includes the registry, the COM+ Class Registration Database, and your boot files.

NOTE: NTBACKUP is not installed by default in Windows XP Home Edition. Install it using the instructions available at: Q302894.

5.Using third party tool.

You can use a lot of software available these days for backing up and restoring registry, the one which i recommend is ERUNT. ERUNT (The Emergency Recovery Utility for NT) helps you perform a complete Registry Backup and Restore for Windows NT/2000/2003/XP. To know how to use ERUNT click here. To view more details of ERUNT click here. To download ERUNT click here.

6.VISTA user’s click here to know how to backup and restore registry.


Methods of Restoring Registry

  1. Manually Restore the registry

To restore the registry

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Click Options, and then click Print to print these instructions. (If you are using the Help and Support Center, click Print above the topic area.) They will not be available after you shut down your computer in step 2.
  3. Click Start, and then click Shut Down.
  4. In the list, click Restart, and then click OK.
  5. When you see the message Please select the operating system to start, press F8.
  6. Use the arrow keys to highlight Last Known Good Configuration, and then press ENTER.NUM LOCK must be off before the arrow keys on the numeric keypad will function.
  7. Use the arrow keys to highlight an operating system, and then press ENTER

Caution

  • Incorrectly editing the registry may severely damage your system. Before making changes to the registry, you should back up any valued data on your computer.

Referrences

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