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Archive for the ‘Regedit’ Category

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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Understanding Regedit

The Microsoft Registry Editor enables you to view, search for, and change settings in your system registry, which contains information about how your computer runs. Windows stores its configuration information in a database called the registry which can be accessed using Regedit.exe(Registry Editor). The registry contains profiles for each user of the computer and information about system hardware, installed programs, and property settings. Windows continually references this information during its operation. Although you can use Registry Editor to inspect and modify the registry, doing so is not recommended, as making incorrect changes can damage your system.

Registry Editor overview
Registry Editor is an advanced tool for viewing and changing settings in your system registry which contains information about how your computer runs. Windows stores its configuration information in a database (the registry) that is organized in a tree format.When you view the registry in the Microsoft Registry Editor its hierarchical nature becomes obvious. The editor presents an Explorer-like view of the registry, with a tree in the left pane and data in the right

Arcitecture of regedit

The registry tree is divided into six broad sections (five in NT). HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT HKEY_CURRENT_USER HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE HKEY_USERS HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG HKEY_DYN_DATA Folders represent keys in the registry and are shown in the navigation area on the left side of the Registry Editor window. On the left side below My Computer their are five keys HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, HKEY_CURRENT_USER, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, HKEY_USERS, HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG, HKEY_DYN_DATA. On expanding these Keys we’ll get the sub keys. In the right side area, the entries in a particular sub key are displayed, which are Name(Contains name of the value), Type(contains type of the value), and Data(Contains associated data of the value.)When you double-click a entry, it opens an editing dialog box. At the status bar of regedit path is shown.

navigating regedit

You should not edit your registry unless it is absolutely necessary. If there is an error in your registry, your computer may not function properly. If this happens, you can restore the registry to the same version you were using when you last successfully started your computer Regedit.exe is automatically installed during setup and is stored in same folder as is Windows. To start Regedit.exe

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. Type Regedit, and then click OK.

Navigation
The navigation area of the Registry Editor displays folders, each of which represents a predefined key (a key that represents one of the main division of the registry for eg: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE ) on the local computer. When accessing the registry of a remote computer, only two predefined keys, HKEY_USERS and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, appear.

Folder/predefined key Description
HKEY_CURRENT_USER Contains the root of the configuration information for the user who is currently logged on. The user’s folders, screen colors, and Control Panel settings are stored here. This information is referred to as a user’s profile.
HKEY_USERS Contains the root of all user profiles on the computer. HKEY_CURRENT_USER is a subkey of HKEY_USERS.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE Contains configuration information particular to the computer (for any user).
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT Is a subkey of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software. The information stored here ensures that the correct program opens when you open a file by using Windows Explorer.
HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG Contains information about the hardware profile used by the local computer at system startup.

The following table lists the data types currently defined and used by the system.

Data type Description
REG_BINARY Raw binary data. Most hardware component information is stored as binary data and is displayed in Registry Editor in hexadecimal format.
REG_DWORD Data represented by a number that is 4 bytes long. Many parameters for device drivers and services are this type and are displayed in Registry Editor in binary, hexadecimal, or decimal format.
REG_EXPAND_SZ A variable-length data string. This data type includes variables that are resolved when a program or service uses the data.
REG_MULTI_SZ A multiple string. Values that contain lists or multiple values in a form that people can read are usually this type. Entries are separated by spaces, commas, or other marks.
REG_SZ A fixed-length text string.
REG_FULL_RESOURCE_DESCRIPTOR A series of nested arrays designed to store a resource list for a hardware component or driver.

Add a key

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.
  • You must back up your registry before tweaking into it or it may lead you to reinstall your operating system.
  • You can search for lot of registry backup tool an use any one of them, like ERUNT or click here for alternate methods of backing up registry.

Referrences


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