Friday, May 22, 2009

Haja Peer Mohamed H

Back Up The Registry In Windows

In a way, the Windows Registry is a weak link in the operating system’s stability and robustness. It’s remarkably easy to damage, but very difficult to repair. And unless you go to the trouble of making your own backup copy, it’s not necessarily easy to replace it if it’s damaged (unlike, say, DLLs, which can be pulled right off the Vista CD). A broken Registry either due to physical corruption or errant data might cause Windows to behave eratically (or more so than usual) or it may prevent Windows from starting at all.

The System Protection feature (also known as System Restore) is found in Control Panel ➝ System ➝ Advanced system settings ➝ System Protection tab. Windows automatically creates a restore point once a day, plus each time you install an application, device driver, or any update from Windows Update. Restore points contain essential Windows system files and Registry settings, although it’s not clear how much of the Registry is backed up, nor is it possible to restore all or part of the Registry alone.

So, what’s the big problem? Why not just zip up the Registry files or copy them to a CD? The files that contain your Registry data (called hives) are constantly being read from and written to, so Windows locks them to ensure they can’t be modified, deleted, or even read directly.  

"Actually, there is a way around this. You can copy the hive file containing HKEY_CURRENT_USER if you log out and log in as a different user. And you can access all of the hive files if you have a dualboot setup and you start one of the other operating systems installed on your PC."

This means you have to use a procedure like the following if you want a backup you can create and restore at will. You may want to do this, for instance, just before you install a new program or device driver. 

  1. Open Registry Editor, and collapse all the branches so only the five main root keys are showing.
  2. Highlight HKEY_CURRENT_USER.
  3. From the File menu, select Export.
  4. From the Save as type list, choose Registry Hive Files (*.*).
  5. Type a filename, and give it the .hive filename extension (e.g., hkey_current_user.hive). RegEdit won’t do this for you, nor will Windows recognize the .hive extension by default, but it will make the files much easier for you to identify than if they have no extension, which is the default. See “File Type Associations,” later in this chapter, to see how to properly register a new file type.
  6. Choose a folder to store the backup, and click Save.
  7. Next, highlight HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, and repeat steps 3–6. Make sure to choose a different filename for this branch (e.g., hkey_local_machine.hive).
  8. To restore either or both of these backups, and replace the current Registry with the data in your backup hive files, select Import from the Registry Editor’s File menu. Select Registry Hive Files (*.*) from the unlabeled listbox next to the File name field, select the .hive file to import, and click Open.
Related Links:

Vista Service Pack 2 Preview | Vista’s Second Coming
User Account Control In Windows Vista
Start Windows In Less Time | Load Windows Faster
Plus And Minuses Of Windows Vista | Love It or Hate It
Mount A Hard Disk Volume In Windows Vista
More Ways to Rename Files In Windows
How To Create A Folder Named "CON" In Windows?
Hack the Windows Logo Key
Delete In-Use Files In Windows Vista
Choosing Between Clean Install And Upgrading In Windows Vista
Blue Screen Of Death And Green Ribbon of Death On Windows
Back Up The Registry In Windows

Haja Peer Mohamed H

About Haja Peer Mohamed H -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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