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  1. #1
    writhziden's Avatar
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    Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows Vista or Windows 7

    This tutorial provides instructions for replacing your current registry with a backup to fix a possibly damaged registry.



    1. First, access the System Recovery Options.

    2. Next, open a command prompt.

    3. Check each drive's layout to find the Windows directory. It should appear similar to the following image:

      click for full-size image

    4. Change directories to the <drive letter>:\Windows\System32\ directory. In the below case, the drive letter was D:, so the result was the following command:

      Code:
      cd D:\Windows\System32
    5. Copy your config directory to a backup in case the next steps do not work.

      Code:
      D:\Windows\System32>mkdir configBackup
      
      D:\Windows\System32>copy config configBackup
      config\BCD-Template
      config\COMPONENTS
      config\DEFAULT
      config\SAM
      config\SECURITY
      config\SOFTWARE
      config\SYSTEM
              7 file(s) copied.

    6. Change directories to the config\RegBack directory:

      Code:
      cd config\RegBack
    7. Type the following command to see the directory contents:

      Code:
      dir
      The file sizes need to be the same or at least similar to the following image or this will not work.

      click for full-size image

      • If there are any size 0 files, do not continue


    8. Copy the files from the RegBack directory to the previous directory:

      click for full-size image
    Last edited by writhziden; 07-07-2017 at 08:11 AM.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    How do you restore the back up that was backed up on Step 5 ?

  3. #3
    writhziden's Avatar
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      • Sound Card:
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        Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

    Re: Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    Quote Originally Posted by Icewolf208 View Post
    How do you restore the back up that was backed up on Step 5 ?
    Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Unfortunately there is no way to do so as I left out an important step in the process. Before the command "copy config configBackup" you must first "mkdir configBackup" so the files are copied to a backup directory. The steps you followed copied the files into one file. If anyone knows how to unpack that file back to a directory structure, that would be an option, but I do not believe that is possible with my own knowledge.

    My apologies for the inconvenience... :-{
    I am only a volunteer helping users on the forums. Please wait 72 hours before double posting or PMing for help. I appreciate your patience. :-}

  4. #4

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    Re: Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    hmmm I see, I'll search for a fix, maybe the expand command or so?

  5. #5
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    Re: Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    Quote Originally Posted by Icewolf208 View Post
    hmmm I see, I'll search for a fix, maybe the expand command or so?
    Hello :)

    Please upload it to a file sharing service such as Skydrive or similar, making sure that it is publicly available, then send me a private message with a link to the file: http://www.sysnative.com/forums/priv...?do=newpm&u=59

    They're all registry hives, so have characteristic binary formats, and I may be able to separate them manually for you. "May" is the critical word here, but I can but try :)

    Richard
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    Re: Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    Thank you I will try to copy the file to an external drive using cmd, and upload it via another computer because I cannot boot windows, even in safe mode which previously could before I restored the backup registry. I'll be pm-ing you soon.

  7. #7
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    Re: Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    Quote Originally Posted by Icewolf208 View Post
    Thank you I will try to copy the file to an external drive using cmd, and upload it via another computer because I cannot boot windows, even in safe mode which previously could before I restored the backup registry. I'll be pm-ing you soon.
    I wonder if perhaps some of the files were not correctly copied.

    Anyway, can you please tell me the story behind this. Why were you trying to restore a registry backup? Presumably something was wrong with the machine, but what exactly? Any errors or strange occurrences as you tried to restore the backup? In what exact way does the computer not boot?

    There might be a clue in there somewhere which could help me.

    Thank you!

    Richard
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    Re: Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    I Sent you the info I have and I'm also sending the link right now, Thanks

  9. #9
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    Re: Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    I am still working with Icewolf208 on this issue. I hope to be able to reproduce here the full sequence of events that led up to this shortly, with his permission.

    Unfortunately, the situation looks bad as the single file backup I have received, whilst featuring all registry hives, totals less than half a megabyte in size. All hives have been truncated to almost non-existence sometime before the backup was made and of course this has resulted in a non-booting computer. I personally don't know much about non-booting computers, but there isn't a way of accessing volume shadow copy caches outside of windows, is there??????

    Richard

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    Re: Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    So this is what I did before everything happened:

    Recently I've "cleaned" my laptop with the AVG pc tune up program, It cleaned about 500+ Registry entries and more, it worked fine after the clean up but
    after it got shut down it did not want to boot up anymore, it kept hanging on "starting Windows" with the windows icon. The built-in startup repair
    couldn't repair it, I could only start it up in safe mode, I tried restoring the back up that AVG made before the clean up but it couldn't restore it, so for about 3 days I kept on working in safe mode (just using microsoft office and networking). Then I found the thread about manually restoring the back-up and I did that, after doing so my Windows still didn't boot up and in safe mode instead of booting in safe mode I got the pop-up with something about login or logon something, sorry I don't remember the precise message, if I pressed "OK" or the close button the pop-up reappears.
    So now I can only open the windows repair screen, so I can only use CMD and a repair that doesn't work, I tried restoring the back-up but yeah I couldn't, since the config dir went into one file. so now i'm stuck.
    I should also include that I don't have a windows 7 installation disk. Windows 7 came built-in with the Laptop.
    I can only use the "one touch web acces w/out full boot up".

    Anthony.
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  11. #11

    Re: Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    Here's my take on cleaning or 'tuning up' the registry with any 3rd party software:

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    First off, one big thing about registry cleaning is it is by no means and should not be a computer maintenance task. Clearing your browser's cache and cookies every week? Great, no harm there. Running your favorite registry cleaner every week? NOT GREAT.

    If we're being honest and straightforward here, cleaning the registry is an entirely unnecessary thing to do. So far, what I've said makes it sound like I despise registry cleaners. Do I? No, I don't despise them, but as I said, they are unnecessary and if used carelessly can render your Operating System a paperweight.

    So why would you even use a registry cleaner in the first place? Well, they have to do something right or they wouldn't even be allowed to be sold (if paid for) or if they were free (CCleaner for example) there would be a huge backlash, more than what there already is in IT with regards to opinions based on registry cleaners.
    Registry cleaning software is useful mainly for one thing, and it can be done very well depending on the algorithm the cleaner software itself is using, and that's removing remnants of old uninstalled software or entries with now invalid path names. At times, it can also possibly be useful for removing traces of malware that may have been stored in the registry that was not successfully removed after running a virus scan, etc.

    Other than that, it's not going to do anything. It will not increase your system's performance by any means whatsoever. Nothing noticeable. A 'smaller registry' in theory would have one assume that things load faster, etc, but in reality there is no performance difference whatsoever.

    For reference, take a look at this:

    Mark Russinovich (Author of the "Bible", Windows Internals, co-founder of Winternals and Sysinternals, and since both companies were bought by Microsoft, now a senior Microsoft employee) was asked:

    Hi Mark, do you really think that Registry junk left by uninstalled programs could severely slow down the computer? I would like to 'hear' your opinion.
    No, even if the registry was massively bloated there would be little impact on the performance of anything other than exhaustive searches.

    On Win2K Terminal Server systems, however, there is a limit on the total amount of Registry data that can be loaded and so large profile hives can limit the number of users that can be logged on simultaneously.

    I haven't and never will implement a Registry cleaner since it's of little practical use on anything other than Win2K terminal servers and developing one that's both safe and effective requires a huge amount of application-specific knowledge.
    So, to sum all of this up:

    Q: Will using a registry cleaner increase the speed and/or performance of my system?

    A: No.

    ----

    Q: Why would I even use a registry cleaner then?

    A: I personally wouldn't use one whatsoever and would find the problem you're specifically having and take care of it manually. That is much safer. However, the main use of registry cleaners is to again as stated above, remove remnants of old uninstalled software or entries with now invalid path names. At times, it can also possibly be useful for removing traces of malware that may have been stored in the registry that was not successfully removed after running a virus scan, etc.

    ----

    Q: What is the true danger of using a registry cleaner?

    A: You have to remember what you're using is an automated tool that is not perfect by any means. You are putting your trust in an automated tool to be absolutely sure every key it is about to delete is 100% unnecessary. At times, and I have seen it personally myself PLENTY, it can delete a very important key that is necessary to the functionality of your Operating System in some form or another.

    ----

    Q: What if my registry is corrupt, will running a registry cleaner help?

    A: Absolutely not.

    Regards,

    Patrick
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  12. #12

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    Re: Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    I've learned that the hard way so it seems
    I shall delete every 3rd party cleaner and never install one again. Thanks for the advice Patrick.
    I sometimes deleted the Registry entries from uninstalled programs though, whenever I tried re-installing a program, I delete every registry entry I can find from the program I try to reinstall before installing it again by just using the "find" function in RegEdit and search for everything with the programs name and delete that key or so. Is that okay?
    I do that if the program installs drivers or so, like Hamachi.

    I think I'll just try to back-up most of the personal stuff I can to an external drive and then re-install windows 7. I Don't know what else to do
    I wouldn't want to work with a half-functional computer anyways

    Thanks for the help everyone.

    Anthony

  13. #13

    Re: Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    No problem, Anthony. We all learn the hard way at some point or another. That's how most of us come to find out and then can at that point warn others for the possibilities.

    I sometimes deleted the Registry entries from uninstalled programs though, whenever I tried re-installing a program, I delete every registry entry I can find from the program I try to reinstall before installing it again by just using the "find" function in RegEdit and search for everything with the programs name and delete that key or so. Is that okay?
    Is it okay? Sure. Would I bother doing it? No. Why? It's not causing you problems or causing an impact on system performance negatively. The only time I would do this is let's say I uninstalled a specific piece of software, and I wanted for some reason in the future to reinstall it. During reinstall, for some reason, it notes that it cannot be completed because of previous entries still existing, etc. That is when I would go ahead and do so. Other than that, don't bother because it's not necessary and there's too much room for error in the registry. It's better to leave it alone unless you ABSOLUTELY need to access it to make a fix that you otherwise cannot accomplish any other way.

    think I'll just try to back-up most of the personal stuff I can to an external drive and then re-install windows 7.
    I seem to have a differing opinion of most when it comes to clean install of Windows. My personal opinion is unless you have a prior working and salvageable registry backup to restore, if your registry is seriously corrupt or tampered with from the use of cleaning software, etc, it's best to do a clean install to avoid any future problems that may have been caused by the use of said software. As you said, it's not fun working with a half-functioning computer. As you said, the software found 500+ entries worth of 'cleaning'. I'm cringing at the thought of what some of those entries could have been.

    Regards,

    Patrick
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  14. #14

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    Re: Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    I have restored to factory settings using Viao system restore (today) and its working well up to now
    I still bought a Windows 7 installation disk though
    I'll be making restore points monthly, manually clean and only use Microsoft Security Essentials as I find that the most trustworthy Virus protection.
    Thank you for the all the help and advice, you guys are friendly

    Just wanted to give an update and thank everyone

    Anthony.

  15. #15

    Re: Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    Great to hear, Anthony. Sounds like you have yourself a solid plan! I would recommend in addition to MSE using Malwarebytes FREE on the side as a secondary scanner to run your weekly/monthly scans - Malwarebytes : Malwarebytes Anti-Malware removes malware including viruses, spyware, worms and trojans, plus it protects your computer

    MSE will provide you with real-time protection, and as I said MSE will be a secondary scanner for after you run your MSE scans, etc. MSE FREE is not a 2nd real-time protection, therefore no conflicts will occur.

    During the installation, ensure you un check 'Free 14 day PRO trial'.

    Regards,

    Patrick
    Last edited by Patrick; 12-10-2013 at 11:11 PM.
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    Re: Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    Read this post and it seems to be what I am looking for in regards to backing up the reg. files. Here is a brief of what I'm trying to do. I would like to clean install my OS (for various reasons) on a SSD but I have several TBs of games and programs on 2 other HHDs and would like to know if there is a way to re-install the registry files to make those games and programs work again without having to reload everything. I plan to disconnect all but my SSD and have a bootable USB set up and ready to go using Rufus & RT Lite 2.6.0 Beta. Have done a clean install back in Sept using Rufus only and did a system image on an Ext HDD (Toshiba 1 TB) but the hang up is I have added a lot more games and programs since then. Should I do another System Image now to capture all of that or can a registry backup do it? I hope I'm making sense with this.....
    Sam~

  17. #17
    writhziden's Avatar
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        Sony Corporation VAIO
      • CPU:
      • Memory:
        8.00 GB Crucial CT2KIT51264BF1339 DDR3 1333
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      • Sound Card:
        Realtek High Definition Audio/nVidia High Definition Audio
      • Hard Drives:
        TOSHIBA MK5061GSY 500 GB (465 GB actual)
      • Case:
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      • Cooling:
        Air cooling via fan and heat exchanger heatsink
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      • Operating System:
        Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

    Re: Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    Quote Originally Posted by tazmo8448 View Post
    Read this post and it seems to be what I am looking for in regards to backing up the reg. files. Here is a brief of what I'm trying to do. I would like to clean install my OS (for various reasons) on a SSD but I have several TBs of games and programs on 2 other HHDs and would like to know if there is a way to re-install the registry files to make those games and programs work again without having to reload everything. I plan to disconnect all but my SSD and have a bootable USB set up and ready to go using Rufus & RT Lite 2.6.0 Beta. Have done a clean install back in Sept using Rufus only and did a system image on an Ext HDD (Toshiba 1 TB) but the hang up is I have added a lot more games and programs since then. Should I do another System Image now to capture all of that or can a registry backup do it? I hope I'm making sense with this.....
    Frankensteining your registry is not a good idea. It is safer to re-install those programs to the appropriate drives and let Windows setup the registry from scratch. I know that is a bit of a task with that much software installed, but it is not recommended to cobble old registry files into a clean Windows installation. Drive letters change, registry keys can change causing software not to run correctly or at all, and the system itself may even become unbootable. It is not worth the risk in my experience.
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  18. #18
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    Re: Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    Thanks writhziden. I had a feeling that that option was pushing the envelope. As stated my other HDD's have all the programs and the SSD the OS only so I'm thinking the HDD's being untouched in the process will continue to operate correctly. Learned a new term today 'frankinsteining'. As you can guess my idea was to side step all the re-downloads but that as you say would defeat the idea of a clean install. Oh well.
    Sam~

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    Re: Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    I have been attempting to find information about the function of the "new" registry file COMPONENTS in Win7

    I have a basic understanding of the original four registry files SYSTEM, SOFTWARE, SECURITY, and SAM
    I have been unable to find any real technical info about how the COMPONENTS registry file is used
    - and how it relates to other parts of the Windows system.

    Is there already a guide you can point me to - somewhere on this website - or elsewhere?
    I did a search but could not find anything.

    The first two obvious questions are:
    1. Is there a connection between the COMPONENTS registry file and the WinSxS Component Store?
    2. When manually restoring the registry from a backup the original 4 files are well documented
    - but what issues need to be understood when considering a restore of the COMPONENTS registry file.

    And once I understand that one then I believe Win 8 introduces a number of additional files - including DRIVERS ????

    DougCuk - Tech Support Engineer - London UK

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    Re: Manually Restore the Registry From its Backup in Windows (Windows 7 / Vista)

    Hi Folks,

    I am happy to found this forum :-)
    Maybe u can help me.
    I tried to copy the files, but the system says, canīt copy īcause the files which I tried to overwrite are in use.

    Any solutions for my problem ?

    My System is Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit / 24 GB RAM / the hard disk setup is a raid, maybe thatīs the problem ?

    Greetz from cologne

    NAGI
    Last edited by Aura; 02-26-2016 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Removed useless quote tag

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