Windows Registry Repair - Detailed tutorial to fix registry

Detailed tutorial to fix windows registry, backup windows registry and recover from corruption of windows registry

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This detailed tutorial describes when to repair Windows Registry, how to edit and repair the Windows Registry and how to recover from a corruption Windows Registry. Microsoft recommends that before you ever edit the Registry, you always attempt to back up the Registry and understand how to restore it if a problem occurs.

When to repair Windows Registry?<p>

A few symptoms you should recognize as signs of a cluttered registry and probably in need of repair and optimization:
An extremely slowed down system every time you start your computer
Repeated system crashes which happen at high performance times
Frequent error messages even when you do not run many programs or doing something to the system
Frequent and unexplained system freezes
The Ultimate blue screen of death that says Beginning of Physical Memory Dump
Inability to add or remove a software in your computer
Extremely slow response to instructions
Slow startups and shutdowns
Frequent rebooting required

How to edit & repair Windows Registry?

Windows Registry is the nervous system so If it's damaged, it's a good bet that Windows is going to start to experience critical errors and ruin your day for sure. With a solid backup in place, you don't need to worry so much about making a mistake making changes. Its good to be careful, but at least you're covered if you make a mistake. It's so simple to backup the Registry; there is no way you can blow it!

First, you should know that your Windows XP system is covered under System Restore. Make sure you are logged on as the Administrator or at least have Administrative privileges to the XP system.

Start => all Programs => Accessories => System Tools => System Restore

Walk through System Restore and make a backup.

Next, remember that changes only take place once you reboot the system. When you do (after you make your Registry Hacks), that's when you will see the fireworks¡­ or should I say ¨C the infamous BSOD?

Exporting the Registry. You can export the registry in hives or you can export the whole thing. Either way, it all depends on the type of change you are making or if you think you will be able to recover from it or not enough to get it repaired. This is a quick way to backup the Registry but not perfect, System Restore is your best bet.

Open the Registry Editor (Start => Run => Regedit).
Go to File => Import or Export.
If you Export, you can save this to a Registry file (*.reg)

If you were going to make a change to one key, make the duplicate key and rename it this way if you need to come back to the original setting, you have it there, if you just delete the key, you may have to reference another machine and if it's an application specific setting, you may not be able to recover from it if you don't have the install disks for it anymore. It happens.

If these all fail or if you're planning on major surgery in your Registry, you should seriously consider using System Restore. This is the best option for XP only if XP will no longer boot. If that's the case, then you will need to rely on the Automated System Recovery and Recovery Console.

How to recover from a corruption Windows Registry?

Windows XP system might fail to start because of corruption in the registry. The following procedure lists a few manual steps using Recovery Console and System Restore to recover a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting. It does not guarantee full recovery of the system to a previous state; however, you should be able to recover data when you use this procedure.

Part one:

In part one, you start the Recovery Console, create a temporary folder, back up the existing registry files to a new location, delete the registry files at their existing location, and then copy the registry files from the repair folder to the System32\Config folder. When you have finished this procedure, a registry is created that you can use to start Windows XP. This registry was created and saved during the initial setup of Windows XP. Therefore any changes and settings that occurred after the Setup program was finished are lost.

To complete part one, follow these steps:

Insert the Windows XP startup disk into the floppy disk drive, or insert the Windows XP CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive, and then restart the computer.
Click to select any options that are required to start the computer from the CD-ROM drive if you are prompted to do so.
When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.
If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot computer, select the installation that you want to access from the Recovery Console.
When you are prompted to do so, type the Administrator password. If the administrator password is blank, just press ENTER.
At the Recovery Console command prompt, type the following lines, pressing ENTER after you type each line:

md tmp
copy c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\tmp\system.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\software c:\windows\tmp\software.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\sam c:\windows\tmp\sam.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\security c:\windows\tmp\security.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\default c:\windows\tmp\default.bak

delete c:\windows\system32\config\system
delete c:\windows\system32\config\software
delete c:\windows\system32\config\sam
delete c:\windows\system32\config\security
delete c:\windows\system32\config\default
copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config\system
copy c:\windows\repair\software c:\windows\system32\config\software
copy c:\windows\repair\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
copy c:\windows\repair\security c:\windows\system32\config\security
copy c:\windows\repair\default c:\windows\system32\config\default

Type exit to quit Recovery Console. Your computer will restart.

Note: This procedure assumes that Windows XP is installed to the C:\Windows folder. Make sure to change C:\Windows to the appropriate windows_folder if it is a different location. If you have access to another computer, to save time, you can copy the text in step five, and then create a text file called "regcopy1.txt" (for example). To use this file, run the following command when you start in Recovery Console:
batch regcopy1.txt
With the batch command in Recovery Console, you can process all the commands in a text file sequentially. When you use the batch command, you do not have to manually type as many commands.

Part two:

To complete the procedure described in this section, you must be logged on as an administrator, or an administrative user (a user who has an account in the Administrators group).

If you are using Windows XP Home Edition, you must log on as an administrative user. If you log on as an administrator, you must first start Windows XP Home Edition in Safe mode. (Click here to learn how to start the Windows XP Home Edition computer in Safe mode.)

In part two, you copy the registry files from their backed up location by using System Restore. This folder is not available in Recovery Console and is generally not visible during typical usage. Before you start this procedure, you must change several settings to make the folder visible:

Start Windows Explorer.
On the Tools menu, click Folder options.
Click the View tab.
Under Hidden files and folders, click to select Show hidden files and folders, and then click to clear the Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) check box.
Click Yes when the dialog box that confirms that you want to display these files appears.
Double-click the drive where you installed Windows XP to display a list of the folders. If is important to click the correct drive.
Open the System Volume Information folder. This folder is unavailable and appears dimmed because it is set as a super-hidden folder.

Note This folder contains one or more _restore {GUID} folders such as "_restore{87BD3667-3246-476B-923F-F86E30B3E7F8}".

Open a folder that was not created at the current time. You may have to click Details on the View menu to see when these folders were created. There may be one or more folders starting with "RPx under this folder. These are restore points.

Open one of these folders to locate a Snapshot subfolder. The following path is an example of a folder path to the Snapshot folder: C:\System Volume Information\_restore{D86480E3-73EF-47BC-A0EB-A81BE6EE3ED8}\RP1\Snapshot

From the Snapshot folder, copy the following files to the C:\Windows\Tmp folder:

Rename the files in the C:\Windows\Tmp folder as follows:

These files are the backed up registry files from System Restore. Because you used the registry file that the Setup program created, this registry does not know that these restore points exist and are available. A new folder is created with a new GUIDE under System Volume Information and a restore point is created that includes a copy of the registry files that were copied during part one. Therefore, it is important not to use the most current folder, especially if the time stamp on the folder is the same as the current time.

The current system configuration is not aware of the previous restore points. You must have a previous copy of the registry from a previous restore point to make the previous restore points available again.

The registry files that were copied to the Tmp folder in the C:\Windows folder are moved to make sure that the files are available under Recovery Console. You must use these files to replace the registry files currently in the C:\Windows\System32\Config folder. By default, Recovery Console has limited folder access and cannot copy files from the System Volume folder.

Part Three:

In part three, you delete the existing registry files, and then copy the System Restore Registry files to the C:\Windows\System32\Config folder:
Start Recovery Console.
At the command prompt, type the following lines, pressing ENTER after you type each line:

del c:\windows\system32\config\sam
del c:\windows\system32\config\security
del c:\windows\system32\config\software
del c:\windows\system32\config\default
del c:\windows\system32\config\system

copy c:\windows\tmp\software c:\windows\system32\config\software
copy c:\windows\tmp\system c:\windows\system32\config\system
copy c:\windows\tmp\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
copy c:\windows\tmp\security c:\windows\system32\config\security
copy c:\windows\tmp\default c:\windows\system32\config\default

Type exit to quit Recovery Console. Your computer restarts.
Note This procedure assumes that Windows XP is installed to the C:\Windows folder. Make sure to change C:\Windows to the appropriate windows_folder if it is a different location. If you have access to another computer, to save time, you can copy the text in step two, and then create a text file called "Regcopy2.txt" (for example). To use this file, run the following command when you start in Recovery Console:
batch regcopy2.txt

Part Four:

Click Start, and then click All Programs.
Click Accessories, and then click System Tools.
Click System Restore, and then click Restore to a previous RestorePoint.





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