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Registry backups

After a virus got through my Norton 2002 which I had updated the same day, and erased my hard drive, I decided after many attempts of just reformating the HD, installing windows and then using my tape back ups to restore the Hard drive. I then installed DSL wich somehow confused the registry and I did another clean reinstall. I backed up the registry and then again restored the information from the tape. Once again, it did not like DSL. I then tried to import the original Registry from a fresh install and then reinstall one by one the programs.

I noticed that on start up, that the PC was looking for programs not on the HD but in the registry, thus indicating that the old registry was not replaced with the new registry.

Therefore I would like to know how the inport of a registry works. Does it replace the current registry which I did not see? Does it combine with the existing registry? Do I have to first export the existing registry and then import the "new" registry?
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gonzal13
Asked:
gonzal13
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1 Solution
 
LeeTutorretiredCommented:
It merges with the existing registry.
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
The following is a quotation from the book The Windows 95 Registry: A Survival Guide for Users, by John Woram (page 163):

Remember to keep in mind the following unique characteristics of an import action:

1.  An imported Contents Pane entry will overwrite a current Registry entry of the same name.

2.  An imported Contents Pane entry will be added to the current Registry if that entry does not already exist there.

3.  An existing entry in the current Registry will be left undisturbed if the imported file does not contain a replacement for it.

The characteristics apply to every key, subkey and Contents Pane enty in the current Registry.
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gonzal13RetiredAuthor Commented:
Any way to keep the versions of the registry seperate?
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NetminderCommented:
Answer complete and accurate; grade changed.

Netminder
CS Moderator
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
Gonzal13, I saw your extra comment after you'd already accepted my first comment as the answer.  I'm really not certain what you're precisely asking, but if you can clarify it, you certainly can enter another question. As for the third part of your original question ("Do I have to first export the existing registry and then import the "new" registry? ") the answer to that is No.  Exporting the registry does not remove the part that is exported, it just makes a copy; probably the primary use for this is to make a back up of certain parts of the registry, which can be later imported if necessary when changes are made to the exported part that turn out not to be successful.
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