Restore registry

MrBillisMe used Ask the Experts™
In Windows98 a PC can be started in DOS and a scanreg /restore command used to find a prior registry configuration and restore that configuration to overcome a corrupted or problematic condition.

Can some similar method be used to restore the registry in WindowsNT, Windows2000 and WindowsXP?
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
Nope. You have do something like this

Note the following approcah will not replace any system files.

Can you boot to your Win2000 CD? If so then when it finally boots At the "Welcome to Setup" screen, press F10, or press R to repair, and then C to start the Recovery Console this will allow you to use the command line. From here do something like the following. Or if the file system is FAT32 you can use a Win98 bootdisk to do this.

COPY /Y C:\WINNT\repair\RegBack\TheParticularHive C:\WINNT\system32\config\

This will replace the registry hive to the last time that hive was backuped. Hopefully you didn't backup the registry at the time the problems started to happen.

Following is a list of the files that are the registry hives. I would suggest starting with the SYSTEM hive and then reboot and if the problem still persists do the SOFTWARE hive next. Note these files don't have a file extension on them


I would suggest to first backup these hives from the C:\WINNT\system32\config\ to folder of your making or choice just don't back them up to the C:\WINNT\repair\RegBack\ folder.  

You will probably need to reapply any services patches that you have previously installed.


read this MS KB

How to Recover from a Corrupted Registry that Prevents Windows XP from Starting (Q307545);en-us;Q307545

The Crazy One

Here is a little article that you might find iteresting


Repair, Recovery, and Restore
Restoring the Registry
  Printer-friendly version
 Web-friendly version
Reprinted with permission from the Windows 2000 Resource Kits
When you back up the system state data, a copy of your registry files is also saved in %SystemRoot%\Repair\Regback. If your registry files become corrupted or are accidentally erased, you can use these files to repair the registry without performing a full restore of the system state data. This method is recommended only for advanced users.


Backup does not allow you to restore only the registry files. If you use Backup to restore lost data to the registry, all system state data is replaced.

You can also use Backup to restore lost data to the registry. The system must be stable enough for you to open Backup. If your computer cannot start, you might be able to repair the operating system using an ERD. The Fast Repair option of the Emergency Repair Process checks and, if necessary, replaces each registry key by copying it from the repair directory to the folder %SystemRoot%\Config.

If you cannot fix the problem with the registry by performing the Emergency Repair Process or by selecting Last Known Good Configuration from the Windows 2000 Advanced Options menu, it might be necessary to reinstall the operating system and device drivers and to reconfigure the system before you can restore the data.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE. Copyright 2002 Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, Washington 98052-6399 U.S.A. All rights reserved.

You can use the NTBackup tool to backup the registry. One-way to do it is it to put a floppy in the floppy drive and then
Start > Run ntbackup
Click on Emergency Repair Disk. Now check the box "Also backup the registry to the repair directory..." and then click ok.

Of you can use this free utility I put together to backup the registry

Registry Backup
Learn SQL Server Core 2016

This course will introduce you to SQL Server Core 2016, as well as teach you about SSMS, data tools, installation, server configuration, using Management Studio, and writing and executing queries.

Looks like DaCrazyOne has got this one covered. LOL


I am just curious MrBillisMe, why a B grade?

Hey CrazyOne,

Thanks for the nfo. You are an expert of great resources!
You answered my question and I didn't even ask.

I've been reading through all your comments.
Where do you get the time to respond to them?

Much appreciation!

Well EE is my hobby so through the time I have spent here I have learned how to do things quickly I guess. Sometimes I do get over extended and I have to back off and let myself catch up with on going questions before committing to new ones though. :>)

Hi CrazyOne, how are things with you? Haven't heard from you for a while now. I guess I haven't been on EE as much as before (<-- personal problems).

Sorry MrBillisMe, I didn't mean to use your question as a "chatroom".

Hi st_steve I think I lost your email. Send me one so I can get your email addy again



my_ee_logon_name @

Sorry EE Moderators, I know I shouldn't be posting email addresses? I'm just too lazy to find CrazyOne's email address. Maybe you can #### mask the addresses after CrazyOne has got them. Sorry about that.

Sorry Crazy, I think I lost yours too :D

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial