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Registry files strategy question

Posted on 2003-03-16
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
This question relates to WINDOWS 98SE only.

I have created a new directory C:\BACKUP\TODELETE in which to save files (pending future deletion) that appear to be "dead".  In this directory there is a README.BAT file that shows the date moved over, plus the complete original path.

For example, there are old registry SYSTEM and USER files with extensions like .---, .1ST, .BAK, .PAK NU6, .NEW and others.  These I have moved over.

Normal automatic backups with .DAT extensions are stored in 6 cabinets (rb000.cab - rb005.cab) in C:\WINDOWS\SYSBCKUP directory.  I don't touch these.

Still others with an extension of .RSC are stored in C:\WINDOWS and appear to be normal transient backup files, so I don't touch these.  I do wonder how these might be used in system recovery.

What is strange, however, is that 3 USER (but no SYSTEM) files with .DAT, .BAK, and .PAK extensions are stored as HIDDEN and READ ONLY in C:\WINDOWS\PROFILES\DEFAULT.  This directory is only used (I think) during a WINDOWS logon when an ID and password are not provided.  When I tried it today, it created a new copy with the .PAK extension.

These USER files are not in plain English, but the ASCII representation as shown with QUICK VIEW PLUS appears like normal Registry USER files.  However, the file LENGTH is only about half the size of the regular ones.

If you have PERSONAL knowledge of what these files are and their purpose, please respond.  Can they be deleted?  Should I substitute a normal length USER file?  If so, why isn't this done automatically?

Thanks for your time.

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Question by:sysandprog
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12 Comments
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:bjorndahlen
ID: 8148563
Ok,
here is part of the answer:

You already seem to be aware that the rb*.cab files contain
the system files including user.dat and system.dat
and are created and deleted in a round-robin fashion by
scanreg /backup.
System.* files contain registry entries related to the system as a whole, such as hardware info, installed programs etc, so you don't get one of these for each user.

User.* files contains info related to the the logged on user and if you enabled individual user setting you will get one user.dat in the profilepath pointed for each user
pointed to by the ProfileList, usually
 C:\windows\profiles\xxxx and one for the default user.
The *.dat are current files, *.da0, a backup, *.1st are created at windows install.

I'm not sure about the *.bak and *.pak.
They are not present on any of my systems.
They would likely be backups
How about useing regedit to take a look?

In command mode type
 regedit /L:system.xxx /R:user.xxx /E xxx.reg
where system.xxx is the full path of the system file
and user is the full path of the user file and
xxx is the extension you want to look at, say .pak

rename the xxx.reg file xxx.txt right away to
avoid an accidental update of your current
registry, and take a look.
Bjorn  

 
 
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:bjorndahlen
ID: 8148613
Add-on to previous:
As far as candidates for deletion:
Windows will only use the .dat files, and possibly .da0
during a restore.

Do you by any chance have a registry (or system) snapshot program installed ?
I'm curious with regard to the .rsc, files, far as I
know windows does not create them.
Also, just a guess, the .nu6 and.new have been created by some application program perhaps at install.
Perhaps somebody else know which program(s) creates
them and can enlighten you (and me :-) ).  
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:bjorndahlen
ID: 8148761
Well,
the .nu6 is indeed created at appl. install.
It is backups of the registry at the time you install
Norton Utilities.  
0
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LVL 5

Author Comment

by:sysandprog
ID: 8153904
There are no files with the .da0 extension.  I have a hunch that they would only be created in WINDOWS 95 as .da0, .da1, .da2, etc., and would (probably) correspond to the entries in the (newer) WINDOWS 98 cabinet system.  I vaguely remember seeing files like that when I used WINDOWS 95.
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Author Comment

by:sysandprog
ID: 8171220
Increasing points to try to get response from others with more experience.  I need an EXACT answer, not clues.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:bjorndahlen
ID: 8171829
Ok,
well here is an exact answer with regard to the
rsc files. I found them on a machine with Norton Utilities
installed.
Search for NU and found that they are registry backup
files created by NU (rescue set). For their intended
use see: http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/nunt.nsf/ae4ef3970d92c2f2852567c50043aaa9/34d91698c2bc9c2f882567360056b751?OpenDocument

And yes, the .da0 files turned out to be leftovers from
a previous win95 install. Win98 uses .bak
Good Luck, Bjorn
0
 
LVL 5

Author Comment

by:sysandprog
ID: 8222888
You did provide a clue, and I will award you some points, but I had hoped that an expert with PERSONAL experience in this area would respond.

I am going to ask the moderators to reduce the points because the main part of my question remains unanswered and it doesn't appear that anybody else is going to jump in with a solution.  Here is what I asked...

"What is strange, however, is that 3 USER (but no SYSTEM) files with .DAT, .BAK, and .PAK extensions are stored as HIDDEN and READ ONLY in C:\WINDOWS\PROFILES\DEFAULT.  This directory is only used (I think) during a WINDOWS logon when an ID and password are not provided.  When I tried it today, it created a new copy with the .PAK extension."

"These USER files are not in plain English, but the ASCII representation as shown with QUICK VIEW PLUS appears like normal Registry USER files.  However, the file LENGTH is only about half the size of the regular ones."

"If you have PERSONAL knowledge of what these files are and their purpose, please respond.  Can they be deleted?  Should I substitute a normal length USER file?  If so, why isn't this done automatically?"



0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Mindphaser
ID: 8224405
sysandprog  asked to have this question closed. If there isn't any objection I will

  PAQ & refund
 
in 72 hours.

** Mindphaser - Community Support Moderator **
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:bjorndahlen
ID: 8224536
I don't really care about points,
and have no objection at all with regard to
closing the question.
Good Luck, Bjorn
0
 
LVL 5

Author Comment

by:sysandprog
ID: 8224811
I do want to award partial points, especially for the response about the .rsc extension.
0
 
LVL 5

Author Comment

by:sysandprog
ID: 8224881
Here is a dummy question awarding 250 points...

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Win98/Q_20566418.html

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LVL 6

Accepted Solution

by:
Mindphaser earned 0 total points
ID: 8239963
Points refunded and moved to PAQ

** Mindphaser - Community Support Moderator **
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