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Manual System restore of Software Registry

Posted on 2006-04-11
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Strange question I just came up with.  I am working on a system that had a corruption in the SAM file for the registry.  The system would kick an error with lsass.exe stating that the passwords did not match.  I was able to use the backups stored in the windows/repair folder to get the system running again.  I then did a manual restore of the last restore point by copying the SAM, SYSTEM, SOFTWARE, SECURITY and DEFAULT files into the c:\windows\system32\config folder.  Then the system came back with missing files.  What I would like to know is, if I were to format and reinstall windows xp, then restore a backup of the program files folder, would I be able to restore the SOFTWARE file from the last system restore point to the c:\windows\system32\config folder and get all the old software running again without having to install them all?
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Question by:ffemtdd
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by:craylord
ID: 16432233
"Then the system came back with missing files."
Does this mean the system was unable to boot? If so, manually restore from an even older restore point.

Backup the restored restore points and try it. You have a good knowledge of the process already. If it gorks out, just restore manually again.
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by:ffemtdd
ID: 16432287
@ M_Intuit ... I know how to restore the files from the restore points in system volume information.  What I want to know is if the files are independant of each other and if the Software file will add the registry entries needed to get all of the previously installed software operational?

@ craylord ... No, the system booted just fine.  The error was related to a missing dll (wininet.dll)  When that file was restored another error appeared.  The next error was SHRegGetValueW.  Of course I read the instructions on this site to uninstall WinXPSP2 but when I attempted to do so I ran into an error getting into the administration account via safe mode.  I believe it was again due to a corrupted SAM file as the lsass.exe password error re-appeared.
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by:Purple_Tidder
ID: 16432460
It really just depends on the program.  Some will, some wont.  Some software adds reg entries to the current user (ntuser.dat), plus, file assosications will still be broken as they come from the System key.

It's worth a shot, but I'm guessing won't work.
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Purple_Tidder earned 1500 total points
ID: 16432482
What you could do is load the hives into your registry editor after your reload, and export what you think you need.  Try it, and if it doesn't work, then you know you're going to have to reload that one.

Also, another problem is going to be the changing of SID's.

Also, just to correct myself earlier, file associations do come from the SOFTWARE, not the SYSTEM.  Dunno what I was thinking.  I knew this.

Anyway, if you need a refresher on the registry, here is some in depth info of what everything does and where it's all kept and how the registry is built.

http://www.windowsitlibrary.com/Content/224/1.html
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