Recovering Windows 7 User Registry Entries From UnBootable (but readable) Hard Drive

Posted on 2012-08-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2016-10-27
I have an damaged (unbootable) win 7 hard drive, but it can be read as a slave or via USB connection to a working machine. Recoverring the files isn't a problem -- they copied easily.

I attempted to run an image (Acronis), but it failed, as did cloning attempts (Acronis, Clonezilla, Spotmau).  

Since the user was dead in the water without his PC,  I decided to just restore an image created from the same model PC,  but I would like to recover the primary user's registry settings from the "old" drive. (I believe the \system32\config file isn't damaged, but can't tell yet).  Any ideas?
Question by:The_Original_PCMD
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

Damjan earned 2000 total points
ID: 38320641
You can use RegFileExport (CLI utility) -  http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/registry_file_offline_export.html
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 38320647
You can try it but if you do not restore user directory the simple registry restore will not work.
Since the user was dead in the water without his PC
I hope this is metaphor?!?!

Expert Comment

ID: 38324477
Grab the user registry data from C:\Users\<username>\NTUSER.DAT - make sure you also copy all the other files beginning with NTUSER.

Author Comment

ID: 38331594
I exported the registry using "RegFileExport" as suggested, and actually was able to copy the User's folder -- all of it -- successfully (took over 24 hours due to the condition of the drive, but it did copy).

I cloned another machine in his office that had all of the applications he needs and got it up and running on his box, and I'm about to import the registry and copy his folder -- I'll post again to let you know how everything worked out.

Thanks for the help!
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