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

Posted on 2012-08-22
Last Modified: 2015-08-16
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

    You can use RegFileExport (CLI utility) -
    LVL 46

    Expert Comment

    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?!?!
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    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

    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!

    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    What Is Threat Intelligence?

    Threat intelligence is often discussed, but rarely understood. Starting with a precise definition, along with clear business goals, is essential.

    This article is an update and follow-up of my previous article:   Storage 101: common concepts in the IT enterprise storage This time, I expand on more frequently used storage concepts.
    The Delta outage: 650 cancelled flights, more than 1200 delayed flights, thousands of frustrated customers, tens of millions of dollars in damages – plus untold reputational damage to one of the world’s most trusted airlines. All due to a catastroph…
    In this Micro Tutorial viewers will learn how to use Windows Server Backup to create full image of their system. Tutorial shows how to install Windows Server Backup Feature on Windows 2012R2 and how to configure scheduled Bare Metal Recovery backup.…
    In this Micro Tutorial viewers will learn how they can get their files copied out from their unbootable system without need to use recovery services. As an example non-bootable Windows 2012R2 installation is used which has boot problems.

    758 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    7 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now