read Win7 registry from old computer

Posted on 2013-08-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-03

The mobo on my old system died and so I had to build a new one.  My hard drives were fine, but I couldn't get the new system to use my old boot drive as the new boot drive.

So, I had to reinstall Windows 7 on a new drive in my new system.

However, my old registry had things that need to recover.  Is there a way I can read the registry of my old windows drive?  The drive is connected as an add-on drive in my new system.  Normally I'd regedit to look at it, but as I'm not looking at the active registry, I'm not sure how to proceed.


Question by:ugeb
  • 2

Accepted Solution

MacGyver80 earned 1600 total points
ID: 39443605
You can try this:


I've never had to perform this myself but it's worth a shot.
LVL 18

Assisted Solution

web_tracker earned 400 total points
ID: 39444167
I have remove stubborn malware and virus entries from the registry from another computer but doing the above, loading the registry hives of a bad drive then unloading the registry hives once I completed editing the registry of the other drive.  Make sure you unload the registry hives from the new registry before closing the regedit, or you will corrupt the registry of the new computer. Note you can only import one group of registries at a time, such as "software, System, security, etc. The registry hives of the other drive is found: D:(or what ever drive letter is your old drive)\windows\system32\Config\

follow sj_hicks advice in the above article:
You can load a registry hive from a file using regedit then edit it from there:
1) Open regedit
2) Select the HKEY_USERS hive
3) Select File / Load Hive
4) Select the registry file (NTUSER.DAT in user profile dir for user's HKEY_CURRENT_USER or a file in <drive>:windows\system32\config for the other hives
5) Specifiy a temporary name
6) The registry will now be accessible under HKJEY_USERS\<temporary name>.  Make changes or extract data as rquired
7) Select File / Unload Hive when finished making changes
LVL 11

Author Comment

ID: 39444256
I was able to load the hive of the old computer, but when trying to delete the hive, I get the error:

Cannot delete CameronHiveSoftware: Error while deleting key.

CameronHiveSoftware is the temp name I gave the hive I imported.

It has 3 subfolders:

Classes, Microsoft, and Wow6432Node.

What now??



I found I could unload the hive instead of deleting it, so it looks to be okay now.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 39446438
yes you do not delete the hive you unload it, but obviously you found that out.  great job....

Thanks for the points.

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