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Windows 7 Registry & WMI recovery from backup

Posted on 2013-12-03
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
After upgrading my Windows 7 Ultimate x64 system memory from 4GB to 8GB I ran into a BSOD (MEMORY_MANAGEMENT). Booting Windows repair disk reported a corrupt registry.
I fixed the memory problem, ran thorough memtests, so I trust the 8GB is OK now. The computer and Windows installation have always been reliable before the crash.
I can still boot the system normally, but there is some strange behavior:
System properties: CPU and RAM info is "not available"
The start menu populates very slowly after boot.
Shutdown button in start menu works, but there is no shutdown submenu anymore.
WMI cannot connect to local computer; WMIdiag reports error 0x80041001 (WBEM_E_FAILED) for WMI_MONIKER CONNECTION and WMI CONNECTION.
To my surprise there are no system restore points with a timestamp before the crash (only a restore point created afterwards by a Windows critical update).

I did a safe boot and ran SFC /scannow successfully but it did not solve the problem.
I ran a malware scan and a rootkit scan, no threats found.

I made a file backup of the system disk (Acronis TrueImage) right before the memory upgrade, so I think I should restore the registry and the WMI repository to the point before the failure. Can I do this by restoring c:\Windows\System32\Config\* and c:\Windows\System32\Wbem\Repository\* ? I think Acronis is smart enough to delay the copying of these files to the original location until the next reboot.
I want to avoid reinstalling Windows and all programs.
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Question by:j66st
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4 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:btdownloads7
ID: 39692351
First of all, I think that your RAM may still be a problem. Even if there was a bad RAM module installed originally, it shouldn't have had any effect on anything stored on the hard drive. So, unless you messed with the registry or something like that when you were trying to fix the original RAM issue, there is no reason that it should have caused registry or WMI corruption.

So, my first question is -- have you tried going back to the original 4GB of RAM (using the same memory stick(s) that were there originally)? If doing so fixes your problem, then the issues is the new RAM and/or your motherboard.

But if you do have to rstore from a backup, then you'll really need to restore the system completely using Acronis. I can virtually guarantee you that only restoring the Config and WMI folders will not work.
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Author Comment

by:j66st
ID: 39692446
Thanks for the quick reply.

I think the registry corruption was caused by my attempt to let the Windows recovery disc repair the problem. It reported a corrupt registry, and that it could not repair it.  Stupid, I should indeed have pulled the new RAM modules before trying this.

My first memory test (with the failing RAM) clearly showed a single failing bit position at multiple addresses, I concluded it was a contact problem of a data bit. Could be some dust on the connector. The four 2GB modules are of the same brand (Kingston), same type, same batch. The added modules came from the original sealed package. So I blew out the dust and swapped the new modules without removing the old ones, did 24hrs of memory testing without failures.

It may be safer to do a complete backup of the system volume. I don't know if I can do this in a live system. I don't know if I need to do this from a rescue boot disc, and if I can then access the backup which is on a NAS needing ActiveDirectory login.

I would like to first try to restore the registry by just getting the c:\Windows\System32\Config\* files from the backup and reboot. Is that a proper way to restore the registry?
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btdownloads7 earned 2000 total points
ID: 39692453
Well, actually, from your added description of what happened, it's very likely that other files have been corrupted as well, so you really should do a full system restore. And can't do a live restore of the Config folder anyway -- it has to be done off-line. And since you'll have to be doing it off-line anyway, then you might as well do a full restore.

The Acronis program has a menu option to reate a bootable disc. You can then use that disc to boot into the system and restore it from your backup.
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Author Comment

by:j66st
ID: 39705962
I did a full restore of the system disk, running from the bootable Acronis recovery CD. This seems to have solved the problem. The system has been running for several days now without any memory problems.
btdownload7, thanks for your help.
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