Saturday, August 17, 2019

Using Recovery console to restore and backup system registry (Windows 2000/XP)

by / Friday, 04 June 2010 / Published in Blog

We all know that it's diffucult to make backup of Windows registry. This is because OS prevents direct access to the files, even for reading, so we have to use an alternate tools. But when you are running a Recovery console (as well as any other OS) you can access those files, copy and replace them.

This information is relevant to Windows 2000 and XP

Backup system registry

  1. Start Recovery console, log in
  2. type cd X:\windows\system32\config
  3. type mkdir X:\regbackup

There are 12 files to be copied: default, SAM, SECURITY, software, system, userdiff (these don't have any extension), and their .LOG counterparts. So copy them all into X:\backup, like:

copy default X:\backup
copy default.LOG X:\backup
copy SAM X:\backup


As well do not forget to make a backup for user registry hives - they are located at X:\Documents and Settings\User\ntuser.dat(.log)

It is recommended to do such copies regularly.

Restore system registry

Even if you did not made a copy of registry, there are several registry files backed up by your system just after install.

They are located at X:\windows\repair. However, if you use them, your system's settings (as well as settings of almost all programs) will revert to the installation date, which means that some problems may arise. Use this only as an compulsory measure to recover the system ability to boot

1. Start Recovery console, log in

2. type cd X:\backup

It's assumed that your backed up registry is located at X:\backup

As well at this step it is recommended that your make a new backup of your original (even damaged) registry.

3. type copy default X:\windows\system32\config
copy default.LOG X:\windows\system32\config
copy SAM X:\windows\system32\config


As well don't forget to restore user hives.

4. reboot

Read 1555 times Last modified on Thursday, 02 April 2015 17:35

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Simon Tushev

Simon is IT professional with interests in web design, electronics, photography and astronomy. He writes about PHP, Yii, Joomla!, Arduino and several other topics.


Here I publish articles related to my areas of interest, my brief notes that may save some time to others, as well as some of my works.

This site is a work in progress. I will add more sections in the future, such as

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