Fixing registry problems via system restore when windows won't boot.

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Fixing registry problems via system restore when windows won't boot.

Post by dishant on Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:29 pm

Everybody knows about system restore, how you can use it to restore
your system back to a particular date when all was well. What happens
when windows does not boot, because of a problem with the registry?
Everybody’s first thought is either performing a repair installation of
windows or formatting and reinstalling. Before going that drastic there
is one Hail Mary you can attempt before giving up all hope. To do this
you need a copy of bartpe (a version of windows that you can boot off a
CD.

http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder (you can use this free software to make your own)

System
restore stores all of the restore points in the root of C: in a folder
called “System Volume Information” (You have to tell windows to show
Protected Operating system files).

If you open that folder you
will see a folder called “_restore (and then a bunch of numbers)”. All
your machines restore points are stored there. The restore points all
share a common name, the letters RP and then a number (example RP143).
The numbers themselves don’t really tell you when that restore point
was created, but the time stamp does. So it’s best to view by details
and arrange by date. So you pick a RP folder corresponding by the date
you want to go back to and open it up. Every restore point has a
“Snapshot” folder. This folder contains a backup of the system registry
the day the restore point was created.

All the registry
backups start with the name _Registry_User followed by the name of the
registry file. Example _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM. (all that file needs
is a little rename love’n and it will be as good as new).
Windows
stores all of its registry entries in c:\windows(or
winnt)\system32\config. So it’s best to backup that folder up before
making any changes. After that’s done it’s a good idea to rename the
current registry entries to something else, like system to systemold.
Now return to your “Snapshot” directory and copy all backed up registry
entries and paste them in c:\windows(or winnt)\system32\config.

All
it takes now is just a little renaming. Let’s take system for example.
The backup of the system registry file is called
_REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM. Right click it and rename it to what the old
file was called. In this case the file was called just system with no
file extension. The same goes for the rest of the registry files. The
most common registry files to get you back up and running are,
System,Software,Security,SAM and Default. I usually just restore all of
them.

Once complete reboot your machine. If all goes well the
once unbootable windows installation should come back to life, if all
that was wrong was the registry. This has worked on more than one
occasion, when the fate of a windows install was looking pretty bleak. Very Happy
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