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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Registry Backup Import (XP Home)

    If you import a backed-up copy of the registry into the registry, will that have any negative effect on apps installed the night previous to that back-up? In other words, will the registry keys created as a result of new software installed be altered or will the back-up just write over the existing keys?

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    Re: Registry Backup Import (XP Home)

    Edited by <font color=red>WyllyWylly</font color=red> to add URL code and correct KB article number. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    Bruce--
    I'm confused about importing and exporting the registry. I have been told
    that besides setting a Restore Point (I'm pretty disenchanted with the success rate
    of System Restore in Windows XP--despite it's hype it doesn't work often, even with
    the correct maximal space set for it) it's a good idea when editing the registry to
    "export" the registry per KB article Q322756 which only takes a few seconds to do,
    and then you get the option to add it later to the registry. Is the add option "importing?"
    I don't think it is because when you go to the registry from File you have both
    Import and Export on the menu.
    I have done this also when I'm concerned about a download or I'm going to install
    something and I want some protection. Often I have gotten the box with words that
    say something like "the whole registry didn't backup, save or export successfully"
    which always leaves me thinking if any small part of the registry is missing--that's
    a problem...but that if it doesn't harm what is already intact in the registry I may be OK,
    and I have added what I had with no ill effects--that certainly isn't an answer to
    your question--I'm posing a question--because there are plenty of people who
    have a lot of experience with the registry here and I don't.

    Thanks,

    defrag

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    Re: Registry Backup Import (XP Home)

    There's no substitue for a good backup of your PC - backing up the registry could save your skin, bbut more often than not there are other things that go wrong too, such as overwritten files and the like. The backup tool in XP Pro allows you to back up the System State which may be a better option, if you've got the space for it. The System State backup will include the registry and several key files that Windows requires to run. My habit is to create one System State backup after a clean installation, and then periodically (say once a month) thereafter. That way, you can get back to a working state quickly. If things go really screwy, then you can revert to the clean install by restoring it, assuming that you can use the backup application to restore it.

    The Import option under the Registry menu in the Registry editor allows you to bring back a REG file created by the Export command. You can also double-click on the REG file that is created when you export a key.

    If you want to make sure you've got a backup of the registry, install the Recovery Console and back up the actual files that the registry consists of. If you're not familiar with the command line, it might be scary, and you can seriously hose your system if you aren't careful, so beware....but for my money, that's the best way to do it. It's well worth taking the time to install the Recovery Console and creating copies of the registry hives, just in case.
    -Mark

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    Re: Registry Backup Import (XP Home)

    Restore it from where? Do you mean a REG file, or from a backup that you made in some other way?
    -Mark

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    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: Registry Backup Import (XP Home)

    Yes, a .reg file. There was a backup made last night of the registry. Then there was installation of several applications. Now there is a need to import the backed up reg files. The question is will the new keys created as a result of the software installations be affected? Or will the backup just write over the same existing files and leave the new keys alone. The only thing that was changed in the registry after the backup was the registered owner of the system, but now access is denied to some files as a result. This new unit is a ladyfriend's who purchased it from another individual. I wanted her to just reinstall the OS from scratch, but she didn't want to do that as she invested a lot of time (unwittingly) setting it up for her needs. Her account is fine, but secondary admin accounts can't access files since the registration change and she wanted to revert back but without the loss of data from software installation and configuring done last night.

    I hope this isn't too convoluted.

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    Re: Registry Backup Import (XP Home)

    <hr>I hope this isn't too convoluted<hr>
    It's pretty convoluted. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> What was installed that changed the registered owner of the machine? The only thing that I am aware of that will do that is Microsoft's own software, the Windows installation CD. I'd be highly suspect of anything else that overwrites a registered owner's name and from what you're saying, changes privileges or access rights. Administrators should be able to access any file or folder on the drive, regardless of who the registry says the owner is.

    The simplest answer: If you import a registry key and the key you are importing already exists, it will be overwritten with the new value. If the key doesn't exist, it will be created.

    <img src=/S/ranton.gif border=0 alt=ranton width=66 height=37>You are taking an extreme risk if you start importing registry keys to fix a problem. Say you change one value that you knew about - but there were related keys that you didn't back up, and now those related keys don't match the one you changed. I've said it before and it bears repeating: <big>mucking with the registry without a clear understanding of what you are changing is not worth the risk.</big> That goes for me too, I don't want to sound harsh - but don't look at registry hacks as a way of fixing problems, unless you have a specific reason to do so. That's not the case here, the problem hasn't been identified so trying to fix it this way is not a smart move.

    I may just not understand what is going on here, but I doubt that the problem you're troubleshooting is the result of a registry modification. It sounds more like a security/privilege change. Access Control Lists (ACLs) are a function of the NTFS file system and the registry combined and can be very thorny to figure out. If you can provide some specifics on what exactly was installed and the results, it would be easier to troubleshoot.
    -Mark

  7. #7
    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: Registry Backup Import (XP Home)

    <IMG SRC=http://www.krymow.com/images/icon_beavis.gif> Uhhhhhh....I know how you feel about modifying registry entries and I actually get a little scared when making posts regarding such <IMG SRC=http://www.krymow.com/images/scared.gif> but...I typically don't fudge w/ too much in there unless I am pretty sure what I am doing. Some of the time I have a half- <img src=/w3timages/censored.gif alt=censored border=0> idea of a particular key but I've been the type to try & figure it out via trial & error when stakes are not too high. <font color=blue>"What we learn, we learn by doing." - Leonardo da Vinci</font color=blue>

    Okay, back to topic....let me fill you in a little on what exactly is goin' on here.

    Per one of Ed Botts' books, we made one registry change:<blockquote><hr><small>Change the registered user and company names for Windows XP.

    When Windows XP is installed, a user and company name are entered. Unfortunately, there is no convenient way to change this information after installation. Surprise

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    Re: Registry Backup Import (XP Home)

    Bruce, I overstated it like that for the benefit of less-savvy users who might read too much into a post like that and end up trashing their system. I'm not coming down on you for trying to learn, in any way. We're just not the only ones reading these posts. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> Everything I learned, I learned by breaking. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    If that was the only key that you planned to change, go for it. Your post read like you intended to make wholesale changes to the registry and that's just not a good idea!!
    -Mark

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    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: Registry Backup Import (XP Home)

    Yes ~ I was aware of that and even so I feel guilty sometimes making a post for a proper reg hack where appropriate thinking someone will try and tinker and hose the system.

    As for the registry change, well, I was in a quandry as it was not my personal system (although with all the work I do to & on it I feel compelled to partial ownership). See, I have been VERY fortunate in my reg mods. I have never had the need to revert so far. I do weekly reg cleaning, export, and then import to clean the slack after removing dead/bad/unwanted keys, but never had to use reg files, besides the occasional tweak patch, to fix/restore/repair.

    I knew exactly what was going on in that change, but certainly did not expect the access denial results. But, it is an OEM version OS (<IMG SRC=http://www.krymow.com/images/bigbarf.gif> ) and each one, fercryinoutloud, has a soul of its own it seems. Although I had an idea, I wasn't sure about changing it back and reluctant of taking a chance on another's system (keeping in mind this is my 'ladyfriend' and thus the wrath ensuable might well be multi-faceted as well as ten-fold!) <img src=/S/innocent.gif border=0 alt=innocent width=20 height=20>

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    Re: Registry Backup Import (XP Home)

    Hi Bruce
    I agree with Mark here. One reason you can't do a whole Registry back-up on NT-based systems by saving a couple of files (as you could in Win 9x) is that they don't exist! The Reg consists of a number of 'hives' whatever they may be. When you try to Merge the whole Reg. it will not overwrite the sections being used at the time. Bits and pieces of the Registry can be Merged in this way - and is a good safety measure. e.g. if you need to alter a key then change it back again.
    The pity of it is, instead of destabilising your system, there are at least two perfectly safe ways of doing what you want :
    a. Set system Restore Points: this is automatic if you make any major change, but you can do it manually. Part of its function is to set Registry keys back to what they were. If the restore does not help, you can undo it. Should SRP not be working properly, your system is unstable and the OS needs to be re-installed.
    b. Use a tweaker such as XTQ. This does exactly what one does when hacking the Registry - only safely and reversibly.
    Rgds

  11. #11
    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: Registry Backup Import (XP Home)

    Mark, I am curious if a reinstall over the top of the OS will allow a new owner to be created w/o eradicating the additional user profiles, or would a reformat be required as if installing for the first time?

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