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Back up Windows Registry in Windows XP

The Windows Registry is a hierarchical database that stores configuration settings and options on Microsoft Windows operating systems. It contains settings for low-level operating system components as well as the applications running on the platform: the kernel, device drivers, services, SAM, user interface and third-party applications all make use of the Registry. In other terms, you can think of the registry like the nerve system in a human body in all components of the human body are linked to the brain.

There are circumstances where modifications to the registry may be required, such as installing software or modifying system settings. If the registry is modified incorrectly, it can render the operating system inaccessible.

Prior to editing a registry, it is very important to ensure that you export a copy of the registry safely to a folder on your hard drive, or better yet, an external storage device like a USB flash drive or a CD. In the event you should make an editing mistake, you can safely return your operating system to normal with this backup copy.

How to back up the Registry:

run Go to Start > Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] or click OK.






Go up to the “File” option and select “Export“.
In the “Save in” text box, choose an easy to find location to save your copied registry information. In the “File name” text box, name this whatever you would like.
Click Save.





Restoring the Registry from a backup:

From within Windows XP, locate the exported registry file you created, and double-click it. You’ll next be prompted with a message in a Registry Editor window: Are you sure you want to add the information in [REG file location] to the registry? Click the Yes button. It couldn’t be easier than that!

More information on the Windows registry

The Windows Registry (Wikipedia.org)

Registry Resources (Microsoft Technet)

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