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  1. #1

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    Restore Windows 7 registry from DOS possible?

    I'm running Win 7 Pro x64
    I have a backup of my registry.

    I wanted to try out a free registry cleaner and created a backup while doing so. After windows loading screen I get the black screen with mouse pointer... pointer moves, but never goes to desktop. Safe mode does the same thing, and running the repair doesn't work or fails. No, I don't have system restore as I've disabled it.

    Is there any possible way to restore the backed up registry from DOS since I can't boot the OS? This has GOT to be possible!!! Is there any bootable software out there I can use?
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  2. #2
    Member ratbuddy's Avatar
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    Did you back it up to a .reg file or use a specific registry backup application with some other format?
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ratbuddy View Post
    Did you back it up to a .reg file or use a specific registry backup application with some other format?
    I used the registry application, but it backed it up as a REG file, yes.
    Any way to restore this in the event I can't boot the OS normal or safe mode?

    I know there was a regfix command back in the Win95/98 days, but I've no idea how to do it for Win7.
    Like "Scanreg /restore"....
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  4. #4
    Member ratbuddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g0dM@n View Post
    I used the registry application, but it backed it up as a REG file, yes.
    Any way to restore this in the event I can't boot the OS normal or safe mode?

    I know there was a regfix command back in the Win95/98 days, but I've no idea how to do it for Win7.
    Like "Scanreg /restore"....
    You'll want to boot to the recovery console/command prompt/whatever from the W7 disc and use 'reg import' or some such. I'm not sure of the exact syntax, but that's (reg.exe) the program you're looking for, and I'm sure you can fool with /? to figure it out.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by ratbuddy View Post
    You'll want to boot to the recovery console/command prompt/whatever from the W7 disc and use 'reg import' or some such. I'm not sure of the exact syntax, but that's (reg.exe) the program you're looking for, and I'm sure you can fool with /? to figure it out.
    Thanks!
    Gonna give it a try right now.

    My main OS is on 3x SSDs in Raid-0.
    My storage drive is a Seagate 7200.12 750GB but it's one partition. Is there any way I can slice out the first 60GB so I can put Windows on it in case my SSDs mess up again? I know Win 7 and Vista have resize partition options within disk management, but I'd like to allocate the faster part of the 750GB for the OS backup. I am not sure I can do that with Win7 so would love some FREEWARE!!

    I have used GParted with windows vista before and it totally ruined the MBR when I did that.
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  6. #6
    Member ratbuddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g0dM@n View Post
    Thanks!
    Gonna give it a try right now.

    My main OS is on 3x SSDs in Raid-0.
    My storage drive is a Seagate 7200.12 750GB but it's one partition. Is there any way I can slice out the first 60GB so I can put Windows on it in case my SSDs mess up again? I know Win 7 and Vista have resize partition options within disk management, but I'd like to allocate the faster part of the 750GB for the OS backup. I am not sure I can do that with Win7 so would love some FREEWARE!!

    I have used GParted with windows vista before and it totally ruined the MBR when I did that.
    gparted should work fine, in the worst (probable) case you'll have to use fixmbr after. Last I knew, the gparted liveCD also had testdisk on there which I think can restore the MBR too.
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  7. #7

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    Okay, so I popped in my Win7 recovery disc, but I had to load the mobo chipset drivers to detect my RAID.

    Then I went to command prompt, typed in REG IMPORT filename.reg and it tells me that it can't access the registry.

    I tried importing the backup registry file from a flash drive and from the same partition that the OS is installed on. There was no other drive hooked up to my system with an OS on it, so I'm not sure why I'm having this problem.
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  8. #8
    Member ratbuddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g0dM@n View Post
    Okay, so I popped in my Win7 recovery disc, but I had to load the mobo chipset drivers to detect my RAID.

    Then I went to command prompt, typed in REG IMPORT filename.reg and it tells me that it can't access the registry.

    I tried importing the backup registry file from a flash drive and from the same partition that the OS is installed on. There was no other drive hooked up to my system with an OS on it, so I'm not sure why I'm having this problem.
    Got me, sorry. AFAIK, 'reg import (filename)' should work.
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    -----
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ratbuddy View Post
    Got me, sorry. AFAIK, 'reg import (filename)' should work.
    Isn't it wonderful that it doesn't work?

    I was wondering, can I MANUALLY do it?
    I just booted into an older image of Win7 on another medium, a single SSD.

    I can access my original 3x SSD RAID-0 (the one I'm having a problem with). Any way I can manually import the registry to the Windows installation on another partition, now that I'm in windows on this other SSD?
    Btw, thanks Ratbuddy!!!
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  10. #10
    Member ratbuddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g0dM@n View Post
    Isn't it wonderful that it doesn't work?

    I was wondering, can I MANUALLY do it?
    I just booted into an older image of Win7 on another medium, a single SSD.

    I can access my original 3x SSD RAID-0 (the one I'm having a problem with). Any way I can manually import the registry to the Windows installation on another partition, now that I'm in windows on this other SSD?
    Btw, thanks Ratbuddy!!!
    One other idea:

    Same process, boot to the command line recovery thingy on your W7 CD, change directory to the drive or partition with the corrupt registry (make sure it's the right one or you'll screw up your other install ) and do a 'regedit /s (path including drive of the .reg file)'

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    -----
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by ratbuddy View Post
    One other idea:

    Same process, boot to the command line recovery thingy on your W7 CD, change directory to the drive or partition with the corrupt registry (make sure it's the right one or you'll screw up your other install ) and do a 'regedit /s (path including drive of the .reg file)'

    I'll probably try later... gotta finish up work now. I did try the W7 automatic repair install and that didn't do the trick either, by the way. =/
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  12. #12
    Member TempliNocturnus's Avatar
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    When you tried to import that .reg file using reg.exe, you were importing that key into the registry of the bootable windows you booted from; not the target OS that's hosed.

    What you need are hive files that are not corrupt. The default location for your hive keys is C:\WINDOWS\system32\config.
    The following are the primary hive files you need to worry about:
    DEFAULT
    SAM
    SECURITY
    SOFTWARE
    SYSTEM

    When you boot from WinPE or the recovery console and get command line access, navigate to the following directory: C:\system volume information\_restore~\RP~\snapshot (the ~ are just numbers specific to your install; use the tab key to complete)

    You will find copies of those 5 hive files within one of snapshot directories if you've had system restore running long enough for it to make some restore points. You may rename the original ones in the config folder, copy the hive keys from snapshot folder into the config folder, and rename those hive keys to the proper names.

    I suggest that you don't touch the original SAM hive key. Start with the software key, then system, then security and default.

    ... now that I think of it, I've seen that exact same problem on Vista, except I was able to boot into safemode. I do not remember what I did to fix it though...

  13. #13

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    Well I'll have to try that out next time b/c I got to a point where my motherboard RAID drivers wouldn't load in the Windows 7 recovery anymore. It's a real PITA... Win 7 recovery wouldn't find an OS, so I had to load RAID drivers for it to see it the first few times I tried... but my last time I tried it just wouldn't load.

    So... I just gave up. I really got fed up and just re-imaged to an older month.
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  14. #14
    Member TempliNocturnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g0dM@n View Post
    Well I'll have to try that out next time b/c I got to a point where my motherboard RAID drivers wouldn't load in the Windows 7 recovery anymore. It's a real PITA... Win 7 recovery wouldn't find an OS, so I had to load RAID drivers for it to see it the first few times I tried... but my last time I tried it just wouldn't load.

    So... I just gave up. I really got fed up and just re-imaged to an older month.
    Well good luck next time. I'd suggest you leave system restore on for a little while and harvest those back up hive files just in case.

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