Why You Should Backup Your Windows Registry :
Importance of Making Registry Backups
The Windows Registry is one of the most important components of your Windows computer, because all configuration information related to hardware and software installed on your computer is stored within it. Therefore, not a single operation can be performed on your PC without consulting the registry.
To ensure that your PC is free from errors, it is important for you to maintain a healthy registry. It is also a good idea to make regular registry backups to ensure that if there is problem in the registry, you can restore it from a backup taken earlier. You must always back up your registry before:
- Making any major system or network configuration changes on your PC.
- Installing or uninstalling a large application.
- Performing direct registry edit using Registry Editor (regedit).
- Scanning and repairing the registry using a registry cleaner.
Remember, that Registry Editor, the utility included in Windows systems, does not allow you to undo any action performed on the registry. Changes made to the registry are permanent. If you do not have a backup, the only way to restore the registry would be to manually revert the changes. Keep in mind that going through the complex registry hive is not child’s play, and you may end up with more errors than you started with.
Therefore, make sure that you back up the registry before performing any of the tasks listed above. Let’s now take a look at some of the methods you can use to back up the Windows registry.
System Restore is a disaster recovery tool included in Windows XP computers. Using this tool, you can take a snapshot of all system files and the registry of your system at that time and store it on the hard disk. If your system encounters any problems, or if the registry fails, you can rollback your registry and the system to the last snapshot you took.
System Restore is enabled on your computer by default. To open the System Restore dialog box, open the Start menu, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools and then point to System Restore. Here, follow the screen instructions to restore your PC to when it was working fine. System Restore does not affect user files, such as your documents, presentations, favorites, and Internet Explorer history.
Using Registry Editor, you can backup the entire registry or backup a small portion of it. To create a registry backup using Registry Editor, perform the following steps:
- Open Registry Editor by running the Regedit command from Start > Run.
- Open the File menu, and select the Export command.
- In the File name box, type the registry backup file name.
- In the Export range section, select All to back up the entire registry or select Selected branch and enter the name of the branch you want to export in the text box.
- Finally, select Save to create the backup registry file.
Note: Double-click on the backup registry file to restore it to the registry.
Many third-party registry utilities are available today that enable you to easily create registry backups. Many advanced registry utilities enable you to create selective registry backups that help you undo your changes without restoring the entire registry. Additionally, with the help of a reliable and efficient registry utility, you can easily scan and repair registry errors. This way you can keep your registry healthy and ensure yourself an error-free computer.