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Description of the Windows Registry Checker Tool (Scanreg.exe)
Article ID: 183887
This article was previously published under Q183887
When you start your computer successfully, the Windows Registry Checker tool (Scanreg.exe) creates a backup of system files and registry configuration information (including user account information, protocol bindings, software program settings, and user preferences) once daily. Files that Windows Registry Checker backs up include System.dat, User.dat, System.ini, and Win.ini. This article describes the Windows Registry Checker tool.
Windows Registry Checker automatically scans the system registry for invalid entries and empty data blocks when it is started. If invalid registry entries are detected, Windows Registry Checker automatically restores a previous day's backup. This is equivalent to running the scanreg /autorun command from a command prompt. If no backups are available, Windows Registry Checker tries to make repairs to the registry. This is equivalent to running the scanreg /fix command from a command prompt. If the registry contains more than 500 KB of empty data blocks, Windows Registry Checker automatically optimizes it.
Windows Setup runs the Windows Registry Checker tool to verify the integrity of the existing registry before it performs an upgrade. If it detects registry damage, it tries to fix it automatically.
The protected-mode version of the Windows Registry Checker tool (Scanregw.exe) can create a backup of the system files and scan the registry for invalid entries. If invalid entries are detected, it refers to the real-mode version of the Windows Registry Checker tool (Scanreg.exe) for a resolution.
You can configure Windows Registry Checker with a Scanreg.ini file. Settings that you can configure include:
183603To start the Windows Registry Checker tool, click Start, click Run, type scanregw.exe in the Open box, and then click OK.
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/183603/EN-US/ )How to Customize Registry Checker Tool Settings
NOTE: To use the Windows Registry Checker tool with the /restore parameter, you must run the tool from a command prompt running outside of Windows. When you do so, you can choose up to five registry backup files listed for you to restore.
To Restore Individual FilesTo restore individual files, follow these steps:
Known Issues for Windows Registry CheckerIf your registry contains an entry that references a file (such as a .vxd file) that no longer exists, it is not repaired by Windows Registry Checker. Such errors are not typically damaging, and you can manually remove the entry. For additional information about such errors, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
132008The amount of conventional memory that is required by Windows Registry Checker is determined by the size of your registry. Windows Registry Checker may require 580 KB or more of free conventional memory to complete the repair process. If you encounter an "Out of Memory" error message, optimize your free conventional memory. For additional information about optimizing memory, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/132008/EN-US/ )Err Msg: Cannot Find a Device File That May Be Needed...
134399NOTE: Extended memory is required for Windows Registry Checker to operate properly, so it does not run when you start your computer with the Safe Mode Command Prompt Only option. The exception to this is the scanreg /restore command, which is the only Scanreg function that can run without extended memory memory.
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/134399/EN-US/ )How to Increase Conventional Memory for MS-DOS-Based Programs
For additional information about Registry Checker command line switches, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/184023/EN-US/ )Command-Line Switches for the Registry Checker Tool