How to back up, edit, and restore the registry in Windows 2000

This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.
This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.
For a Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 version of this article, see 322756 .

For a Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 version of this article, see 323170 .
For a Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me version of this article, see 322754 .

IN THIS TASK

This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.

Summary

This step-by-step article describes how to back up, edit, and restore the registry in Windows 2000. Microsoft recommends that before you edit the registry, you back up the registry and understand how to restore it if a problem occurs.

How to back up the registry

Before you edit the registry, export the keys in the registry that you plan to edit, or back up the whole registry. If a problem occurs, you can then follow the steps in the How to restore the registry section of this article to restore the registry to its previous state.

How to export registry keys

You can follow these steps to export a registry key before you edit it:

NOTE: Do not follow these steps to export a whole registry hive (for example, HKEY_CURRENT_USER). If you must back up whole registry hives, back up the whole registry instead.
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedt32, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and then click the key that contains the values that you want to edit.
  4. On the Registry menu, click Save Key.
  5. In the Save inbox, select a location in which to save the .reg file, type a file name in the File name box, and then click Save.

How to back up the whole registry

To back up the whole registry, use the Backup utility to create an Emergency Repair Disk (ERD), or back up the System State (which includes the registry, the COM+ Class Registration database, and your boot files). For additional information about using the Backup utility to create an ERD, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

231777 How to create an emergency repair disk in Windows 2000

For additional information about using the Backup utility to back up the system state, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

240363 How to use the Backup program to back up and restore the system state in Windows 2000

How to edit the registry

To edit the registry, Microsoft recommends that you follow the steps in the Microsoft documentation only. If possible, use the Windows user interface instead of directly editing the registry.

Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require that you reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems that result from incorrectly using Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For more information about editing the registry, follow these steps in RegistryEditor:
  1. On the Help menu, click Contents.
  2. On the Contents tab, double-click Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
  3. Double-click the topic that you want to read.

How to restore the registry

How to restore registry keys

To restore registry keys that you exported, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. Type regedt32, and then click OK.
  3. On the Registry menu, click Restore.
  4. Select the file that you saved, and then click Open.
  5. Click Yes to continue.

How to restore the whole registry

To restore the whole registry, restore the System State from a backup. For additional information about using the Backup utility to restore the System State, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

240363 How to use the Backup program to back up and restore the system state in Windows 2000

Note that if you use the option to back up the registry when you create an ERD, Backup also creates updated copies of the registry files in the %SystemRoot%\Repair\Regback folder. If you cannot start Windows 2000 after you edit the registry, you can manually replace the registry files in the %SystemRoot%\System32\Config folder with the copies in the %SystemRoot%\Repair\Regback folder by using Recovery Console.

References

For additional information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

240363 How to use the Backup program to back up and restore the system state in Windows 2000

231777 How to create an emergency repair disk in Windows 2000

Properties

Article ID: 322755 - Last Review: Dec 16, 2009 - Revision: 1

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