REGEDIT May Not Be Able to Import Registry with Large Keys

This article was previously published under Q132064
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
IMPORTANT: This article contains information about editing the registry.Before you edit the registry, make sure you understand how to restore itif a problem occurs. For information about how to do this, view the"Restoring the Registry" Help topic in Regedit.exe or the "Restoring aRegistry Key" Help topic in Regedt32.exe.
When you try to import the registry using Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) inreal mode, you may receive either of the following error messages:
  • Unable to open registry (14) - System.dat
  • Error accessing the registry: The file may not be complete.
The real-mode stub of Regedit.exe has the ability to export, import, andcreate registry files. Regedit.exe uses the internal real-mode registrylibrary to accomplish these tasks. The real-mode code in this library hascertain problems with large registry files.

For example, if there are many applications installed, HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTmay be quite large. If one of the structures in the System.dat file takesup too much space in conventional memory, the registry cannot be accessed.
WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems thatmay require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannotguarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of RegistryEditor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing KeysAnd Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or the "Add andDelete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topicsin Regedt32.exe. Note that you should back up the registry before you editit.

To work around this problem, use Registry Editor in protected mode.

For information about how to import the registry, view the "Importing theRegistry" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Microsoft Windows 95. Weare researching this problem and will post new information here in theMicrosoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.

Article ID: 132064 - Last Review: 12/04/2015 11:35:11 - Revision: 1.1

Microsoft Windows 95

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