Did you know that Windows depends on a “database” to function? It is called the “Windows Registry…” I call it the “heart and soul” to the Windows Operation System. Mess with it and the whole house will come down and the operating system will crash. The registry (database) contains the information and settings for all of the hardware, software, users and preferences on your PC once your PC boots into the Windows environment. When you install software or make a hardware change to your computer, the settings (or preferences) are automatically written to the registry.
The registry has been a good thing; BUT, it is also an avenue for trouble. Often when malware infiltrates or damages a computer system (without your consent) it will register (or write) itself into the registry to cause harm and ultimately take over your computer. The registry can also be edited or modified by the computer user using the “regedit.exe” command which in itself can spell trouble if you do not know what your are doing. I have actually seen people tremble and decline from making edits to the registry, knowing that one error can cause havoc. Really though, a good tech knows that making registry edits comes with the territory and is no big deal; especially when you know how to backup and restore the registry.
A really great utility to automatically backup (and restore) the registry on your computer is called “ERUNT” (Emergency Recovery Utility NT). I am a tester of software and prior to testing any software application on my system I will use ERUNT to make a backup of the registry. I have come to depend on ERUNT more so than the Windows restore (rollback) function. In the event the software I am testing does not set well with my computer, I will use ERUNT to restore the registry (and ultimately my computer) to its’ original state, prior to the software install. I also include ERUNT in my weekly backup routines of my computer. ERUNT has been around for years and is avalaible as a full install or portable application. There is nothing attractive (in appearance) with ERUNT, but it is one of those “save your butt” utilities that should have been built into the Windows operating system.