Ah yes, the Windows Registry… In comparison to the human body where our brain is the data storage component that controls our thoughts and bodily processes; the Windows registry is similar in this fashion. Just like the brain, if injury or damage occurs to the registry, the impact can be great and ultimately result in a crash of your computer.
The Windows Registry is a hierarchical database that stores configuration settings and options on Microsoft Windows operating systems. It contains settings for low-level operating system components as well as the applications running on the platform: the kernel, device drivers, services, SAM, user interface and third party applications all make use of the Registry. The registry also provides a means to access counters for profiling system performance. – [Source: Wikipedia]
Now the good to this is that the Windows registry can be backed up (even sections of it) and the backups can be used to restore or heal the registry. I am a big advocate of backing up my registry on my computer; especially when installing or testing software. These backups are also especially helpful in the event of a malware infection where malware will hook into the registry unbeknownst to the user and will ultimately cause havoc.
Backing up and/or restoring the Windows registry is a process that is not an easy process. I know of many techs that even get the jitters when you even talk about the registry. The Windows Restore function, does try to perform backups of registry changes so that the user can try to recover from a mishap; however, in my opinion this is not the most reliable option.
If you want an easy way to backup your Windows’ Registry, I suggest using ERUNTgui .
ERUNT – current versions 1.1j are still compatible with Windows 7, but as in Vista, they will only work correctly if you turn off User Account Control in Windows’ Control Panel (move the slider to the lowest position).
This utility is pretty easy to use. Simply select, “Backup The Registry” and you will be prompted for a location to save your backup. Once the backup is saved, you can also use ERUNTgui to perform a restore in the event your registry becomes corrupted. There is also an “Optimize the Registry” button; however, if you do try this, make a backup of the registry first. See, I even get the jitters when I know I am messing with the registry.
ERUNT.gui can also be used as a portable app on your flash drive. I currently have this utility in my tech toolbox and will often use it to make a registry backup on other computers that I know I will be getting down and dirty with.