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Accidentally deleted whole hkey_local_machine/software

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by threedollars, Jul 3, 2015.

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  1. threedollars

    threedollars Thread Starter

    Jul 3, 2015
    I accidentally deleted whole hkey_local_machine/software instead of just one registry folder. Of course, now computer won't boot properly - boots to a black screen with cursor (no matter which mode I use, safety, safety with command prompt, etc). I can't boot neither windows repair nor windows install disks.
    Is there any way I could recover/fix the lost registry keys? If not, is there a way to preserve at least some of my files? Willing to provide more info if necessary.
  2. kanaitpro

    kanaitpro Account Closed

    Feb 13, 2013
    use a live dvd to boot into a linux distro and save all of the files you want before reloading the os. i would pick mint as the most user friendly, but a lot of people like ubuntu. just go download the iso and burn it to a dvd, then boot from the dvd player. very important that you don't choose install, just run it live. if you are unsure, read about it first, and if you have any questions, put them here and myself or another user will assist.
  3. plodr


    Jun 27, 2014
    First Name:
    I'll post this for anyone attempting to do anything in the registry: before you change a thing, make a backup of the registry or better yet, image the computer so you can restore it with the image.
  4. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

    Jan 20, 2007
    Did you try selecting "Last Known Good Configuration"?
  5. jenae


    Mar 16, 2013
    Hi, I note you mention the windows install disk, if you have a copy of the OS dvd then you can fix this problem, you need to boot with the OS dvd in the drive (it is often necessary to open BIOS and change the boot order to cd rom drive as first option, save the setting and exit the BIOS).

    When you boot from the OS dvd you can go past the language setup and select the "repair your computer" option, at this stage the system should run a startup repair, this includes a "last known good" and may well fix your problem.

    Every time you successfully start your computer a file C:\windows\system32\config\RegBack creates a backup of registry hives, if startup repair fails to fix the problem then you can do so manually.

    In the RE (repair your computer) you will see an option to open a cmd prompt, do this.

    You will see a dos type window with an x:\sources > prompt.

    At this prompt type:- (cmds in red)

    bcdedit | find "osdevice" (exactly as shown here, the | is called a "pipe" and can be found above the \ key.

    This cmd will tell us what drive letter the RE has assigned to the operating system (it is normally C:, however this is not always the case, the cmd will return:-

    os device ... partition X: (where X is a drive letter lets assume it's C:, (if not change C: in the following cmds to what drive letter you see)

    You will be back at the x: sources > prompt, here type:- C: (press enter)

    Next at the c:\> prompt type:- cd c:\windows\system32\config\regback (press enter)

    you will now be at the c:\windows\system32\config\regback > prompt, here type:-

    xcopy c:\windows\system32\config\regback c:\windows\system32\config (press enter)

    NOTE:- the syntax in these cmds are important (note the spaces)

    Press A to indicate (ALL) when prompted when finished (only takes a moment) type exit (press enter) Restart computer and hope you get lucky... System restore probably won't help here.
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