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Solved: Big registry problem.

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Chesso, Jan 31, 2007.

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  1. Chesso

    Chesso Thread Starter

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    Ok, so yesterday I shut down my machine when I went out for a bit as it was considerably hot.

    I came back later, turned it on, and BAM! I ended up with a blue screen whining about not being able to load a registry hive, C:\Windows\System32\Config\SOFTWARE in particular.

    So I google searched on my brothers machine for a way to fix it, which pretty much involved loading up 6 annoying Win XP boot floppies that takes days to load (Ok i'm exagerating a little there....) and getting into the Recovery Console to perform some copy/delete commands to get myself back to previous registry files.

    Which to my dismay, I found out that it took me back to the stone age (like when XP was first installed, infact to me it seemded like it had gone back even further).

    I *think* but am unsure, but think I still have backup copies of the old SOFTWARE and SYSTEM registry files that I had before. From the error message I gotten, I would assume that the SOFTWARE one had the problem.

    Is there anyway I can re-instate as much information from the old SOFTWARE and SYSTEM files as possible?, considering the original SOFTWARE is 2.5mb and my old (corrupted somewere) SOFTWARE file is 25mb, you can see there is an awful lot I just can't restore by hand.

    Any help is greatly appreicated!

    P.S. Hello, I am new :).
     
  2. Thaddeus

    Thaddeus

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    What happens when you try system restore? (Start > Run > "msconfig" > and then the click "Launch System Restore") It seems like this would work if you were able to select a date previous to when you had the BSD.
     
  3. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Where did you copy the hive from? The most recent backup of the system hive in the System Restore folder should be very recent.
     
  4. Chesso

    Chesso Thread Starter

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    I always have system restore disabled.....

    I was actually getting ready to back-up and do things like this to prepare for new hardware with a couple of weeks and then this happens :|.
     
  5. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master

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  6. Chesso

    Chesso Thread Starter

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    So in the 5+ years windows xp has been around, no one has made software to read the registry hive files.... dang.

    Because I'm pretty sure I have the old SYSTEM and SOFTWARE registry hive files, but for some reason the SOFTWARE one is corrupt, more than likely it's a few minor things, surely there's something around that can poke in fix it lol.

    Then I can just (although it takes forever) use the recovery console to put them back.

    EDIT: Or atleast let me get most of the registry info out so I can wack it back into the registry so I have *most* of the old settings, especially the software (not to worried about SYSTEM hive and hardware stuff, that's much easier fixed).
     
  7. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    There are quite a few programs to "read" the hives, "regedit" for example. You can open it in Wordpad (though you may not be able to read much of it--it will look like gibberish).

    But once corrupted, it becomes a bit more serious than just a shifted or missing group of letters in a text file. It may well be that the file contains no data whatever, and I have often found that the system hive is 0-byte after one of those "corruption" messages.

    It can't be fixed. It could take years to go through manually. Only a backup will do, or a reinstallation.
     
  8. Chesso

    Chesso Thread Starter

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    Well it's 25mb's in size (so it is definitely not the default, because the default is 2.5mb).

    I opened it with RegDataXP and it had no problem reading it (or atleast it showed me HKLM\Software, not sure if that's all of it? but it is only a demo program, and it checked for corruption but couldn't find anything *shrugs*).

    Same case with the system one.

    All the entries i'd expect to find in it seemed to be there.
     
  9. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    That sounds promising, but if XP doesn't accept it, it won't help you much. I wonder what it would look like from regedit. You could try importing it to regedit if you have another machine available and a copy of it.

    Not sure what good that would do, but it may just save a good copy when exported again. I don't have much faith that it would, but I guess I'd try it if I were in your shoes.
     
  10. Chesso

    Chesso Thread Starter

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    Oops yeah I thought it could only import .reg files, until I took a closer look lol.

    Iv'e hopefully backed up newer/older correct SYSTEM and SOFTWARE hives (incase I need to fix it back up through the recovery console).

    I'm just finishing watching a movie (which I was going to watch the other day when I first found this error....) and then restart and see how it goes with the old one again.

    If that doesn't work out, I guess I'll have to try and find a way to export as much valid data from the old (large) hive as possible and import it into the fresh one.

    P.S. I know feel inspired to write an application to do all this for me :p.

    EDIT:

    I tryed importing as a hive and it tells me that it is invalid?
     
  11. Chesso

    Chesso Thread Starter

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    Hello, I managed to fix the error myself.

    It was a bit of a pain in the *** but I got it done.

    Because I had the *supposedly* corrupted versions of SYSTEM and SOFTWARE hives, I loaded them in regdataxp, exported the file as a hive file (.snp i think), imported into regedit to a temp key, exported as .reg).

    I then mass replaced all entries so it would reflect where it should be like changing HLKM\Software to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE for both .reg files and then imported them both, rebooted and wham everything is back, almost 100%.

    I also tested with a few re-boots.

    Corrupted hive aye windows, yeah my butt lol.
     
  12. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    LOL. That's great work. I wouldn't have bet any important money that it would have worked, but you saved yourself a lot of work.

    Now you may see the wisdom of keeping System Restore running, or at least having some method of regular system backup.

    Do you have a link to that regdataxp program you used?

    You can mark the thread "solved" using the Thread Tools above if you are done with this one.
     
  13. Chesso

    Chesso Thread Starter

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    If you search Google for RegDatXP, you'll find it.

    I used the demo version, 30-day trial (doesn't have 100% functionality either I don't think) but I couldn't find another application like it.

    Considering my method of revival I shouldn't have needed regdatxp, however regedit claimed the software hive to be invalid. RegDatXP however read it in just fine and allowed me to export it (well sort of, the best export option seems to be disabled in the demo/trial version), and then regedit all of a sudden had no problem taking it in.

    But of course in it's hive form I could not edit it, so I brought the hive into a temporary key in the registry first and exported as a .reg file so I could fix up the path so it went back where it should when I import it.

    And yeah that resulted in getting just about everything back, almost 100%.

    P.S. Thanks for letting me know about the solved thing.
     
  14. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Thanks. I was looking for "regdataxp".

    If you're interested, Resplendent Registrar is a respected and multifunctional registry manager. It can import/export hives of any file type, remotely or locally, and works fine in Vista, too. Even the free demo version has as much functionality as most registry manipulators would need.
     
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