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16. Back Up The Windows Registry

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At the heart of the Windows operating system is the Registry; damage it and the chances are the Windows Operating system will stop working. It is for this reason that registry editing should only be undertaken by those who are familiar with the way it works and who are competent enough to make any necessary changes.

While it is possible to follow step by step instructions in order to edit the registry, the first precaution necessary, prior to even attempting to make such alterations, is to ensure that you have a current backup of the registry, either as a full backup or a backup of the respective registry hive. Should disaster strike and a registry edit go wrong you will, at least, have a working backup with which to replace the damaged registry hive.

To backup the registry proceed as follows:

  1. Click the Start button then, in the Start menu search box type:  regedit and press OK.
  2. The regedit  application will appear at the top of the Start Menu Search  list. Click on this application to open the registry editor.
  3. Click the File option on the main toolbar and, from the drop down menu, select Export.
  4. In the Export Registry File dialog box select All.
  5. Now name the file.
  6. Finally click the Save button.
  7. To return the registry back to its original state should something go wrong simply click on the File option on the main registry editor toolbar and then select Import.