How do I back up the registry?

A. Most registry hives are open, making them impossible to copy in the normal way. However, you can use one of the following methods.

  • If you have a tape drive attached to a Windows NT machine, NT Backup can perform a full registry backup. Simply select the back up local registry option when you start the backup. NT Backup can’t back up registries on remote machines.
  • The command rdisk /s backs up the registry to the %SystemRoot%/repair directory. Windows 2000 doesn’t include this command; for more information, see the FAQ Where is Rdisk in Windows 2000?
  • The Microsoft Windows 2000 Resource Kit’s Regback utility backs up the registry’s open files. To back up unopened files, you must use the xcopy or scopy command to manually copy the files. You can also use the resource kit’s Regrest utility to restore the registry.
  • You can use the resource kit’s Reg utility with the backup option (i.e., reg backup) to back up sections of the registry.

NT doesn’t automatically rename the old registry to .DA0, as Windows 95 did. You might want to use Rdisk to generate fresh registry copies. Then, use the following script to save three old registry versions.

REM REGBACK.BAT Note: change M: to home directory on LAN<br>
REM pkzip25 is a PKWARE product; see for details<br>
rdisk /s-<br>
if exist m:regback.old del m:regback.old<br>
ren m:regback.sav regback.old<br>
ren regback.sav<br>
pkzip25 -lev=0 -add -attr=all m:regback %systemroot%\repair\*.*<br>
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