Operating System Security: Backing Up Windows Registry

Windows Registry is the location in your PC where all of the configuration files are stored for the Windows operating system. The registry is the heart of your computer's operating system and stores files such as your hardware configuration, program commands, system configuration files, and files for installed programs.

Like all other components of your PC, the Windows registry can be vulnerable to virus attacks and the installation of malicious software. This is why it is important to create a backup of the registry so you can easily restore your PC's operating system in the event of a malicious attack. Although there are registry repair tools that can repair the Windows registry if anything happens, it is a good idea to do a manual backup to ensure your PC's operating system is restored to its original state.

How to Back Up Windows Registry

There are several different ways that you can back up the Windows registry in your PC. Some of the methods involve backing up your entire registry or portions of the registry.

  • Entire Registry Backup: Backing up the entire registry is a very simple process that only takes a few minutes of your time and provides you with piece of mind. To backup the entire registry, simply click "Start" on your main toolbar on the desktop. Click on "Run" and then type in "regedit" in the dialog box to open the registry editor. Choose "File" and then click on "Export" to save the registry files. Under "Export Range" choose the "All" radio button and then click "Save." That's it.
  • Backing Up Through System Restore: You can also use "System Restore" to backup the Windows registry files by creating a restore point for the registry. Click on "Start" from the main toolbar on your PC's Desktop and then choose "All Programs." Click on "Accessories" on the menu, choose "System Tools" and then click on "System Restore." In the dialog box, create a restore point by choosing a date from the calendar.
  • Individual Registry Keys: You can backup individual registry keys by clicking the "Start" button on the main toolbar located on your Desktop. Choose "Run" and then type "regedit" into the dialog box when it opens. Choose the registry that you want to backup and then right click on it. Choose "Export" from the menu that appears when you right click.
  • NT Backup: You can save the entire system registry by using the Windows backup utility that is installed in the Windows operating system. Simply click on "Start" on the main toolbar on your PC's desktop and choose "Run" from the menu. Type "ntbackup" into the dialog box to open the backup utility. A dialog box will appear that says "Backup Wizard." Choose "Only select system state data" or choose "Backup everything on this computer" to backup the entire registry as well as files and folders.

It is also a good idea to backup Windows registry to a CD due to the fact that some malware completely disables the registry so you cannot boot up your PC at all. Since the registry is the most critical component in your PC, creating multiple backups is important in the event of a system crash.

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