Benefits of Backing Up Your Windows Vista Registry

The Windows Vista registry is an important core Windows Vista operating system component because it comprises all information that is required to keep your PC functional. The registry is basically a tree-like database in which all software and hardware configuration information, user preferences and system setup information is stored. You can view the Windows Vista registry by running the “regedit” command from Start > Run. When the Registry Editor window is displayed, you will see a tree-like folder structure—quite similar to Windows Explorer.

The registry comprises five root keys—HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, HKEY_CURRENT_USER, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, HKEY_USERS, and HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG—which you will see in the right-pane of the Registry Editor. These root keys are further divided into subkeys and sub-subkeys with each key comprising zero or more values in which configuration data is stored.

When your PC is first installed, this registry tree is quite small and contains only the information that is required for the functioning of your Vista PC. However, as you start working on your system and start performing activities such as, adding new applications, changing system configuration, creating new files and folders, and even browsing the Web, information is accessed, added or removed from the registry. This builds up the registry and it gradually grows in size. The problem starts when, in the process, a large amount of invalid, outdated, and corrupt information strays into the registry and unnecessarily contributes toward its growing size. Many things happen, when you your Windows Vista registry grows to a very large size:

  • The registry becomes unstable and easily gets damaged and fragmented.
  • Data access speed slows down, and PC performance deteriorates leading to frequent system freezes and crashes.
  • Accumulation of a large number of invalid and incorrect entries in the registry generates frequents system errors.

When the situation gets out of hand your registry may fail and leave your PC unbootable. This is the reason why it is important to regularly backup your Vista registry. Because if you have a backup, if your registry fails, you can easily restore it from the backup, get rid of Vista registry problems, and have your PC up and running again.

You must also backup Vista registry before you:

  • Make any major system configuration change.
    Install or uninstall a large application.
  • Make direct edits to the registry using the Registry Editor.
  • Perform registry scan and repair using a registry cleaner tool.

Methods to Perform Registry Backups

There are many different methods that you can use to perform registry backups. Some of the most commonly used methods are discussed here.

Methods # 1: Registry Editor: To backup the registry from Registry Editor, open the File menu in the Registry Editor window and select Export. Specify the name of the backup file in the File name box, in the Export range section, select All to backup the entire registry tree, or select Selected branch and specify the name of the branch in the text box provided and then select Save.

Note: To restore just double-click the backup file and select Yes to confirm your decision.

Methods # 2: System Restore: System Restore is a utility that automatically creates snapshots—or restore points—of your PC system files, including the registry, on daily basis or before you make any major change to the PC. You can also create manual restore points by opening the tool from, Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore. When you restore your system using this tool, all your system configuration information and registry is reverted to the time when the snapshot was taken.

Methods # 3: Registry Tool: One of the easiest methods to backup the registry is by using a registry tool. There many different tools available in the market, you must select the one that suffices your needs and is compatible with Vista. These tools are primarily GUI-based, and you can easily use their backup and restore feature to take regular registry backups and restore them if your registry fails. Many advanced registry cleaner tools also enable you to undo registry edits, which make them more useful to the user, in comparison to the other tools.


Vista Reg. Cleaner

September 24, 2008 at 5:23 PM

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