Crash! Take advantage of these emergency Registry routines if Windows goes south
(IDG) -- In this week's column, I get the opportunity to describe a little-known new feature of Windows 98, explain how to do somewhat the same thing in Windows 95, and offer a bit of errata for my book Windows 98 Secrets.
Since the days of Windows 95, the Windows Registry has taken on more and more importance. The Registry file (two files, actually) took over most of the roles of the old
Because of the importance of the Registry, Win95 creates backups of
If your system somehow corrupts the Registry, you can theoretically copy
In an attempt to give power users a tool to preserve several backups of the Registry, Microsoft included an Emergency Recovery Utility (ERU) on the Windows 95 CD-ROM. The ERU creates an emergency boot diskette with a copy of your Registry and several other configuration files, such as
Win98 improves the security of your Registry by making not one, but five separate backups. These backups are compressed into "cabinet" files called
These backup files are created automatically when you start Win98 (but no more than once per day). Win98 runs a program called ScanReg using the command line
If you somehow corrupt the Registry in Win98, you can choose to restore one of the previous five backups. Unfortunately, there's nothing in the manual you get with Win98 that tells you anything about this.
To restore a backup Registry, you must hold down your Ctrl key while your system's power-on self-test is running, then choose Command Prompt Only to get to a DOS prompt. You then type
The process is controlled by a text file called
Here's where the errata come in. Microsoft included both ScanReg and ERU on the Win98 beta CDs but dropped ERU from the final CD-ROM. The final CD came out after my co-author, Davis Straub, and I had already included a section on ScanReg and ERU in Windows 98 Secrets. Sorry. Just ignore the part about ERU if you're using Win98, and we'll take it out in the next printing.
I'd like to thank the hundreds of readers who have sent me tips about Win98's setup routine and its effects on non-Microsoft applications after my recent columns on the subject. I've read most of your comments by now and will report on them again soon.
Brian Livingston's latest book is Windows 98 Secrets (IDG Books). Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. He regrets that he cannot answer individual questions.
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