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Transfer selected keys from old registry file to current Windows XP in


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#1
SoWhy

SoWhy

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Hi there,

due to some complete mishap, I was forced to reinstall Windows XP. Before doing so, I did a system backup, so I could restore all files. The problem is the registry. Due to the new install, many applications will not report as installed and request that I install them anew. But I got a copy of the old registry file (system32\config\software) in the backup. Is there any program that would allow me to edit this file and export those keys I need to my current registry?

Regards
SoWhy
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#2
Broni

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    Kraków my love :)

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It won't work that way. Programs have to be reinstalled.
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#3
SoWhy

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Is there really no program to view this file and save parts of it to *.reg files?
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#4
123Runner

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Not unless you really want to mess up the OS. The registry is the "brains" and messing with that will mess up the OS and programs.
Programs are meant to install and when that happens, the "keys" are placed where they need to be.
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#5
SoWhy

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Well, but many keys just contain information like install path etc. which tell the program that they are installed, nothing more. Warcraft III for example refuses to run when a certain key is not in the registry but runs fine if that key is added.

Anyway, I found a way to do it, I will post it here in case anyone else finds the need to do the same:
  • Open registry editor (Start => Run => "regedit")
  • Select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
  • File => Load Hive. Select the "software" file from the old WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG folder (not the current installation, the one you backed up before)
  • Enter a name you want (like "software.old", just not "software")
  • Now you can remove any entries you don't want to transfer from the "software.old" key you just added
  • Once you did so, select it and choose File => Export and save it as a file (e.g. software.old.reg)
  • Open this file in an advanced text editor (notepad won't work, EditPlus or similar does - if you see many spaces between characters, it's not working) and search+replace "software.old" with "software"
  • Use File => Import in the registry editor to import the file into your current registry

Regards
SoWhy
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#6
123Runner

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NOTE: We at Geeks to Go do not recommend editing the registry unless suggested by a trained member/staff. And when it is suggested, they will have you back up the registry first.
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