This article has information about “backing up the Windows registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. Before you edit the registry, export the keys in the registry that you plan to edit, or back up the whole registry. If a problem occurs, you can then follow the steps in the “Restore the Registry” section of this article to restore the registry to its previous state.

Export Registry Subkeys: You can follow these steps to export a registry subkey before you edit it.

Note: Do not follow these steps to export a whole registry subtree. (HKEY_CURRENT_USER is an example of such a subtree.) If you must back up whole registry subtrees, back up the whole registry instead.

1. Click “Start,” and then click “Run.”

2. In the Open box, type “regedit,” and then click “OK.”

3. Locate and then click the subkey that contains the value that you want to edit.

4. On the File menu, click “Export.”

5. In the Save in box, select a location where you want to save the Registration Entries (.reg) file, type a file name in the File name box, and then click “Save.”

Back Up the Whole Registry

To back up the whole registry, use the Backup utility to back up the system state. The system state includes the registry, the COM+ Class Registration Database, and your boot files. For additional information about using the Backup utility to back up the system state, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

308422 (__ [1]_) How to use Backup to back up files and folders on your computer in Windows XP

320820 (__ [2]_) How to use the Backup utility to back up files and folders in Windows XP Home Edition

326216 (__ [3]_) How to use the Backup feature to back up and restore data in Windows Server 2003