Copying The Registry

Hewlett-packard / Rp5000
May 14, 2009 at 14:09:40
Specs: Windows XP
How can I copy the registry of one installation of Windows XP into another installation on the same drive? I have C:\Windows and C:\Windows2. C:\Windows2 is the active windows, but C:\Windows is the one that has all of my sofware and favorites. How can I copy the original windows registry to the new one?

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May 14, 2009 at 14:16:20
You can export and import the registry. Go into regedt32 and export. Then import in windows2.

Make sure you do NOT MERGE or you will end up with a split personality windows with duplicated but different registry enties.

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May 14, 2009 at 14:20:49
Are you asking how to replace one copy with a different one? The regisry is unique for each installation and can't be interchanged.

The purpose of exporting is to make a backup in case the original gets corrupted or deleted.

Additionally, if I understand what you have, you have TWO installations of WinXP on the same partition. You are asking for trouble. That should not be done.

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May 14, 2009 at 15:03:26
Sorry Othehill but it can and has been done. Even easier when you have both on the same drive and same partition.

Only issue Hunterdcv will run into is the name of the windows2 folder.

But a merge, shutdown, boot to knoppix or other and flip the names windows to windows2 and windows2 to windows, move a couple of other folders and even that registry entry descrepancy is resolved.

For example my present 300gig xp drive at home is a combo of two individual drives, c:, d and e: moved to a single drive. It has worked flawlessly for 3 years now.

I used to move 9x installations around on multiple disks just by exporting to a text file and running Word's search and replace to then move the OS to a different drive or partition.

For ntldr based OS's I used a combo of partition clones and reg edits to accomplish the same thing.

Now I just vm them. It's easier :-)

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Related Solutions

May 14, 2009 at 15:27:07
1. why 2 copies of windows? Is it because copy one wasn't working properly, so you installed copy 2 to access the machine. If this is the case, a repair reinstall would have been a better option:-

Also if this is the case, reinstating windows 1 registry will reinstate windows 1 problems.

2. Basically agree with othehill - not a good idea to replace registry from one installation with one from another. Because hardware is the same, it probably will boot, but what about users? (And software won't work - if it depends on files in system32, they'll not be there). Easiest way of doing it is via the registry hive files in \windows\system32\config - sam, security, software, system and default. User file is ntuser.dat in the profile of course.

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July 6, 2009 at 09:08:41
I need the same answer as I need to grab some select registry entries to move my Outlook 2003 email account settings from an unbootable XP installation to a reinstalled XP on the same partition (C:\). In my case, I need to grab HKCU keys from c:\Windows and move them to c:\XP.

Is the only solution a Linux solution? Isn't there a way to edit another XP installation registry and copy the few keys that I need without having to install Linux? Regedit only allows you to load a hive for *predefined*, keys. Unfortunately, I need to access the HKCU (current users) hive to grab the Outlook 2003 email account settings. I'd rather not have to install Linux to fix XP. That just sounds ridiculous to me. Surely there must be a native MS solution--a tool, utility, etc.

[Commentary to all others on offering help online]

Now, I'd just like to take a second and comment on the other responses because I've read many responses to questions like this which, frankly, aren't that helpful. Responders assume too much or feel compelled to share their insight into other issues which may or may not be relevant to the question at hand.

The best way to help folks is to give direct answers to the question asked, and not assume the person is asking the wrong question.

Please trust that people are asking the *right* question and limit your responses to answering that question. If you don't understand why someone asked the question, why someone wants to do something, or just think they are a total idot for asking, then at least ask some clarifying questions before offering your sage advice.

I have a very valid reason do copy registry keys between XP installations. There are even valid reasons to copy the entire registry between installations, as in the case of software testing so that I have two "identical" XP's on the same machine. As you know, there is no sure way to reinstall and reconfigure every application, utility, driver and widget the same way twice (not to mention that it's way too time consuming). Being able to create a dual boot machine with two Identical XP installations for testing is not a crazy request. Resetting the registry state after doing something in XP is quite useful for some things.

So, everyone please keep an open mind when responding. Try to answer the question asked as directly and correctly as possible, first. Then add any commentary you wish afterward. This is the best way to help.


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