The very phrase “emergency repair disk” sounds ominous, like something the crew aboard the ill-fated Mir space station might keep close at hand. In fact, the ERD (as it’s usually called) is a terrific insurance policy that can protect you from a number of potential Registry mishaps, up to and including losing the password to your Administrator account. However, ERDs won’t do you any good unless you keep them up to date; you must also be careful to keep close physical control over them, since they contain a good bit of sensitive data that could potentially make it easier to compromise a machine.
Remember, ERDs can be used only to repair the Registry under Windows NT, not Windows 2000. If you’ve migrated to Windows 2000, you can (and should) still make ERDs using Windows 2000 Backup, but you don’t use them to repair the Registry.
An ERD is nothing more than a FAT-formatted floppy containing a subset of data needed to recover some of the system’s configuration. A Windows NT ERD includes data from several Registry hives; when you create an ERD, you’re actually making a backup copy of the Registry’s most essential data in a form that Windows NT can directly use to replace damaged or missing keys. Windows 2000 ERDs don’t include this Registry data, but you get the same functionality by backing up Windows 2000 Registry data using the Windows 2000 Backup application and storing it on a floppy or other backup media.
Both the Windows 2000 ...