The Registry is stored in certain files (see Section 3.2 earlier in this chapter) on your hard disk, so you can create a backup by simply copying the appropriate files to another location. Although your Registry is not likely to be small enough to fit on a single floppy, it will fit easily on a removable drive (recordable CD, Zip disk, etc.). In addition, most modern backup software, such as the Backup utility that comes with Windows, includes a feature to back up the Registry. It’s always a good idea to exploit this functionality.
When you start Windows, the information in the Registry is loaded into memory. While Windows is running, some changes may not be physically written to the Registry files until you shut down your computer; others, such as those made by the Registry Editor, are usually written immediately. For this reason, if you’ve made any substantial changes to the contents of the Registry, you may want to restart Windows before backing up the Registry to ensure that the files on the disk reflect the most recent changes.
Remember, if you have more than one user configured, you’ll
want to include the
User.dat file for
each user in your backup.
Windows Me comes with the Registry Checker (a.k.a. ScanReg ), a simple utility (introduced in Windows 98) that handles several Registry maintenance tasks, such as checking for errors, optimizing the files, and backing up the entire Registry every time Windows is started. This is especially useful, because ...