How do I backup the Windows Registry?

Manually export a registry subkey

Prior to editing a registry key, it is very important to ensure that you export a copy of the registry key safely to a folder on your hard drive. In the event you should make an editing mistake, you can safely return your operating system to normal with this backup copy. Here's how:

1. Go to Start>> Run. Type in: regedit [Enter] or click OK.
2. Locate and click to select the subkey that contains the value that you would like to edit.
3. Go up to the "File" option and select "Export".
4. In the "Save in" text box, choose an easy to find location to save your copied registry information. In the "File name" text box, name this whatever you would like.
5. Click Save.

You can also use the Windows Backup utility. Here's how:
-XP Pro users only-

Note: If you are using the Backup Utility to back up system settings and data files, you will need to back up all of the data on your computer including the System State data. System State data holds registry information, Windows File protection and Boot files.

1. Be sure that you are logged in as Administrator.
2. Go to Start>> All Programs>> Accessories>> System Tools>> Backup.
3. Select Advanced mode
4. Click the Backup tab
5. Open the Job menu and select New
6. Using the checkboxes, select the drives that you would like to back up. You can also expand a drive to back up files and folders within that drive.
7. In the Backup Destination list, select the backup destination you would like to use.
8. Select Start Backup. You will now see the Backup Job Information dialog box.
9. If you have previously backed up this particular data, you will now be given a couple of options as to how you wish to deal with the current backup. You can:

Append this backup to the media
Replace the data on the media with this backup

10. Select Advanced
11. Select the "Verify data after backup" checkbox
12. You will now need to select the type of backup you wish to perform in the Backup Type box. Select one of the available options and a description of that backup type appears under "Description".
13. Click OK, then Start Backup. A backup progress dialog box will now appear.
14. Once the backup is complete, click the Close button.

Windows Backup Utility Installation:
-For XP Home Users-

1. Insert your Windows XP CD in to the CD-ROM Drive.
2. If the CD does not auto-start, you will need to go to: Start>> My Computer. Then, double click the CD icon.
3. A "Welcome to Microsoft Windows XP" screen should now appear. Select "Perform Additional Tasks".
4. Click on "Browse this CD".
5. Now in Windows Explorer, double click the "ValueAdd" folder.
6. Select "Msft", then Ntbackup.
7. Double click the file titled: "Ntbackup.msi"
8. The wizard will now install the Backup Utility.
9. When complete, click the "Finish" button.

Now that the Backup Utility is installed, follow the same instructions above for the XP Pro Users.