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Are there any registry editors available that can edit a registry, given specific files (ntuser.dat, etc.)?

Let´s say I have an old system-drive, we can call that "A"; If I were to plug A into my working computer, are there any tools available that can access the registry of the Windows-installation of A, given the specific files?

(No, I can´t boot from it, that´s not an option.)

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can load another windows hive right in Windows using regedit, no need to use a third party software.

Connect the drive to another Windows PC as secondary or use a usb adapter.

When in registry editor, highlight HKLM (or whichever hive you need to load), then do a File>load hive navigate to (drive letter):\WINDOWS\System32\config of the crippled drive and highlight the file "Software" (or navigate to another hive you need to load) hit ok, it will ask you to name the hive it is about to load, give it a unique name like Test, hit OK, it will load the hive under HKLM with the name Test, Make and changes you need then highlight "Test" and do File>Unload Hive. Be sure to have the Test key highlighted when you select unload.

I have never encountered problems using this method but thought I should post the "possible" risks see this article

Note WinXP has a new feature called Registry Repair and Recovery (MS KB Q815011) and it is usually activated when starting WinXP. But it is also activated when loading an offline hive, which can have the undesired effect that the loaded hive is modifying behind your back. One can disable this feature in WinXP SP1 in case one is afraid that the "Repair" feature will do more harm than good: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ System \CurrentControlSet \Control \Session Manager \Configuration Manager] SelfHealingEnabled = 0

I have never done this using a W7 PC either, which has a more aggressive self healing mechanism. but seems to be related to the files system rather than the registry, one would assume it also has a self healing registry similar to XP.

Other offline registry editing tools.

Bart PE

PC Regedit

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This is actually quite useful to know, since the program mentioned above (wrr) seems unable to actually do any editing on its own. Combine the two and you not only have enough to edit/save important keys, you can also view all the important information that´s available in the hives without any manual crawling. Thanks for the tip! – Marcus Hansson Apr 10 '11 at 12:42
You can Google ERD Commander, this is a Microsoft WinPE rescue boot disc that has a registry editor built in amongst other good tools, really nice but needs to be used on the crippled system, They are specific to each Microsoft OS and bit version, not publicly available from Microsoft but there are copies floating around. Another choice is this regedit boot disc, not as good as ERD but not – Moab Apr 10 '11 at 14:43
Check the edits to my post. – Moab Apr 10 '11 at 15:07
Very Interesting. ERD Commander seems like an extremely useful tool, although not useful in my particular case since the MB-record was partly destroyed when the system crashed. Both Bart PE and PC Regedit seems like good search´n´rescue-tools, which has their uses (In fact, the main site for PC Rescue looks just as useful, but that, however, is off-topic). Anyway, thanks for the info and have an Internet-cookie (Marked yours as the answer). – Marcus Hansson Apr 11 '11 at 5:49
Glad I could help out. – Moab Apr 11 '11 at 14:48

its been aeons since i used it, but windows registry and recovery should let you load a hive off another system, and edit it with (iirc) regedit and export it if need be.

Alternately there's a linux/unix based offline registry editor as part of the offline password changer live cd

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That programs seems to me to be alot better than the native regedit! The linux/unix alternative doesnt seem that great though. I´ll try both (Must build the unix-variant first :P), and come back with results soon! :D – Marcus Hansson Apr 9 '11 at 14:28

I had the need to import part of an old registry from a crashed win 7 64.

The solution is very simple with an small application called YARU for "Yet Another Registry Utility" No install, works with win (All) Linux, and Mac, only had to import the hive I wanted data from, and export part of it as a .reg file, then import it to my actual registry of windows. Ahh almost forgot: ITS FREE !!!

Case details: I am a musician, I had a huge quantity of sound banks registered 1 by 1 for a sampler I use on a daily basis. I simply imported the ..:\Windows\System32\config\SOFTWARE file into YARU, then located the specific entry for the sample, exported the whole branch to a reg file. Finally imported it to my new windows registry... that ´s it.

This save me hours of tedious installations.

NOTE: The sound banks where stored in same address than before (Drive letter and directories)

You can fin this program here:

Hope this is useful for all

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