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There's a certain folder in my Windows XP registry that I would like to be synchronized between my 2 computers, Dropbox-style. The way I want it to be is that every time I make a registry change in one computer, it appears on the other computer(s).

Possible? How?

(If you're curious about why I want to do this: I want to have the same PuTTY sessions on all computers.)

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I have a little idea for something... Can you tell me the exact path of the putty registry keys you want? I am going out now but will be back in about an hour and will try to help further. –  William Hilsum Aug 25 '11 at 17:57
@William Hilsum: It's HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SimonTatham\PuTTY. –  Ram Rachum Aug 25 '11 at 18:32
Are these computers generally on the same network? Or do you want this to work remotely as well? –  music2myear Aug 25 '11 at 19:22
@Ram Rachum Is that the same on both computers? –  William Hilsum Aug 25 '11 at 19:25
If this is about Putty, Why not use portable putty? It stores the settings in a file. Sync your copies of Portable Putty via dropbox or whatever. –  Zoredache Aug 25 '11 at 19:42
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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Sorry for taking so long, I think this is the longest I have taken to write an answer!

Ages ago, I wanted very similar functionality, but, I could not find a way of doing it... now that I know quite a bit more programming, I thought it would be worth a try to make something.

So, a few hours later, I give you, RegSync v1.

enter image description here

Simply take a copy of the full registry path (in your case HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SimonTatham\PuTTY) and paste it in to the box.

Click start and it will automatically monitor that registry key for any additions, deletions or changes.

If it detects any changes, it will* export a registry file called regsync.reg in the same folder as the application is running.

* In case of more than one change at a time, it will wait for 5 seconds after the first change.

When/after the start button is pressed, it will monitor the folder it is in for any changes to the regsync.reg file, and if it detects a change, it will delete ALL entries in the registry key you selected locally and import the registry file. (Please be careful, it will not check the .Reg file matches the location it is monitoring, so, if you type different locations on each pc, it may go bad).

So... you can run this from dropbox or windows shares, or any other folder sharing service. Run it on both computers and select the registry key to monitor.

Extra notes...

  • This requires the .NET framework version 4.

  • It does not monitor subkeys, you can run additional copies of the tool though in different folders (I already have ideas to improve this, but, only if people have a need for the tool).

  • Whilst it does not require UAC elevation, it will bug you for elevation every time it tries to import or export from the registry (It basically calls regedit.exe/reg.exe), so, I recommend that you run the program elevated... It does this several times and it will become very annoying.

  • No guarantees - It gets the "Works on my PC" badge, and I have tested it across a few machines, but, this has not had code review and hours of testing... Start to finish in a few hours.

Even if you do not end up using it, I hope it is useful to someone out there!

Download Link

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Nice! Are you keeping it closed-source? –  Ram Rachum Aug 26 '11 at 9:05
@Ram Rachum - I don't really "do" open source (whole projects) much... If anyone has any questions/wants to see anything, I will be more than happy to provide sample code from it... or share code with friends over Dropbox.... If you have any suggestions or want any improvements, let me know. ... I am still quite a new programmer and have been trying to get my head around VCS systems... When I understand them, I may upload/start sharing! –  William Hilsum Aug 26 '11 at 10:25
@William; Open Source doesn't have to be fancy, just zip up the source and upload it alongside and it's open source! –  Phoshi Aug 26 '11 at 12:50
@Phoshi - :/ good point... Maybe soon then! –  William Hilsum Aug 26 '11 at 13:08
RegSync v1 will be in codeplex in future like open source ? my company needs audit source code before install any application or program in environments. –  Kiquenet Apr 4 '12 at 11:56
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it might be easier to run regedit.exe in silent mode with a registry file that contains the exact entries you want. You can set each computer to run it from a shared location so all you need to do is update the file and when the next scheduled run of regedit.exe runs on each computer, they get the new entries.

something like:

regedit.exe /S puttyentries.reg

In order to pull a registry key from one computer, you would use:

regedit.exe /E puttyentries.reg "registry_key"

There would probably be more elegant ways of automating the whole process using vbscript or autoit with remote read/write functions for the registry.

Here is an example with AutoIt that will sync every 30 minutes with a remote computer (caveat, I really haven't tested this):

While 1 ;loop indefinitely
    $i1 = 1 ;set initial counter
    While 1 ;loops through all sessions
        $keyname = RegEnumVal("\\REMOTECOMPUTER\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SimonTatham\PuTTY\Sessions", $i1) ;reads session names
        If @error <> 0 Then ExitLoop ;exits when no more sessions exist
        $i2 = 1 ;set initial counter
        While 1 ;loops through all value in key until done
            $valuename = RegEnumVal("\\REMOTECOMPUTER\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SimonTatham\PuTTY\Sessions" & "\" & $keyname, $i2) ;read value name from remote machine
            If @error <> 0 Then ExitLoop ;errors and escapes when no more values to read
            $type = @extended ;sets registry value type
            $value = RegRead("HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SimonTatham\PuTTY\Session" & "\" & $keyname, $valuename) ;read value
            RegWrite("HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SimonTatham\PuTTY\Session" & "\" & $keyname, $valuename, $type, $value) ;write key value to local machine
            $i2 = $i2 + 1 ;increment by 1
        $i1 = $i1 + 1 ;increment by 1
    Sleep(1800000) ;sleep 30 min
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I wouldn't want to edit a file manually. Can regedit also extract from the registry in silent-mode? –  Ram Rachum Aug 25 '11 at 18:32
edited to add read option, I will see what I can write up for a more elegant scripted option –  MaQleod Aug 25 '11 at 18:59
This may be adequate for the guy who asked, but the this will not sync deletion of settings. So if you delete a putty setting on one host export, re-import on your section host, the deletion will not happen. When you export and re-import back on the host you deleted a configuration item, your deleted item would be restored. –  Zoredache Aug 25 '11 at 19:46
ok, added an autoit example that will do the whole process on its own (or at least it should, I have not tested it, so please back up everything first). –  MaQleod Aug 25 '11 at 20:02
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