I am trying this out in Windows 7 Virtual Machine

  1. Windows 7 64 is already installed in VM
  2. Boot the PC using Windows 7 DVD
  3. Go to Repair Your Computer - Command Prompt - Windows directory on the drive
  4. Run Regedit.exe and create a key called say Test and set some string value to a value named say Val1 under say HKLM\Software (see the snapshot)
  5. Exit and restart

Now when you boot using the Windows 7 DVD again and access the registry, that key and entry does not exist.

What am I missing here? Can someone help. Does it have something to do with permissions?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It's becuase in that scenario, you're editing the registry for the loaded Win PE environment you're (temporarily) booted into, not the offline one on the hard disk.

In RegEdit choose File -> Load Hive to load the offline registry hive file you want to make changes to.

i.e.:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SAM > c:\windows\system32\config\SAM
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM > c:\windows\system32\config\system
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE > c:\windows\system32\config\software
HKEY_USERS\.Default > c:\windows\system32\config\default
HKEY_CURRENT_USER > c:\users\<user name>\ntuser.dat

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