As I was navigating through the registry on my Windows 8.1 machine, I found myself presented with the error message:
Error Opening Key: DRIVERS cannot be opened. An error is preventing this key from being opened. Details: the system cannot find the file specified.
I noticed this occurred the moment I tried to navigate through the HKLM\Drivers key. After reopening registry, I noticed the Drivers key had completely vanished. Only after reopening the registry for the fourth time, did it reappear, but only to vanish again after a while.
What could be causing this behavior? Is it by design? Is it being hidden briefly for some bizarre reason? Or is it perhaps being deleted and recreated, perhaps by a program. If this is the case, it could well be a driver itself doing this.
Could the random appearance/disappearance of the HKLM\Drivers key be due to the permissions against this key?
What is the Drivers key used for? I notice it is not documented and does not appear in most screenshots of HKLM.
This has a MAJOR impact on my strategy to take backups of the registry. If such a massive part of it randomly disappears and reappears, it suggests taking a backup of the registry may well be futile as the registry is so volatile.