I have a windows dd image that I have locally mounted.

I need to apply a series of registry tweaks from a known .reg file, within this Linux environment. I can't seem to find any tool that satisfies this.

I have found regpatch and hivexsh but they don't seem to do what I need, or I'm using them terribly wrong. Are there any working examples of performing such a task?

  • Not sure if this would work but you could try booting the dd image in a virtual machine and then applying the fixes from within the actual windows environment. You might need to take an image of the changed machine at the end. Again, not at all sure if this is possible but it might be worth a try. – terdon Mar 18 '13 at 20:44

I think what you are looking for is chntpw (it's the same as mentioned in Ben's question, btw). It comes as package (Ubuntu sudo apt-get install chntpw) with modern distros and allows listing or editing the registry, given the hive file of a Windows installation. Hive files are ntuser.dat in the profile directories of user as well as the files under %SystemRoot%\system32\config such as software.

From the man chntpw page:

-e     Registry editor with limited capabilities.

Caution: keep in mind that the format isn't officially documented by Microsoft and therefore any third-party editing tools could potentially damage the hives they load and manipulate. Take a backup!

As for applying a .reg file I don't think you'll get around parsing it yourself. It is basically just an INI/INF file with a special first line and sections named after the keys and values that have been escaped according to the type of the value. @ is a special value name for the default key. The rest is self-evident from looking at the file.

Python comes with built-in capabilities to parse INI files, so it provides a good starting point.


I’d start having a sniff around http://www.pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/ as I’m aware it may have some basic tools to get you there.


If you need a GUI tool, you can use RegeditEx. It is written in Java, so Java Runtime Environment should be installed.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.