I have a hard disk image (.vmdk) taken from an old computer. The image contains a Windows 2000 installation.

Now I would like to update the registry on the image to make it bootable. (I'm suffering from this problem when booting the vmdk in VirtualBox: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314082/EN-US)

My question: Is there a tool that allows me to specify the registry changes (called "mergeide.reg") and the registry to be updated?

I.e., I want to run something like:

C:\>magictool mergeide.reg m:\WINNT\system32\config\system

where m: is the mounted VMDK image.

I didn't find anything useful on google. All available tools seem to allow updating only the registry of the running system.

Any help is appreciated.

  • regedit can load hives, perhaps that'll help? – Karan Apr 18 '13 at 23:06

You could try libguestfs, if you run Linux:

Taken from virt-winreg's manpage, part of libguestfs:

This program is only meant for simple access to the registry. If you want to do complicated things with the registry, we suggest you download the Registry hive files from the guest using libguestfs(3) or guestfish(1) and access them locally, eg. using hivex(3), hivexsh(1) or hivexregedit(1).

See hivexregedit's manpage for details.

Alternative options here, most prominently booting WinPE and running this:

Run regedit,


File --> "Load Hive..."

The registry files are located in XYZ:\Windows\System32\Config of the partition you are trying to edit.

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