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Windows XP and Windows 7 has REG command line utility. This tool enables you to add, change, delete, search, backup, restore, and perform other operations on registry entries from the command prompt or a batch file. It also can be used in scripts to do periodic snapshots of the registry.
Console Registry Tool for Windows - version 3.0 Copyright (C) Microsoft Corp. 1981-2001. All rights reserved REG Operation [Parameter List] Operation [ QUERY | ADD | DELETE | COPY | SAVE | LOAD | UNLOAD | RESTORE | COMPARE | EXPORT | IMPORT ] Return Code: (Except of REG COMPARE) 0 - Succussful 1 - Failed For help on a specific operation type: REG Operation /? Examples: REG QUERY /? REG ADD /? -- More --
It has several subcommand
|add||Adds a new subkey or entry to the registry|
|delete||Deletes a subkey or entries from the registry|
|query||Displays the data in a subkey or a value|
|compare||Compares specified registry subkeys or entries|
|copy||Copies a subkey to another subkey.|
|save||Saves a copy of specified subkeys, entries, and values of the registry in hive (binary) format|
|restore||Writes saved subkeys and entries in hive format back to the registry|
|load||Writes saved subkeys and entries in hive format back to a different subkey|
|unload||Removes a section of the registry that was loaded using reg load|
|export||Creates a copy of specified subkeys, entries, and values into a file in REG (text) format|
|import||Merges a REG file containing exported registry subkeys, entries, and values into the registry|
Microsoft utility reg.exe and some antispyware tools (for example HijackThis) can also provide a snapshot of important parts of the registry and as such are useful in a wider context.
reg export HKLM\Software hklm_before.txt --install program-- reg export HKLM\Software hklm_after.txt
Generally you need snapshort of all major keys to see the whole picture. See Registry snapshots
Registry Watch monitors changes made in the Windows Registry and the file system. Registry Watch make two file system and Registry snapshots for comparison. It compares the Registry and the file system before the installation of a program to the Registry and file system after the installation is completed. You can elect to just compare the Registry or file system or both.
Since it is a full Windows snapshot utility, it can completely uninstall the program. Registry Watch is a 100% complete software uninstaller. It works on 64 bit as well as 32 bit.
Registry Watch can automatically backup your Windows Registry and restore it when you need to, on any Windows platform; from Windows 95 to Windows 2000, from Windows XP to Windows 7.
You can do either a system file snapshot or a Registry snapshot, or both; giving you more control. This not only allows you to use Registry Watch as an uninstaller, but also for finding changes made to your Registry for any other reason.
Registry Watch gives you the option of comparing the entire Registry or just a single Key. The comparison snapshots are for HKEY_USERS, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, a single Key or the entire Registry. You may also choose to remove some of the changes from the report before saving it, so that these items will not be undone later. You can even take several comparison snapshots using the original snapshot. This will allow you to see what is changed in the Registry when installing a program, then see what other changes were made when running the program. Allowing you to see all the changes from the original snapshot.
Registry Watch will take you to the Registry Key you have selected in the report for viewing. Just click on "Go To Key". You can also send any line of the report to the Clipboard if you wish to copy and paste it.
REG query allows you to query a single key for a single value, or a range of keys for all their values. This provides you with a quick way to check whether a key has the value you think it does, or in fact whether it has any values associated with it at all:
REG QUERY KeyName [/v ValueName | /ve] [/s]
- KeyName [\\Machine\]FullKey
Machine - Name of remote machine, omitting defaults to the current machine (Note: the REG.EXE help syntax is wrong. You should use \\ and NOT \ as written!)
Only HKLM and HKU are available on remote machines
FullKey - in the form of ROOTKEY\SubKey name
ROOTKEY [ HKLM | HKCU | HKCR | HKU | HKCC ]
SubKey - The full name of a registry key under the selected ROOTKEY
- /v query for a specific registry key
ValueName - The name, under the selected Key, to query
if omitted, all values under the Key are queried
- /ve query for the default value or empty value name <no name>
- /s queries all subkeys and values
C:\WINDOWS>reg query \\srv1\hklm\software\symantec ! REG.EXE VERSION 3.0
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\software\symantec\Norton AntiVirus NT
Managing the Windows Registry from the Command Prompt with Reg.exe
The command-line utility reg.exe is a powerful and versatile way to manage the Windows XP Registry. This article discusses Its features and application.
Many will be familiar with the graphical interface tool regedit.exe that is available for editing the Windows Registry. Less familiar, however, is the command-line utility reg.exe that also comes with Windows XP. This accessory will do anything that regedit.exe can do and has the additional facility of being directly usable in scripts. It is a common tool for system administrators with many computers to manage but can also be useful to the more experienced home PC user. I will discuss some aspects that may be of interest to this latter group. More details can be found at this Microsoft site. There is also information in the Windows XP Help and Support Center.
Registry editing is not for everybody but it is not as fearsome an operation as it is sometimes made out to be. Just be sure to follow the iron-clad rule to back up the Registry first before editing. There are many useful tweaks that involve a simple Registry edit and reg.exe provides a way that is simpler and safer in some ways than Regedit. It also provides a way to back up keys or entire hives of the Registry into files that can be stored off the main drive.
Like some other command-line utilities, the reg command is a shell or console that has its own set of sub-commands. An complete command will consist of
reg subcommand variablesTable I lists these subcommands and some are discussed in more detail in sections that follow. The commands can be carried out on remote networked computers as well as the local computer but I will confine the discussion to operations involving just the local computer.
Table I. Subcommands for reg.exe Subcommand Function add Adds a new subkey or entry to the registry delete Deletes a subkey or entries from the registry query Displays the data in a subkey or a value compare Compares specified registry subkeys or entries copy Copies a subkey to another subkey. save Saves a copy of specified subkeys, entries, and values of the registry in hive (binary) format restore Writes saved subkeys and entries in hive format back to the registry load Writes saved subkeys and entries in hive format back to a different subkey unload Removes a section of the registry that was loaded using reg load export Creates a copy of specified subkeys, entries, and values into a file in REG (text) format import Merges a REG file containing exported registry subkeys, entries, and values into the registry
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This command is used to add keys and values to the Registry. The syntax is given by
REG ADD KeyName [/v ValueName | /ve] [/t Type] [/s Separator] [/d Data] [/f]Table II explains the entries.
Table II. Parameters in REG ADD command Parameter Description KeyName Complete Registry key name. Uses abbreviations HKCR, HKCU, HKLM, and HKU for root keys /v ValueName Adds or changes a value /ve Changes a key's default value /t Type The type of value: REG_BINARY, REG_DWORD, REG_SZ, REG_MULTI_SZ, etc. The default is REG_SZ /s Separator Specifies the character used to separate strings in REG_MULTI_SZ entries. The default is /0 /d Data The data to assign to a value /f Forces overwriting of existing values with prompting
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REG ADD provides a quick and simple method for adding new keys to the Registry or modifying old ones. As an example, let's look at how to add the sub- key "HackersAreUs" to the Local Machine Software key. The command would be
REG ADD HKLM\Software\HackersAreUsNow let's add a value named "Stuff" and make it a binary entry with data "0001". The command would be
REG ADD HKLM\Software\HackersAreUs /v Stuff /t REG_BINARY /d 0001The two commands could have been executed as a single command but I have split them to make the process clearer. I have used upper case for REG ADD but that is for clarity and is not required.
Keys and values can be deleted in a similar but somewhat simpler fashion. The syntax is
REG DELETE KeyName [/v ValueName | /ve | /va] [/f]Table III describes the parameters.
Table III. Parameters in REG DELETE command Parameter Description KeyName Complete Registry key name. Uses abbreviations HKCR, HKCU, HKLM, and HKU for root keys /v ValueName Deletes a value /ve Deletes a key's default value /va Deletes all values from a key /f Forces deletion with prompting
RegSafe Home Page
RegSafe Professional Edition 2.0 is a suite of tools designed to provide Network Administrators, IS/IT professionals and Power Users with the ability to perform advanced Registry management on 32-bit Windows PCs. RegSafe provides comprehensive Registry editing and management capabilities not found in other professional level Registry editing tools, all from within a protected environment.
Top 5 Reasons For Using RegSafe®
- Protected Environment
RegSafe automatically saves a copy of the Registry before you edit and has "Undo" functions available while editing the Registry. Unlike other Registry editing tools, a mistake made while editing with RegSafe won't trash your system.
- Registry Comparison
RegSafe goes beyond simple Registry Editing with its powerful Comparison features. Compare Current or Snapshot Registries, compare keys/values within the same Registry, compare access control lists (ACL) on Windows NT/2000 systems. You name it, RegSafe compares it!
- Powerful Export Features
Administrators and other advanced users will appreciate RegSafe's export feature, which allows portions of a Registry or Registry comparison results tree to be exported to a .reg file (Regedit4 format).
- Partial or Full Registry Restoration
If an unwanted change to the Registry was made, or a problem with the Registry is detected, RegSafe can perform a partial or full restoration of a Registry snapshot to the current ("live") Registry.
- Registry Restoration for Non-booting Systems
RegSafe's Command Prompt SOS technology can restore the Registry even when your system will not boot into Windows. SOS restores the Registry on Windows 9x, ME, NT, 2000 systems with FAT, FAT32 and NTFS-formatted drives. In addition, RegSafe provides Recovery Console restoration on Windows 2000.
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