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ERUNT-Emergency Recovery for Windows NT, 2000, and XP


Friday, November 18, 2005


A nightmare for ubergeeks and Microsoft's plague upon the rest of us poor, mortal users is the Windows registry.  Imagine, if you will, five, or even ten thick phonebooks filled with hundreds of thousands of arcane little entries which tell Windows what to do whenever you access any single menu entry or file on your computer.  When the registry gets messed up, problems can range from an annoying glitch to a system that just plain won't boot.

And, as we toodle along, installing new software, updates to old programs, and uninstall others (which sometimes happens just because Norton or McAfee got an update), we get errors or bad entries in our registries.

The bottom line is that backing up your registry is just as important as your payroll data and statistically, you are far more likely to have a problem with your registry than you are to lose the payroll.  Registry backups can also rescue you from viruses, worms, mall-ware, software mis-installs, and hardware upgrades gone awry.

So, how do you backup your registry?  By using a utility written by Lars Hederer, a MIcrosoft MVP, named ERUNT. What this program does is back up your registry files to a folder of your choice and then places a utility which will restore those files in the same folder.

If something screws up your registry, all you have to do is to open the appropriate folder, double click on ERDNT, and reboot when you are prompted.  Voilla, your registry is what it was when you did the backup.

To get this wonderful little utility, click here and you will be prompted to either Open the file or Save it to your hard disk. Open will be easier and, when you are prompted, simply click the usual Next.......

You can choose to simply Open it when prompted which will start the installation or download it to the folder of your choice and double-click to install. When prompted about adding the item to Startup, I heartlly suggest you say yes.

Once installed, ERUNT will create a backup of your registry in C:\Windows ( or WINNT )\ERDNT\<today's date> each time the system boots.

If you want to try a hardware upgrade, attempt to solve a software problem, or have an extra backup before trying new software; you can easily do this by adding descriptive text to the end of the folder name if you run it manually. I, for example, have a folder named "01-31-05-b4-adaware" which I created before installing the new version of Ad-Aware.

Now that your registry is being backed up (and hopefully created manuallyERUNT Folder entry screenshot when you want to experiment), what needs to be done if something goes sour?

The answer is surprisingly simple. Navigate to the desired folder and you will find an icon named ERDNT. Double-click and the program will walk you right through, including the necessary reboot to start running that backup.

So, if you should get infected with a nasty Trojan, want to completely undo the changes made by a new program, or undo almost any mistake, all that is needed is to go to a backup created before the problem and run the restore utility.

Bear in mind that this does not back up the files which may have been erased or replaced so it is not completely foolproof; but, is an incredibly useful tool for troubleshooting and can save you untold hours of grief when problems arise.

The key is in doing it regularly; before software or hardware changes, after you are sure the newly installed software is working, and at least once a month on general principle.  Then, if something goes awry, you will have an easy way to fix it.

As always, please feel free to contact me in any way you care to should you have any questions or problems.


Davis M McCarn
184 Eaglecrest Drive
Matthews, NC 28104
(704) 882-7551
And remember, the phone call is always free.


Davis M McCarn 2004 All Rights Reserved
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