To Backup Your Registry In Windows 98:

  • Click Start/Run, type SCANREGW and click OK.
  • This will launch Windows’ Registry scanner and backup utility. Once complete you will see a Registry Scan Results dialog box informing you of the results of the scan (it will tell you whether there were errors or not) and asking if you’d like to create a backup.
  • Click the Yes button and Scanreg will replace your oldest backup with a current copy of the Registry.
  • That’s it. It’s that easy.

If you read no further than this you’ll have learned how to backup your Registry when you want, rather than relying on Windows’ single daily back up. But we have much more good information here for you, so read on!

To Restore Your Registry:

In order to restore one of your copies of the Registry you must boot into DOS. There are three basic ways to boot into pure DOS.

  1. If you are in Windows you can go to Start/Shut Down… and select Restart in MS-DOS mode. The computer will restart in pure DOS (not a DOS box in Windows – very important distinction).
  2. Alternately, if your computer is already off, you can start it into pure DOS by holding down the Ctrl key as soon as the BIOS information clears the screen. As soon as the menu appears, press the Space Bar (or any other key) once. This will keep the menu active and allow you the time to read over the selections available. Choose Command Prompt Only from the menu. You will then be in Pure DOS.
  3. If you are having trouble booting your computer, you can use your ERD (the Emergency Recovery Disk) to boot into DOS. Simply insert the disk into the floppy drive and reboot the computer. It will do all the work for you.

Any of these choices will get you into pure DOS. Once there you can restore or even make another backup copy of the Registry.

  • In order to restore any copy of the Registry, either a copy you made or one that Windows 98 itself made within the last five days, just type SCANREG/RESTORE. Using the arrow keys, select the CAB (the CABs you will see are archived copies of the Registry) you want. The CAB files are listed by date with the most recent copy at the top. Once you’ve restored the Registry, use the arrow keys to highlight Exit and then reboot.
  • If you like, you can also create another backup in DOS by typing SCANREG/BACKUP. Then follow the prompt. This backup will work exactly like the one you made in Windows. There is no functional difference.

You should now be able to boot back into Windows 98 normally, just as before you edited the Registry or had a problem. Now you know how to restore those back up copies you made. See, we told you there would be more good information. And we’ve just barely begun.

Making Additional Backup Copies Of Your Registry

The mechanism that Windows uses to control Scanreg is amazingly simple. It’s just a plain text file called SCANREG.INI which you can easily edit with Notepad. When you run Scanreg, it first checks in this file to see if you’ve customized any of the available parameters such as the maximum number of backup copies, or where the copies are stored. To view and edit SCANREG.INI, simply click once on a blank spot on the Desktop Taskbar and press F3. Type SCANREG.INI in the Named: box, and type C:\WINDOWS in the Look in: box. Click Find Now and in a moment, when you see the file in the window simply double-click it to launch it in Notepad. The standard version of SCANREG.INI should read something like this:

; Scanreg.ini for making system backups.

;Registry backup is skipped altogether if this is set to 0

;Registry automatic optimization is skipped if this is set to 0

MaxBackupCopies=5 [We recommend changing this number to 14]

;Backup directory where the cabs are stored is
; <windir>\sysbckup by default. Value below overrides it.
; It must be a full path. ex. c:\tmp\backup

; Additional system files to backup into cab as follows:
; Filenames are separated by ‘,’
; dir code can be:
; 10 : windir (ex. c:\windows)
; 11 : system dir (ex. c:\windows\system)
; 30 : boot dir (ex. c:\)
; 31 : boot host dir (ex. c:\)
;Files=[dir code,]file1,file2,file3
;Files=[dir code,]file1,file2,file3

Prudent computing dictates that a back up copy of SCANREG.INI should be saved in C:\WINDOWS\SYSBCKUP before you begin your editing session. Once this is done, change the value for MaxBackupCopies= from 5 to 14. Save and close SCANREG.INI. Now you’re ready for the next step.

When you practiced restoring your Registry in DOS as described above, you probably noticed that only four copies of the Registry are available to SCANREG. Even if you create more backup copies of your Registry as suggested above, you will only be able to access four of those copies. What’s more, SCANREG will seemingly randomly choose any four copies. The obvious drawback is that you don’t have access to all your carefully stored copies. What if you need one of the copies that SCANREG has not made available to you for restoration? Not to worry, we have a solution.


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