Windows 95/98

Windows Support Menu


Windows 9X Registry


Automatic Backups

Windows 98 makes five backup copies of the registry files by default. It makes a copy of these files every day. The Registry Checker also scans the registry for inconsistant data structures every time the system is started. These backup copies can be used if the system cannot boot or has a corrupted registry. After the first five days, the backup registry starts to overwrite the first backup registry file. When a backup is made (after the first five days) the first backup now has a new modified date in the properties of the file (it will be the date of the 6th day). On the next boot, the backup from day two now becomes the backup for day 7. Etc,etc, etc.

Another good thing about this process is that you can tell windows to make more than just the five default copies of the registry. In fact you can tell windows to make up to 99 copies of the registry. You can do this by editing the "MaxBackupCopies=##" line in the scanreg.ini file. Scanreg.ini can be found in the c:\windows directory. Change the five to whatever number you want from 0-99. Just remember that each copy of the registry is taking up space on your hard drive. The backup registry files are compressed. Example, a test machine that used 3,393KB for the registry files created a backup that was about 780KB.

The last thing that might be important to know about backing up the registry are the names of the backup files, where they are found, and what files it contains. The name of the first copy is The second copy is called and so on. They can be found in the c:\windows\sysback directory. The rb** files contain the following files; System.dat, System.ini, User.dat, Win.ini.

The following image contains the default icons used with the backup registry files as found in c:\windows\sysback.

Manual Backup within Win 98

Step 1

You will need to run the System Information tool. Go to the Start button/Programs/Accessories/System Tools/System Information.

Step 2

From the System Information tool you need to open up Registry Checker under the Tools menu.

This is what the you will see next as the Registry Checker is running.

Step 3

Choose yes to make another backup. Choose no if you do not want to make another backup copy of today's registry.

NOTE: If the Registry Checker finds a problem with the registry, it will offer to restart your computer in order to fix the problem. Upon rebooting an error message suggests that you run scanreg to "fix" the registry.

Now the registry has been backed up.

Manual Backup Using Scanreg

Step 1

This will make a non-compressesd copy of the registry.

  1. Boot to command prompt only.
  2. At the c: prompt ask the customer to type scanreg and hit enter.
  3. Then verify that the start option is highlighted and have the cust hit enter.

Step 2

ScanReg will run a check on the registry.

Now ask the customer to hit enter when -Create Backups- is highlited.

This is the message scanreg will return once the registry has been backed up.

Restoring the Registry with ScanReg

Step 1

NOTE: Before performing the following steps make sure the customer understands that any software installed before the date of the backup will not function.

  • Boot to command prompt only.
  • At the c: prompt ask the customer to type scanreg and hit enter.
  • Then verify that the start option is highlighted and have the cust hit enter.

Step 2

  • ScanReg will run a check on the registry.
  • Now ask the customer to hit enter when -View Backups- is highlighted.

Step 3

  • The cab files will all be dated and tell you if they have been used to start the system or not. If a cab file says "not started" then it is a backup copy that has not been used to start the system.
  • Now tell the customer to choose a registry one to two days before the problem began.
  • Once the registry has been highlighted, choose restore and press enter.

Step 4

  • Now tell the customer to press enter to restart the system.

Registry Checker vs. ScanReg

Real or Protected Mode Protected-mode Real-mode
Run at Setup No Yes, but in protected mode.
Scan Registry Yes Yes
Compress Backup Yes No
Restore Registry No Yes
Runs Automatically Yes, every time computer is started. Yes, if a registry problem is detected.
Fix Registry? No Yes
backup Registry? Yes Yes

ScanReg.ini Settings

Both ScanReg and Registry Checker use settings from the ScanReg.ini file.

Backup=1 Run ScanReg at startup and make a backup automatically 0. ScanReg will not run at startup
Optimize=1 Removes up to 500k of blank space in registry. Automatic optimization is skipped if set to 0.
MaxBackupCopies=5 Number of backups to store in the backup folder. 0-99
BackupDirectory=<windir>\sysbackup Backup directory where the CAb files are stored. It must be a full path. Example c:\windows\temp\bckup Defaults to <windir>\sysbackup by default

Command Line Switches for ScanReg

/FIX Repairs registry instead of restoring from a backup.
/BACKUP Forces a backup of current registry.
/RESTORE Forces a rollback. (overrides a /BACKUP switch)
/AUTOSCAN For ScanRegW. Scans registry and does not dislpay a dialog box.
/AUTORUN Silently scans, if there is a problem automatically restores a good registry and tells the user there was a problem that has been fixed.
/COMMENT="(comment)" Adds the specified comment to the CAB file while backing up