How to REALLY backup the Windows RegistryWritten by Stephen Bucaro
Reprintable Article: Permission is granted for following article to forward, reprint, distribute, use for ezine, newsletter, website, offer as free bonus or part of a product for sale as long as no changes are made and byline, copyright, and resource box is included. ---------------------------------------------------------- How to REALLY backup Windows Registry
By Stephen Bucaro
In Windows 3.x configuration information was stored in human readable text files like win.ini, system.ini, config.sys, and autoexec.bat. But that method of storing configuration was inadequate to store configuration for enormous amount of bloat Microsoft put into Windows 95 and higher.
In Windows 95 and higher, configuration information is stored in "registry". The word "registry" rarely appears without being accompanied by word "warning", and a vague description of how your computer will go up in smoke if you even think about messing with registry.
The registry is bloated and overcomplicated, but since it is central repository for almost all of Windows configuration information, you will probably have to deal with it sooner or later. In fact, if you ever require assistance of a support technician, first thing they will instruct you to do is open registry editor.
It is perfectly safe for you to work with registry, provided that you back it up first (and you know how to restore it). Windows automatically creates a backup of registry every time you start your computer. But when you are making configuration changes, you usually have to reboot your computer several times, possibly writing bad data to backup.
To make your own backup of registry, start your system with your startup floppy disk. (If you canít find your startup disk, use Add/Remove utility in Control Panel to make a new one. Place a copy of file attrib.exe from c:windowscommand folder on disk.)
After you start your system with your startup disk, use DOS to change to C:WINDOWS directory (type c: then cd windows). Then carefully type in following DOS commands.
Don't Upgrade Operating Systems!Written by Paulina Roe
If you want to upgrade to a higher level of operating system, as in, if you have Windows 98 but want Windows ME - it is highly recommended that you buy a full version of system you want. The version of 98 you have now may have errors on it, for whatever reason (perhaps too many "hard" shutdowns where you didn't close out your windows first, or a corrupted file, etc.), and these will not be fixed up or go away with an upgrade. Instead, some things could get worse.
When you only install an upgrade, it's typically called a "dirty install" - that is because previous errors remain in system. Even if you just installed Windows 98 new and then immediately upgraded, you will still find that there are probably errors that will come up. The only way to definitely get rid of errors is to format hard drive and install full operating system. This leaves you susceptible to losing a lot of data, even if you fully back up.
Your best bet is to use operating system you have. If you are really wanting to upgrade, first back up all your data, and get your disks for all software, drivers and such (your drivers for modem, printer, plug & play - everything), and be ready to deal with some hassle. When you back up - back up registry files too - you can lose a lot of information and operating needs if you don't take all this into account.