How To Open Regedit When Windows Is Offline?

Jul 29th, 2010
This article explains how to do offline editing in Windows registry using regedit. You may want to do this when you can’t boot to Windows.

Registry editor is just an editor for Windows. It loads the information from some files located in C:\Windows\System32\Config folder.

The names of those files are Sam, System, Software, Security and Default.

You can copy these five files to another system and load these hives in a separate folder in registry editor.(The files are called hives)

The given below is the location in the registry and the corresponding files from which the information is loaded:






You may be wondering why the three other parent folders in the registry are left out. But those folders actually take information from these two folders.

To load a hive in the registry editor, highlight HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE or HKEY_USERS, Click ‘File’-‘Load hive’ and browse to the file that you want to load. Give a name for that folder. You will see that the hives are loaded in the registry editor. You can now make necessary changes, unload the hive and copy the modified files back to the original computer.

Visit these links to learn more about windows registry structure and hives:

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Shanmugam Piramanayagam
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