ERUNT vs Registry Backup?

Backing up the Registry is important, especially if you’re going to try a Controversial Registry Cleaner.

ERUNT  (readme) sounds great as a registry backup because it backups up the actual FILES rather than the “contents” of your Registry.  Many programs backup the contents and to restore is awkward and might not work.  But with ERUNT, if your system does not boot (and thus many other backup/restore methods are unavailable) you can use the venerable COPY dos command to restore. Or the ERDNT.EXE in the backup dir can do it for you.

But (who’s “Windows Repair (All In One)” is recommended on and which I’ve used twice with splendid success) also has a Registry Backup:

It talks about 2 possible problems with ERUNT

  1. not backing up other users, just the current one.
  2. perhaps invalidating other programs’ handles (presumably to the registry)

Quoting that page:

A lot of registry backup programs use the RegSaveKey API, such as ERUNT. When using the API you can only backup loaded registry files. [Only the current user’s registry NTUSER.DAT file is loaded, and so only it is backed up. -MM] – Registry Backup uses the volume shadow copy service instead. This allows perfect backups of the registry files and all profiles on the system.

Quote From Microsoft:

“Applications that back up or restore system state including system files and registry hives should use the Volume Shadow Copy Service instead of the registry functions.”

“Using RegSaveKey together with RegRestoreKey to copy subtrees in the registry is not recommended. This method does not trigger notifications and can invalidate handles used by other applications.”

By using the Volume Shadow Copy instead of the RegSaveKey API this registry backup program is safer to use.

Is Registry Backup really safer than ERUNT, as its author claims? I’m not sure i *want* to trigger those notifications when i’m backing up the registry. That’s nobody’s business, right? But what about that “invalidate handles used by other applications”? I can see that might be a problem when *restoring* using RegRestoreKey–maybe that doesnt trigger the handle. But on save? Who needs to see that? Or is Micro$oft just trying to make sure *their* digital eyes see everything, even saves?

On the 2nd issue, the backing up of other users registry files is valid, ERUNT even says so.


How to Backup the Windows Registry at


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  1. Pingback: Are “Registry Cleaners” safe? Effective? | Montgomery Minds

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