recovering from corrupt registry

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by ginahoy, Jul 12, 2006.

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  1. ginahoy

    ginahoy Registered Member

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    My registry has apparently become corrupted and wasn't sure what's the best way to use my backup to recover. I'm running WinME and this is the first time I've had a corrupt registry.

    It all started last night when I tried to create a pdf of a very old drawing I created with CorelDraw 3.0 using Acrobat Distiller. Both programs locked up. After forcing both programs to close, I tweaked a couple of settings in Distiller and tried again. This time I got a registry error. Ouch! Today things went downhill fast... I've been struggling with tons of dll and other assorted errors and was even having trouble getting a clean boot in Safe Mode. I uninstalled my firewall and things seem a bit more stable now. The biggest probem right now is I can't open Outlook Express.

    In any case, I'm pretty sure I don't have a virus. I regularly scan my system with Spybot/AdAware/PestPatrol/Anitvirus/CWShedder and in fact, just got a completely clean scan.

    Fortunately, I have a very recent backup image of the entire disk (I only have a single partition) prior to the first error. It's stored on an external hard drive. My question is how to use my backup to recover. Here are some options that occur to me:

    1) restore the two registry files - user.dat and system.dat, or
    2) restore the entire image with overwrite set to "always", or
    3) do a low-level format of the hard drive and restore the image

    Advice?
    David
     
  2. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Try the simple things first. If you have any ME system restore points available try that route. A corrupt registry is one of the things it was designed to cope with. Just roll back the system to a date prior to your troubles.
    If you still have difficulties run chkdsk in repair mode.
    You do not say what anti-virus you are running. There was a problem long ago with Symantech AV and system restore in ME. If necessary you could do a search of the Symantech site for the fix.
    If you still have problems your backup will come into its own. If you have never tested your backups by doing an actual restore in the past I would recommend that you restore to a spare harddrive having first removed the existing one from your computer.
    Formatting of any kind is not necessary when doing a restore. TI does all that for you and all the existing data is blown away.
     
  3. ginahoy

    ginahoy Registered Member

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    I disabled ME restore years ago. It never seemed to work right in any case. I'm using EZ-Trust / EZ Armor Antivirus (CA Associates). My hard drive is relatively new. I bought ATI 9 for the purpose of transferring my OS and files from old hard drive, as it was beginning to go south. The restore was flawless. So that gives me more confidence.

    But still, I'd prefer to take your advice and do the simplest thing first... in this case, to just restore the two registry files. I was hoping for feedback on whether this is a resonable way to handle a corrupt registry.

    David
     
  4. ginahoy

    ginahoy Registered Member

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    Things went south after my last post. Restore of HD image completed successfully but as soon as I exited TI, I got the now-familiar 'blue screen of death' Windows error. I rebooted and got the assorted errors as Windows started, very much like before the restore. I'm guessing the instability of my system affected the restore process somehow. Or perhaps the root problem isn't a corrupt registry?

    Next, I tried to restore using TI boot disk. But for some reason, TI said the backup wasn't a valid image archive (it consists of a full restore and about a dozen incrementals). I've read about others having this problem, but in this case, the Windows installed version of TI has no problem recognizing the archive. Furthermore, the boot version recognizes all prior backups. Go figure.

    As the day progressed, it became harder to get a stable Windows boot. I decided to try doing the restore again (from Windows), but by then, I could no longer run Windows at all. So I used the TI boot disk again to restore from the previous backup. Same result. The backup completed successfully but I got the blue screen after exiting from TI and am unable to boot to Windows.

    Now I'm getting worried!! Assuming an image restore is truly a perfect image of the prior state of the drive, leaving nothing behind, then perhaps I have a MOBO problem. I managed to do a diskscan from a DOS boot and found no problems with the hard drive itself (although when scandisk last ran under windows, it found all sorts of screwed up files).

    I need to resolve this one way or another tomorrow. Before I start throwing serious money at the problem (e.g., a new computer), does anyone have any ideas as to how I can isolate the problem?

    David
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2006
  5. domg

    domg Registered Member

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    I'm not sure I can suggest anything to solve your present problem -- but your story emphasizes once again the importance of partitioning your drive into at least 2 partitions from the start, & keeping one (probably C:) just for the OS and related stuff, including the registry, and the other drive(s) just for data.

    I've recently also been having registry problems (my own fault: messing around w the registry backfired) -- and I spent yesterday restoring various different versions of images of drive C: from different days to see which worked best.

    I'm using TI 9.0 Home, and I'm glad to report that everything has worked flawlessly. In each case I restored the entire C: image -- leaving all data untouched (including the desktop, which I've located on the data drive, using Tweak UI).

    All best -- hope you get it sorted soon!

    dom
     
  6. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello ginahoy,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis True Image

    In order to fix this issue we advice you to do an entire hard disk resore from the image. It is better for you because it will surely give you a fully-functional system immidiatly after restore.

    Thank you.
    --
    Fedor Kurbatov
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2006
  7. ginahoy

    ginahoy Registered Member

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    Hello Fedor,
    Thanks for your response. I'm not sure if you read my most recent post, but that's exactly what I've been doing... an entire hard disk restore. The first time, I was able to do the restore from Windows version of TI (I'm running TI9). The restore completed nominally, but my problems persisted, and continued to get worse. Then I tried to restore using TI boot disk, but it didn't recognize the most recent backup as a valid TI image archive. So I restored from an older backup. Again, it completed nominally, but my boot errors continued.

    I just verified that my problem is a bad memory module in bank 1. Since I have two DIMMs, I pulled out the bad one and now Windows boots normally without errors.

    Now I need to get my disk back to the most current image. However, I am distressed that TI reports that this series of backups is corrupt!! I will start another thread on this issue.

    David
     
  8. beckygb

    beckygb Registered Member

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    Hi domg,

    My laptop is 40 gb and I have a 165gb usb HDD for b/u. I have considered splitting my C drive into two partitions, but I don’t know what is the best partition size. Most of my drive is os and programs. I don’t at this time have a lot of photos, and no music or movies on my system. i am currently using about 15 gb on C.

    What would be a good split?

    Becky
     
  9. domg

    domg Registered Member

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    Hi Becky -- I'd probably go 50/50: make a 20gb drive C: for your OS & Windows files generally; and then make a second drive/partition of 20gb for all your data (including all yr application setup files), which wd give you space for growth (since you say you don't have much other data)

    I'm not really an expert on this, though ;-) I've just proved to myself on many occasions what a good idea it is to have the OS on a separate drive/partition, so that when it comes to restoring or tweaking or mending, or at worst reinstalling, Windows -- you leave all your data untouched on the data drive.

    dom
     
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