It doesn’t matter how diligent you are, sometimes you forget to back up a critical setting, one that’s buried in the depths of the Registry. How are you going to get it back again? If you’ve taken a drive image of your computer, then the information is sat waiting inside that image – all you need is the right tools to extract it.

Windows Registry Recovery is designed to browse Registry hive files, allowing you to peruse the contents of a Registry backup or Registry hive copied from another computer. You can even extract selected Registry settings which can subsequently be imported into your current Registry, effectively restoring the settings.

The program can also extract other useful information from the Registry file, such as configuration and installation settings from the original computer, including the Windows product key where applicable.

If you need to recover old Registry settings, download, extract and launch WRR, which runs directly from your hard disk – no installation is involved. Select File > Open to open the Registry hive file containing the data you wish to restore – typically ntuser.dat, which is recovered from the root directory of your personal User folder (C:\Users in Vista and Windows 7; C:\Documents and Settings in 2000 and XP).

Double-click the NTUSER.DAT file to open it. Select Raw Data under “Explorer tasks”, then browse for the key you wish to recover (most program settings can be found under the Software branch). Select File > Export to REGEDIT4 Format. Tick “Only selected key”, select the branch name (HKEY_CURRENT_USER) and click OK. Save it to your desktop, then double-click the file to merge it with your Registry. Job done – although take our advice and take a System Restore point before you begin, just in case your settings don’t have the effect you thought they would.

Version 1.5.5:
Optional persistent layout.


Unfussy, uncomplicated tool that can be used to extract information as well as settings from a restored Registry hive file.