Reader Simon Scott passed on this excellent tip to restore a Registry backup from a restore point using the XP recovery console. It is useful in recovering from a corrupted Registry that stops the PC booting even into safe mode.

This article appears in the January 07 issue of PC Advisor, onsale now in all good newsagents.

Check the boot priority in the Bios settings to ensure the PC will boot from CD-ROM, then boot from the XP CD. Start Windows Setup and press R to access the recovery console. Select your Windows installation, then type the administrator password – press Enter if there isn't one.
Now enter the following commands:

CD C:\
CD "system volume information\_resto~1"
DIR

You'll see a list of restore point folders with names such as RP1, RP2 and so on. Pick the restore point you wish to use, using the folder date stamps to guide you. Enter the commands:

CD RPx (the restore point you chose)
CD SNAPSHOT

This takes you into the folder containing the restore point snapshot files. Copy the Registry backups so that they overwrite the existing Registry files.

COPY _Registry_machine_system C:\Windows\System32\Config\System
COPY _Registry_machine_software C:\Windows\System32\Config\Software
COPY _Registry_machine_sam C:\Windows\System32\Config\Sam
COPY _Registry_machine_security C:\Windows\System32\Config\Security
COPY _Registry_user_.default C:\Windows\System32\Config\Default

Type the command exit to close the Recovery Console and restart the PC.