How to Repair Your Corrupted Windows Registry

September 13, 2011

windows-registry-repair-pc-optimizationThe Windows registry is susceptible to being corrupted and causing your PC to either perform poorly or run slowly. A corrupted Windows registry can be the root cause for overall slow PC performance. It is of utmost importance to repair a corrupted Windows registry correctly to ensure a system's stability, speed, and to restore overall performance.

The Windows registry may become corrupted by poorly configured applications, a bad installation, computer viruses or invalid registry entries. Once corrupted, the registry may cause your machine to be unstable or unusable. When repairing a corrupted Windows registry, either manually or with the assistance of a registry repair application, it is essential that you perform a backup in the likely event that additional damages occur.

Repairing your corrupted Windows registry is a scary task. Despite the Windows registry being a vast hierarchical database storing sets of functions for all software installed on your system, you can conduct repairs to restore your PC to an optimized state, but first you need to identify the corruption on your registry to better understand what kind of registry repairs are needed; therefore, we recommend you use a registry repair tool to fix your corrupt registry and increase the performance of your computer.

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What is Windows Registry?

Program updates, installations and removals, and configuration settings are all information that is kept in the Windows Registry. This information is stored as registry keys and values, which correspond to a particular process or program. Some of these keys need more space to be stored and some of them need less, but all of them take up space in the registry. Since the registry contains vital data needed to maintain the normal operation of a Windows system, its functions need to be well known in order to repair any registry errors that occur in it. If the registry sustains any damage, your machine may be disabled. If the registry is not cleaned on a regular basis, it can lead to serious system problems and poor computer performance. You may experience slow computer work and/or frequent program crashes.

Signs You Have a Corrupted Registry

There are several symptoms that identify your computer as having a corrupted registry. Many of these signs may be first identified during the startup of Windows. Do you ever notice any error notifications when Windows is attempting to load an application or system driver? In most common situations, registry corruption can be solved by scanning your registry to detect and repair specific registry issues.

Over time, regardless of how your computer is used, the registry can become corrupted. Many times Windows will let you know when corruption has occurred. The Windows registry is a complicated structure that often times renders an error message. This is Windows way of telling you that something is wrong and needs to be addressed. Registry corruption errors are sometimes identified by a simple alert notification. Other times a registry corruption issue is the result of a setting within Windows being changed or degraded system performance. Below are symptoms that identify a corrupted registry.

  • You notice settings in Windows have suddenly changed without your interaction.
  • Receive error notifications after startup related to the Windows system folder missing a file or having a corrupt file.
  • Receive error notifications related to a "Registry File Failure".
  • Receive system error messages with an executable file name listed, ie: "System error: Lsass.exe"
  • Receive an "access denied" notification when attempting to access a file or folder that is normally accessible.

Registry Repair Steps to Manually Clean Your Windows Registry

If you want to check the current state of your computer's registry and avoid any registry problems, it is recommended that you run a registry scan with the registry cleaner. However, if you decide that you want to clean your registry manually, you have to be extremely cautious when doing it. You have to remember that the registry includes registry values, which are essential for running all of the programs on your PC and vital for the OS to run normally. If you delete the wrong registry entry, it can result in failing to load Windows. For that reason, you cannot remove random entries, but you have to carefully check the responsibilities of every key before deleting it. Caution: Because of the sensitive nature of the deletion process, it is highly recommended that you use a registry cleaner to safely remove registry errors. A registry cleaner will help you find and repair any registry errors. To access your computer's registry and browse it, you have to go to the Start menu, click on Run, enter regedit and the Registry will open.

Once you enter the registry, you can remove entries corresponding to files and programs. This option can be used if there is some application which is installed on the PC but it is not possible to remove it using its installation file. However, if you want to remove it in this way, this can confuse Windows and may result in trying to load the program on system start up. To fix the problem, the folder of the program in the registry has to be found. The folder together with all the files of the program have to be removed to fix the problem.

It is important to know that before trying to clean your registry or fix any current problems you have to make a backup of your registry and its entries. To backup your registry manually, you should run regedit.exe, choose File, then Export. Make sure that you click All radio button in the Export range field.

There is also another option that is to copy only single registry entries. This can be done again from the Start menu and the Run tab. You have to enter regedit and then press OK. Once you have entered the program, you have to find the subkey you want to copy and click on it. Open the File menu and then choose Export. The final step is to save the file to a location that you prefer. The saved file will have the extension .reg which corresponds to Registration Entries.

Reduce System Start Up to Boot Windows Faster

To make Windows boot up faster, you should decrease the number of your registry keys that are checked on system start up. When the system starts, Windows checks every registry entry. This process is done in order to organize the configurations of all the programs installed on the computer. On system shut down, computer's registry is again checked and if there are any errors this operation may take longer than usual. For that reason, any registry errors have to be fixed as soon as possible in order to keep the smooth work of the computer. Time-Saving Repair Tip: To avoid further inconvenience, you can use a startup manager to automatically reduce the amount of time it takes your system to boot rather than having to check manually the key yourself, especially if you don't know exactly which entry you need.

If you would like to repair some registry errors, you have to find them in the registry. A backup of the particular file has to be created and only then the value can be deleted. There is a chance that when you restart the computer the OS will repair the missing file automatically on start up. Another option is to use the installer of the program to update the file.


  • David Milla says:

    My lovely wife got a virus on her brand-new pc. Excellent! Now I’ve got to commit the rest of my time attempting to backup her files and get rid of the trojan or re-install the software. Perhaps I need to just find a new better half. Just kidding.

  • computer help says:

    Great publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the other experts of this sector don’t notice this. You must proceed your writing. I’m sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  • req anything says:

    certainly like your web-site however you need to check the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very bothersome to inform the reality on the other hand I will definitely come again again.

  • Willy Parsons says:

    My reg must been corrupted for years. my PC runs like new running yo reghunters program. loads win xp much faster too.

  • Aaron Megella says:

    Hello There. I was finally able to fix my registry issues using your tips. thanks a million for the assistance. My PC runs like a champ now.

  • Allen Silverstone says:

    Somehow I did not think it was a way to repair corruption in the Windows registry. I have always just uninstalled programs that I did not need. Will be trying a new registry cleaner and see how it speed up my computer. thx again pchub!

  • Arton says:

    I think my Windows registry has been corrupted for the better part of this year. Although everything works, it works slowly. When I boot, it keeps the hard drive busy for another 10 minutes at least and that is after the Windows background is loaded. I have uninstalled several programs but it has not done anything to speed up my PC. I think all of the programs I uninstalled still have files and maybe stuff in the registry that has corrupted it. Not to mention, I had a Zlob trojan on it early this year. I may have to pay some pros to clean it or give a registry cleaner program a try.

  • Telma says:

    You probably never want to manually edit the registry. I did it one time and I had to re-install all of Windows and put all my programs and documents back on my PC. Took me 7 hours in total. Not worth it. Most def worth just buying a registry editor to do it for you and save your 7 hours for making some real money at work instead of at home tinkering with your PC. Just my 2 cents.

  • Zenny says:

    A corrumpted registry is pretty much impossible to fix on your own manually deleting and editing entries. You could really F-UP your system doing that. I would say get a registry fix program ASAP and do not look back. You are crazy for editing your registry!!!! BOTTOM LINE— CRAZY!

  • Sammy Foster says:

    Using Windows Xp you can enter the recovery console… press R to start the Recovery Console when you boot your computer. Then the console will load and then you can enter the following lines to restore the files and then restart your PC after. Done it like 3 times on my XP machine recovering from a corrupted registry error message.

    md tmp
    copy c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\tmp\system.bak
    copy c:\windows\system32\config\software c:\windows\tmp\software.bak
    copy c:\windows\system32\config\sam c:\windows\tmp\sam.bak
    copy c:\windows\system32\config\security c:\windows\tmp\security.bak
    copy c:\windows\system32\config\default c:\windows\tmp\default.bak
    delete c:\windows\system32\config\system
    delete c:\windows\system32\config\software
    delete c:\windows\system32\config\sam
    delete c:\windows\system32\config\security
    delete c:\windows\system32\config\default
    copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config\system
    copy c:\windows\repair\software c:\windows\system32\config\software
    copy c:\windows\repair\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
    copy c:\windows\repair\security c:\windows\system32\config\security
    copy c:\windows\repair\default c:\windows\system32\config\default

  • Darin Deetz says:

    One thing I am wondering, when I boot up my Windows XP machine, I get missing DLL errors. Now could that be resolved in the registry? Does it mean I have a corrupted registry? I think it does but I get conflicting information from mainly yahoo answers and wiki answers when I try to find a solution. It usually says missing or corrupted Hal.DLL among various other ones. Mind you, I just removed three malware infections, two were viruses and one was a trojan. Somehow I think the virus program (wont mention the name of it) somehow removed dll files in the system. My last resort is to reinstall Winodws XP but I may upgrade to Windows 7 after I upgrade my RAM. Anyone else know how to fix the “missing or corrupted dll file” message on startup? Also, Windows XP appears to run just fine after clicking OK on those messages at startup. Go figure. – Darin Deetz

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