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Windows 7: System Restore failed

01 Jun 2010   #21

windows 7 64

Hi just want to say that this post saved me from a full re-install of Windows.

I stupidly tried to compact my registry too last night, with the same as above.

I couldn't get into system32 via dos because when I used the dir command on C:\ it only listed "program files" and "programfiles (x86)" and a shortcut link to my d drive

Though this post gave me the idea to slave the hard drive on a working system and navigate to system32\config on the slaved drive and physically find and rename the rmbak files and move the corrupted ones away.

Hooked it back up and it worked a treat - many thanks again for all the advice here.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2011   #22

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
You are a life-saver

Many many thanks for the workaround on this one!

I too made the mistake of using a registry defragmenter and end up in the same place with no possibility to system restore despite available points.

This really made my week.

Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2011   #23


Thanks for share. Was troubleshooting a BSOD 0x000000F4 in normal and safe mode. System restore had checkpoints but they wouldn't run, got a, "turn on drive protection error".

Anyway the manual restore of the default and software hives worked for me. Saved me a reinstall.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Jul 2011   #24

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Many thanks jbaileyn,

You saved me from a full system restore
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2011   #25

Windows 7 Ultimate x64,

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jbaileyn View Post
Sure, GTXND. Forgive me if I oversimplify but I'll include each step in case you're not familiar with navigating command lines (I was a tech support guy in college 20 years ago; old habits die hard). Also, changing registry files can be VERY DANGEROUS... I would only do it as a last resort before reinstalling Windows 7.

I first booted from the Windows 7 install disc to get to the system recovery console. I then selected Command Line. From there, I had to change from the X: drive to the C: drive by typing "C:". I then typed "cd \windows\system32\config" to get to the registry file directory. By typing "dir" I could see that two of the five hive files (default, sam, security,software, and system) had recent copies with an "rmbak" extension: default.rmbak and software.rmbak. I then executed the following commands:

ren software software.bak
copy software.rmbak software

ren default default.bak
copy default.rmbak default

I would suggest you execute the "ren" then "copy" commands as above for any other hives that have "rmbak" backups with the same date/time stamp. This ensures your registry remains in sync. You can now reboot and see if your computer comes up.

Here is an alternative suggestion if you don't have these "rmbak" files (if the above worked, don't do these steps; these would be a last-last resort before reinstalling Windows 7). From where we left off above type "dir RegBack". See what the time/date stamp is on the hive files there. If recent (use your judgment; mine is a couple days old so I would have probably used it had I not had the rmbak files, as I hadn't installed much in that time), you could do the following to restore that backup registry:

ren default default.bak
ren sam sam.bak
ren security security.bak
ren software software.bak
ren system system.bak
copy RegBack\*.*

Reboot and see what happens. If this worked, you may have to reinstall any software that was installed after the time/date stamps of the files in the RegBack directory.

One final note: I did try to restore to an earlier restore point once I made the above fixes. It kept coming up with an error. Therefore, I suggest creating a new restore point once the computer recovers, just so you have a clean one.
u saved my life today :) thumbs up for u
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2012   #26

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

Also had to say THANKYOU for the Command Prompt solution of making backups, and then copying the RegBack. Saved my entire day that I couldn't lose to ReInstalling Win after a RegDefrag.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2012   #27

Windows 7 Ultimate x32

I also registered just to thank you jbaileyn. I did the same as geekygirl above and was able to start Windows up again!

My original symptom was a black screen as soon as the initial Windows start splash screen completed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2012   #28

Windows 7 32bit

jbaileyn.....You are my hero. Typed everything you suggested, and it worked like a charm. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2012   #29

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Another Satisfied Supplicant

You know, I used to have some understanding of computers, but I guess it has mostly evaporated. (I'm still using a Northgate OmniKey/Ultra keyboard if that gives you any idea of the time frame.)

In any case, even more kudos to GTXND for rescuing us from a mal-compaction of the registry by Norton Utilities. Worked like a charm.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2012   #30

Windows 7

jbaileyn you are the best!!!!

I had tried various forum "solutions", none worked, this was right on! I followed your steps, ended up using the second option as I did not have the "rmbak" files. Just caution everyone for some reason when I first did the steps it switched me to the "X:" drive, just make sure you switch back to the "C:" drive before executing the second option if you find the first doesn't work. I have never posted a reply on a forum, but had to register just to reply and say THANK YOU!!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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