W7 Registry backup app that uses Shadow Copy?


  1. Posts : 441
    Win7 Ultimate SP1
       #1

    W7 Registry backup app that uses Shadow Copy?


    I've recently discovered that not all Registry Backup apps might be equal. Apparently some use Microsoft's Shadow Copy for the process while some don't, meaning that such backups don't include the sections of the Registry that are in use when the backup is created.
    Can anyone confirm this? And perhaps suggest which apps are the Shadow Copy type?
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  2. Posts : 16,225
    7 X64
       #2
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  3. Posts : 2,473
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64
       #3

    Shadow copy seems the wrong tool here. Registry access doesn't have the same lock mechanism that files have, so the registry cannot be "in use" and prevented access like files can.
    If a registry backup program claims that it uses shadow copy or that it cannot work because it's in use it means that what it really copies are the hive files that back the registry and aren't accessing the registry itself like the build-in "regedit" tool does. As such, the mere use of such a backup program may mean that the "backup" it does is in itself broken. I would just drop all such programs.
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  4. Posts : 16,225
    7 X64
       #4

    The point is to back up the hives.
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  5. Posts : 2,473
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64
       #5

    SIW2 said:
    The point is to back up the hives.
    That could result in inconsistent copies of the files, as Windows is modifying them and can result in copying a broken file. Any tool that picks the registry files directly from the file system is, inherently, flawed in this way. Shadow copy could help, but up to some point as we don't know how the registry write process works exactly and Windows don't place any guarrantes on it.

    The only way to get a consisten backup is to go though the registry API directly and read the whole thing from there. The result could even be a normal .reg file that you import back in case of problems, either in full or partially. Taking a backup this way also eliminates the problem of locks, since the registry API don't provide them, and in this case Windows itself ensures consistency of the data returned, which may or may not be flushed to disk.
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  6. Posts : 16,225
    7 X64
       #6

    Yes we know. It doesnt matter. For the purpose of backup and restore it works. It is what all well known programs use for imaging os. Millions of people do it every day.

    We are not concerned here about the minute details of forensics..
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  7. Posts : 441
    Win7 Ultimate SP1
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Thanks for the tip SIW2.
    Perhaps Alejandro would explain exactly how he would go about backing up, and restoring, the W7 Registry.
    Last edited by teckneeculler; 06 Apr 2024 at 18:48.
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