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Sometimes A Virus Will Corrupt The Registry, Then What?

Changes to the registry are saved as they are made, this makes a change almost instantaneous...

If you don't use an Operating System partition image backup for your disaster recovery plan an option you could use is backing it up to an external storage device.

Backing up the keys and security files for a computer.

The registry files are a series of files that are hidden on your computer.

These files contain information about the hardware, software, instructions on how the hardware and software co-operates, instructions on how you use your computer, what you can do and what you can not do, and what the software that is installed can do and can not do.

These files are very important to the safe and continued operation of your computer. Modifying the it should not be taken lightly one misplaced digit will render the system inoperable.

So before any modifications to the it you need to back it up the keys before modifying it and you need to keep that backup in a very safe place, I suggest you either back it up to an offline storage such as a CD, another computer (such as a server), or on a external device such as a USB pen / flash drive or an external drive.

If you made a Bootable USB device this would be a good place to keep your backup of your keys. I would caution you to make a new folder on the drive and be sure that any backups go in to that folder. If you plan on backing up the files for more than one computer to the device then name the folders accordingly.

 This is an excerpt from  the Self Computer Repair Unleashed! 2nd Edition E-Book. for backup of your files.

If a virus attaches to the registry and an anti-virus program doesn't clean all the entries out then it keeps coming back you have options:

One option is reloading the operating system then going through all the hassle of reinstalling the programs, doing your customization, then optimization, instead you could using an ERD and replace the registry files.

By backing up the files to an external device you can replace the files in a few minutes and get rid of the virus that way, however the virus is still on your hard drive, you will need to find it and delete the files. (This is one of the reasons the "online remote control "Clean My PC" type of repairs fail, they do not eradicate the virus, wasting your time and money.)

There is a draw back to this theory the same as if you were using a partition imaging program: The restoration will be when the backup was done unless you are diligent with the backup every time you made a change to the computer when you install, uninstall a program or make a change in the operating system.

Emergency Repair
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Backing up your registry files is a good idea, making an image of the Operating System is an IT "Best practice".

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