Saturday, October 3, 2009

Windows 95/98/Me registry kludging

There is a neat trick that puts Windows 9x back into setup. This lets you resetup all your drivers and can be useful in recovering a dead system (for example one that will not boot into Windows normally). It also keeps all your application settings.
Basicly what you do is merge a registry file called "SYSTEM.1ST" which is stored in the root of the C: drive ontop of your registry. To do this do the following:

Reset the computer, when it says "Starting Windows..." press F5.
You should be presented with a C:\> prompt type:

attrib -h -r -s C:\SYSTEM.1ST
regedit /L:C:\SYSTEM.1ST /E C:\1ST.REG
regedit C:\1ST.REG

next time you boot Windows you will be presented with the setup screen. Your serial number sould already be displayed and you should just be able to click through most of the options.

If your registry is completely corrupt then you may want to just copy C:\SYSTEM.1ST over C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.DAT

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