A faulty computer registry can cause system problems including program crashes, instability and unexpected computer shutdowns. The Microsoft Windows 7 operating system includes an integrated Scanreg feature that automatically backs up the registry when you start the computer. You can also run this tool at any time to check the registry for errors. Windows 7 also includes a System Restore tool that repairs your computer by returning it to an earlier point.
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About the registry
Your computer's registry is a comprehensive database that stores users options and configuration settings for the Windows 7 operating system. These include settings for operating system components, software, hardware drivers and third-party applications. Invalid or missing registry entries can stop your computer from working correctly. Errors sometimes occur when users try to edit the registry and delete the wrong items.
Scanreg runs in the background to back up and store a complete copy of the computer registry configuration information once a day. You can also run Scanreg with the computer's Command Prompt tool, available from the Programs section of the Windows 7 Start menu, to check the registry and automatically repair any errors. To run Scanreg, click "Start" followed by "Run," enter "scanregw.exe" in the Open field, and then click the "OK" button.
The Scanreg tool scans the registry for empty data blocks and invalid entries that can cause system problems. It automatically optimises the registry if it finds more than 500 Kilobytes of empty data blocks. It restores the previous day's backup or, if no backups are available to resolve the issue, the tool attempts to repair the registry. The process can take a few minutes to complete.
About System Restore
Windows 7 includes other tools that can help you sort out computer problems. The System Restore feature periodically creates restore points, and you can then use this tool to roll back your computer to an earlier date when the system worked correctly. System Restore is particularly useful if you know that your computer developed problems after installing new software or adding a hardware device.
Run System Restore
To run System Restore, click the "Start" button, enter "system restore" in the search box, and then select the "System Restore" icon in the list of search results. If prompted, enter your Windows password. Click the "Recommended restore" button, and then click "Next" followed by "Finish." If Windows doesn't display a recommended restore point, select your preferred restore point from the list, and then click "Next" and "Finish." Always select the most recent restore point from before the computer developed problems.
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