Reading windows registry from an external HDD

Hey guys,
Heres the deal I have a 20gb WD Harddrive with my old install of XP on it. I upgraded into a 200gb so I just copyed my stuff using a USB > IDE kit. Is there any way for me to access the registry stored in my old drive from this pc? I need to access it cos I cant find a cd key for 1 of my game but I know its in that registry. Any1?


Use the CLONE software that comes with the new hard drive to copy everything from the old hard drive, including the registry.

I dont want to do that, iv got this install stable and working fine…


you could boot from the old hard drive, and search the registry. this page might also help -

or you could load the hives from the old drive in regedit. they are stored in windows\system32\config you’ll probably want to load up the software hive and don’t forget to unload it when you’re finished.

Hmmm that half works… but the key i need to get to is under “HKEY_CURRENT_USER” and i cant load a hive into that. Also Iv loaded all the hives from the config folder into “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” but i cannot fine the subkey i need.


The USB->IDE kit is bootable - if your BIOS can boot from USB devices (sometimes referred to as ‘boot other’ devices). Try putting the 20GB HDD into the kit and try to boot from it.

The HKEY_CURRENT_USER hive is in the NTUSER.DAT located in that users profile folder usually c:\documents and settings\username

Make a bartpe, it is build in

from the link you didnt read

Although the registry appears to be in one file, it is actually placed on your computer in several files. Depending on your system configuration, registry files can be found in any of the following locations:

C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\ on Windows 2000, XP.
C:\Windows\System32\Config\ on Windows 2000, XP.
C:\Windows\ on Windows 95, 98, ME.
C:\Windows\Profiles\ on Windows 95, 98, ME.

Registry data is usually stored in the following files, typically referred to as ‘registry hives’:
System.dat, User.dat, and Policy.pol, on Windows 95, 98 and ME.
Security, System.alt, Default, Sam, Software, System, Ntuser.dat, and other files, on Windows NT, 2000 and XP.

Now that comment’s worth framing! :smiley:

:bigsmile: wopps! I found it… thax guys :stuck_out_tongue: