I believe the best way to back up Windows' Registry, is to create an image of your Windows partition with one of the following disk imagers (strongly recommended), because restoring an image takes much less time than reinstalling and reconfiguring Windows and all your software does, and in my experience it's more reliable than most of the methods used to back up the registry.
Some disk imagers, like Norton Ghost, allow you to create an image directly onto a CD or DVD. But other disk imagers that don't have that feature can't create an image of the partition they're installed on, on that same partition, so you'll need to have at least two partitions or hard drives.
That'll allow you to create an image of one partition onto the other, and then copy the image onto a CD or DVD.
Caution: I strongly recommend creating an image ONLY after doing a clean installation of Windows and installing critical updates; NEVER after using it for a while. Or you'll be backing up, or saving, a corrupted operating system. skip
(no more worries about losing data in a hard drive crash)
NOTE: NTBACKUP is not installed by default in Windows XP Home Edition. If you want to continue using Windows XP Home even though it can't be made sufficiently secure (not recommended), install NTBACKUP using the instructions available at Q302894. If you don't have a Windows XP CD-ROM, get NTBACKUP.MSI.
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