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The Windows Registry: If you use Windows 95 or 98, you have probably heard about the Registry. If you are not familiar with the Registry, it is important to learn more about it. You won't find a lot of information about it in the guidebooks that come with your computer or software. The reason for this is that the Registry is critical to the performance of your computer and inexperienced computer users should leave it alone. One mistake in the Registry can stop your computer cold. For this reason I caution you to do nothing to the registry except backup unless you are a qualified Win98 expert.

Because the Registry is the heart of your computer's operating system, Microsoft has built in an automatic backup system for the registry. This system works fairly well but has some weaknesses. In this issue I will cover how to use the automatic backup to restore a corrupted registry in Windows 98.

When a program does not work properly on your computer, it often means a problem with the registry. Sometimes these problems can be corrected by uninstalling the program and then reinstalling it. This will change the registry settings and correct the problems for the specific program.

If Windows 98 simply will not start on your computer, you probably have a corrupted registry. Try to correct the problem by turning off your computer completely. Don't just restart it. Once you turn it off, give it at least 10 seconds and then start it again. Now you will face one of two scenarios. If the lines of text appear on your screen, watch them. Hold your finger over the F8 key and press it the moment you see the words Starting Windows 98. If your computer's logo comes on the screen, press the F8 key the moment the logo goes off. This will bring up a menu on the screen. Select the Command Prompt only line and then your computer will start with just the C:\ prompt.

Type the words "scanreg /restore" without the quotation marks and then press enter. This will bring up a screen giving you a choice of four registries. Select the one with the latest date that indicates it was successful and press Enter or click OK. The registry will be restored. Restart your computer and it should now function properly.

Since it is a good idea to backup the registry before making any changes or installing any new software in your computer, click Registry, Too for an easy way to do this regularly.

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