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Microsoft KB Archive/105298

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INF: Migrating Windows NT Program Groups and the Desktop PSS ID Number: Q105298 Article last modified on 04-23-1994



The information in this article applies to:
- Microsoft Win32 Software Development Kit (SDK) for Windows NT version 3.1


There are a variety of ways of migrating groups under Windows NT. All of the desktop information is located in the registry. By selectively saving and restoring particular keys, you may restore your program groups and desktop.


Note that modifying the registry is a potentially risky operation; data loss is possible. You may want to back up your profile, which is located in <SYSTEMROOT>and is usually a combination of the username, some digits, and no extension. Your profile is locked by the system when you are logged in to that account, however, so you must copy it from another account or from MS-DOS.

The following is the procedure to save the desktop information:

  1. Make sure you have Administrative access.

  2. Run REGEDT32.EXE.

  3. Select HKEY_CURRENT_USERGroups.

  4. From the Registry menu, choose Save Key.

  5. Save the key (save as PROGRAM.REG).

  6. Repeat steps 3-5 to save the following key:

    Windows NT
    Current Version
    Program Manager
    Groups (save as GROUPS.REG)

  7. Repeat steps 3-5 to save the following key:


PROGRAM.REG and GROUPS.REG have the information necessary to restore the program groups, and CTRLPNL.REG contains the information necessary to restore the desktop.

Procedure to restore registry keys:

  1. Back up your profile.
  2. Run REGEDT32.EXE.
  3. Select the key you want to restore (see steps 3, 6, and 7 above).
  4. Write down the exact name, spelling, and location of the key.
  5. From the Edit menu, choose Delete and verify deletion of the key.
  6. Select the parent key of the key you just deleted.
  7. From the Edit menu, choose Add Key and type in the exact name of the deleted key. Don’t worry about the Class field. Choose OK. The key should reappear in its position, but it will be empty.
  8. Select the key that you just created.
  9. From the Registry menu, choose Restore.
  10. Find and select the file in which you saved the old key (for example, PROGRAM.REG). The saved key will be restored in the position that you selected.
  11. Repeat for all keys you want to restore. When you are finished, exit REGEDT32 and log off. When you log back on, the groups and desktop should be restored.

Additional reference words: 3.10 KBCategory: Setins KBSubcategory: Setins


Copyright Microsoft Corporation 1994.