Registry tool that can read reg on other disk on same computer?

I’ve got an XP Pro SP2 system disk that won’t boot (I’ve tried several repair installs without success) that contains registry data I need and don’t have elsewhere. I’ve connected it to an XP Pro SP3 system as just another data disk.

But I lack any registry tool that can read it. There are plenty that let you connect to another system’s registry via networking, but that obviously doesn’t solve my problem.

Does anyone know of any tool that will let me read the alternate disk’s registry in this situation?

Your description of the condition of the non-booting disk is not clear to me. If the disk is readable as a data disk but not bootable you should be able to start regedit walk the PCs drive directory point the regedit program at it and import the registry file for examination. Does your regedit program refuse to do this?

To elaborate a bit on what astro was saying, the regular regedit.exe that comes with Windows should be able to handle this. Here’s instructions for how to do it via Bart PE, but they should work for your case as well since it looks like Bart PE just uses the regular regedit:

It seems there are a few idiosyncrasies – you have to select either HKEY_USERS or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE before the Load Hive option becomes selectable in the file menu. Then you have to locate the file you want to load, which seems to be in \Windows\System32\Config. Not exactly the most intuitive setup, but this should hopefully get you pointed in the right direction.

Thanks for the further elaboration. It helped a lot!

Do I correctly assume I open the “system” file in \Windows\System32\Config? Is that the “hive” in question?

For future reference, someone on another forum suggested the “LoadHive” tool ( It loads the hive in such a way that you can search through the alternate hive with regedit just as you can with an active registry (at least that appears to be the case; I haven’t been able to find what I’m looking for yet).

I believe that the files in that directory correspond to the subtrees under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. So SYSTEM is the SYSTEM subtree, SOFTWARE is the SOFTWARE subtree, etc. If you’re looking for registration keys for software that was on the old machine, I would think it would be under SOFTWARE. Other than that, where to look depends on what you’re looking for.