You can't export reg files from a backed up registry dat file with regedit AFAIK.
RegExport is a great free tool and unique in its features. Besides letting you see differences between the live registry in ram with dat files or exporting from dat backups to selectively restore something you can use it to check out if you you've got a rootkit in the startup keys (run, runonce, etc...) for example.
I am not aware of an other tool that lets you do that besides its big brother RegDat and I am nearly 100% sure that no other free tool lets you do any of that so it's definitively a must have IMO.
Regarding 9X 'regedit', it can work with backed-up DAT files as follows :
REGEDIT [/L:system] [/R:user] /E filename3 [regpath1]
/L:system Specifies the location of the SYSTEM.DAT file.
/R:user Specifies the location of the USER.DAT file.
/E filename3 Specifies the file to export the registry to.
regpath1 Specifies the starting registry key to export from. (Defaults to exporting the entire registry).
Now regarding RegExport, if it does have those extra features, then I'll change my mind and agree it's a "must have". I've just downloaded it from http://home.arcor.de...rich/regexp.zip (another download I had found was truncated, useless).
More toys.Thanks jaclaz!
with its jump to CLSID, jump to path in explorer and export of registry shortcuts, not to mention its excellent search tool, etc...
Now shareware but the last free version (3.26.4), which is the one I use, can be found easily.
Sounds very useful, thanks for the tip loblo!
Another useful looking tip, jaclaz, and (IMHO) definitely not off-topic.
1) I checked the 6th file RegCompact.exe (at the bottom of your list, with MD5 fa3f9649f5f5f74b7036a48bcf205d42) with MiTeC EXE Explorer, it has a time stamp of 1-Dec-2000 9:33:06AM, very similar to the file modification date indicated for the 5th file. The time stamp by MiTeC EXE Explorer is more helpful than the file modification date for categorizing the various versions of RegCompact.exe. MiTeC EXE Explorer displays for file #6 in the Strings tab several error messages which were localized into Italian. I would speculate that file #6 is only a modification with a hex editor of file #5, not a new compilation.
You beat me to it, Multibooter!
I checked similarly and entirely agree about your conclusion. It should be possible to use a tool like the venerable BDIFF 1.01 by Morten Grouleff to get a patch that can recover the missing 2000-12-1 edition.
Anyway, I tried the Italian-patched version with the following results :
SYSTEM.DAT 12,943,672 -> 12,902,432
USER.DAT 1,830,944 -> 1,720,352
I was surprised that after some years of installing and uninstalling stuff, I had so little empty space to collapse! Looks like I'll have to do surgery if I want to reduce that registry size.
The patched program worked just fine, so there should be no fears about code pages differences or whatnot. The only thing I had to take care of, is that, like almost all registry tools I've tried, they assume that 'system.dat' and 'user.dat' both live in the %windir% directory. However, if you install W9X on a drive other than C:, you end up with 'system.dat' on C: drive (in the %winbootdir% directory) and 'user.dat' on the main W9X drive (in the %windir% directory).