Here's our Windows XP Tip for.. September 27, 2004
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Safer Registry Editing
Making changes to your computer with RegEdit can often be tricky. However, if you make use of one or both of these tips, your computer should be pretty much saved in case you make a mistake.
Before running RegEdit and making changes to it by hand, you can create a System Restore Point. To create a System Restore Point, you'll need to get to the System Restore Wizard. To access the System Restore Wizard, click Start, and then click Help and Support. Click Performance and Maintenance, and then click Using System Restore to undo changes, and then click Run the System Restore Wizard.
The next best thing to this is to open RegEdit, navigate to the key you wish to change, right click on it and choose Export. The export process will create a text file with a *.reg extention. Find a suitable folder for the reg file, name it, and then choose save.
If something "bad" happens after you make the changes, you can either use System Restore to restore your computer to a previous point, or simply navigate to the *.reg file you created, double click on it, and the original settings will be imported back into your registry. It will be as if you never made the changes.