Posts Tagged ‘regedit.exe’

How to Remotely Import and Export Registry Settings with Multiple Computers

Following up to my article about different ways you can manage your computers remotely, I wrote about modifying the registry across the network and explained how that could simply your IT world. Now I am going to show you a neat trick that can save you from running around and changing different registry keys on every computer, and let your fingers do the walking for you.

The Microsoft Registry Editor is one of the most powerful applications in the Windows system, mostly because it controls all the other settings for all the other programs installed on the computer. Even better is the fact that it will allows you to import and export even when you are accessing the computer across the network. For my example here I will be exporting system settings for Adobe Acrobat Reader and importing them on another machine. This would be the same process for any other application or system preference that is stored in the registry.
registry-export

  1. Open up the registry editor by going to Start > Run and typing regedit then press OK
  2. To open up another machines registry just go to File > Connect Network Registry… You can open several computers registry all at the same time. You will need to open all the computers registry to be able to import the registry settings.
  3. Now browse to the key that you would like to Export, then right in the treeview on the left, right click and select Export. Now save it some where like your desktop where you can easily find it again. This makes a .reg file that you can import to your computer or others.
  4. Now go to your File menu and select Import, it will prompt you for the location of the file then press Open on the dialog box. Then it will show you a selection of the several PCs registry that you have open, you can select one or as many computers as you would like to import the registry setting to, it will import it to the same location you exported it from. Depending on the number of computers you selected you should get as many confirmations that it was imported correctly.

registry-import-mutiple-computersIt’s that simple and you have now updated registry settings for several computers without having to leave the comfort (or discomfort) of your desk chair. This is perfect to update any setting that is stored in the registry and is constant across all the workstations. Now remember admins, work smart not hard.

How to Remotely Manage Workstation in Your Network

You would be surprised at how often I solve a users issue without having to leave my desk. Users typically calls me about issues about how they need an icon, need a printer job canceled, or can’t find the file they are looking for. Here are some helpful methods that you can use your environment to fix problems without leaving your desk.

Using Hidden Drive SharesHidden Remote Administration Share
This is the one of the easiest to use and the most flexible to help you manage files on remote workstations. By default Microsoft Windows shares hard disk drives as a hidden share that only administrators can access. When you are setting up your domain you basically centralize the user authentication so now you have an administrator account on all the computers in your domain. This does require that file and print sharing is turned on in the Windows Firewall but for most environments this is most likely already on. To enable it from command line just type netsh firewall set service type = fileandprint mode = enable in command line window or run box. To configure it using Group Policy follow the these instructions

  1. Open the Group Policy Object Editor snap-in to edit the Group Policy object (GPO) that is used to manage Windows Firewall settings in your organization.

  2. Open Computer Configuration, open Administrative Templates, open Network, open Network Connections, open Windows Firewall, and then open either Domain Profile or Standard Profile, depending on which profile you want to configure.

  3. In the details pane, double-click Windows Firewall: Allow file and printer sharing exception.

  4. In the Windows Firewall: Allow file and printer sharing exception dialog box, on the Settings tab, click Enabled or Disabled.

To access these shares you need to go to the UNC path of the computer followed by the drive letter and a dollar sign. Ex: \\computername\C$ and bam there is the entire drive of that computer. Now you can browse in the Documents and Settings and the user and add the icon on the desktop all from your computer. This should work for any Microsoft Windows since 2000 including server operating systems.

Remote Microsoft Management ConsoleRemote Computer Managment Console
If you are not familiar with Microsoft Management Console or MMC then you need to be. It is a unified management console that allows you to adjust not only settings on your computer but remote ones as well. To use this command remotely you need to enable “Remote Administration” in the Windows Firewall this can be done by running the following command: netsh firewall set service type = remoteadmin mode = enable or you can enable it using group policy by following these Microsoft steps: Microsoft Article

  1. Open the Group Policy Object Editor snap-in to edit the Group Policy object (GPO) that is used to manage Windows Firewall settings in your organization.

  2. Open Computer Configuration, open Administrative Templates, open Network, open Network Connections, open Windows Firewall, and then open either Domain Profile or Standard Profile, depending on which profile you want to configure.

  3. In the details pane, double-click Windows Firewall: Allow remote administration exception.

  4. In the Windows Firewall: Allow remote administration exception properties dialog box, on the Settings tab, click Enabled or Disabled.

Once you have the exception in place you can run different commands remotely either by accessing a menu with the console or starting it from command line to open a computer. To start the Computer Management Console from command line just type compmgmt.msc /computer:computername in your run box or at the command line and it should automatically open the Computer Management console to that remote computer. Now you can go though the different parts of the machines from your desktop without interrupting the user. You should be able to do most things that you could if you were running this locally on the PC except for the Device Manager which is in read-only mode.

Remote Registry EditingRemote Registry Editing
Another less know feature of the registry editor is the ability to open a remote computers registry and make changes. To open the registry editor type regedit in your run box or command line, once it has open go to the File Menu and select Connect Network Registry… then just type in the name of the computer in the box and it should just open as another computer in the tree view. There are a few things to be aware of when editing another computers registry, you cannot undo your changes, so be sure you know what you are doing or the next call might be about the computer you just hosed by changing something you shouldn’t have. Also, the current user hive is sort of hard to find. It is under HKEY_USERS then it is probably something like S-1-5-XX-XXXXXXXX-XXXXXXXXX-XXXXXXXXXX-XXXX, if you have multiple entries like this you will need to check the Volatile Environment key named SESSIONNAME, it is set to Console then that is the HKEY_CURRENT_USER hive. The local machine class is in the same place in both the remote registry and the local one.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More