Reading registry from vmdk files

  1.    04 Feb 2009 #1
    Join Date : Feb 2009
    Posts : 3
    Vista Ultimate x64
    Local Time: 05:36

    Loading the software registry hive trouble


    I was wondering if there is a way to read the registry from a virtual disk.

    What I want to achieve is a way to check what software is installed on vmware images that is powered off (licence control). I'm using VMware DiskMount Utility to mount the virtual disks to a local drive path, but just reading the software registry file, located here C:\Windows\System32\config, results in a lot of garbled text (as expected).

    In other words. Is there a way to load a registry hive the same way in powershell as its done in regedit? I found a way to search the registry of a remote server but that would require us to start all the dormant vmware images to check what software is installed.

    Any help is appreciated

    Last edited by smkris; 04 Feb 2009 at 08:55. Reason: changed topic
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2.    04 Feb 2009 #2
    Join Date : Feb 2009
    Posts : 3
    Vista Ultimate x64
    Local Time: 05:36

      Thread Starter

    Re: Reading registry from vmdk files

    I figured out part of the problem

    By using reg load. But I get some error message when I try to do this:

    PS Z:\windows\System32\config> reg load hklm\tempSoftware "Z:\windows\System32\config\software"
    ERROR: The system has attempted to load or restore a file into the registry, but the specified file is not in a registry file format.

    If I try to load system there is no problem. I tried to do it manually in regedit and got the error "error while loading hive"

    Could this be because I try to load an xp hive on a Vista machine? If that is the case is there a workaround for that problem?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Reading registry from vmdk files

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