It is possible to disable regedit in Windows by adding a DWORD value DisableRegistryTools in registry and setting the value data as 1. Obviously this restriction is meant for administrators to protect their computers in network from being messed around by the users but virus makers have used this feature to prevent the “not-so-leet” users from accessing the registry to possibly remove the virus from autorun. Normally you will see a message that says “Registry editing has been disabled by your administrator” if regedit has been disabled.
At first I thought I could easily restore the changes by creating a .reg file that changes the DisableRegistryTools value data to 0 and then import it to a computer that has regedit disabled but I was wrong. When regedit has been disabled, there is no way to import a .reg file when you double click on it. So I’ve been using Remove Restriction Tool or RRT in short to enable back registry. There are times when RRT couldn’t run on a virus infected computer and I had to use other method such as using vbscript. Here’s another solution which is to convert the REG file to EXE so that it can import itself to registry without regedit.exe.
Reg2exe is a free and small tool that creates an EXE file from a registration (.reg) file. By executing the exe file, all settings within the reg file will be imported to the the windows registry. There are advantages in using the built-in Windows reg files or the exe file created by reg2exe.
For a .reg file, you can check what you import and modify easily using notepad. It also warns before you can import, the reg file is smaller in size and can be imported from DOS mode. As for exe reg file created by reg2exe, there won’t be warning when you import, can’t be easily modified and doesn’t require windows built-in regedit.exe.
It’s very easy to use reg2exe to convert a reg file to an exe. Just download the archive package from the link at the end of this article, run Reg2exe.exe and click the Register button. Now, you can simply right click on a .reg file and select “convert to exe”.
Within seconds, a new EXE file will appear at the same location as the reg file. If you encounter a computer that has registry editing tools disabled, just run the EXE file that you converted from a reg file and the settings will be imported.
Like I said earlier, you can import a registry setting using vbscript (.vbs) but it requires a little programming knowledge in order to convert a reg file to vbs. If you don’t want to waste your time in learning vbscript or begging for help in programming forums, then just export the reg file and convert it to exe using reg2exe.