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Parsing error when loading registry (.reg) file

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  • Parsing error when loading registry (.reg) file

    I am trying to load .reg files to do comparisons in BC3, and am getting "Parsing Error (nnnnnnn : n)".

    Small .reg files seem to be OK. I successfully loaded one about 1.8M.

    It's the large files (the entire registry) that seem to be causing problems.

    Unfortunately, it's the large files I need to compare. I want to know what the differences are in the registries of two entire systems, and because of our network rules, I can't use BC3 to connect to the two systems.

    Any ideas?

  • #2
    This error is usually due to a problem character in the .reg file.

    In the error message "Parsing Error (nnnnnnn : n)", the first number is the line number of the problem character, the second number is the column number of the problem character.

    If it doesn't contain confidential information, please post the text of the entire line that the error message is referring to.

    Also, I've successfully compared .reg files up to 330 MB in size that were entire system registries. How large are the problem files you're comparing?
    Chris K Scooter Software


    • #3
      Spurious character?

      Hi Chris, I think I found the problem in the .reg file. Here is the line which is causing the problem:



      As you can see, there appears to be 1 or 2 characters between the } and the ], which shouldn't be there. If I delete those characters from the .reg file, BC3 parses it correctly.

      When I open this location in the registry (using regedit), I do not see any extra characters. Further, if I open the local registry directly from BC3, I get no errors. I can navigate to that location in the registry and beyond.

      The problem only seems to occur when I export the registry to a .reg file, then try to load it into BC3. I've exported the registry using both regedit and BC3, with the same results.

      I've attached the part of the registry where the offending location is stored. BC3 reports the issue on line 52, character 2. I hope this helps. Thanks!


      • #4

        If you select this key in RegEdit and BC3's Registry Compare from the live registry, and Copy Keyname, paste into a plain text file and compare the two text files, then enable Show Whitespace and Hex Details, are there any differences between the two copy/pasted key values?
        Aaron P Scooter Software


        • #5
          No differences when loading Registry directly from BC3

          I followed your instructions and found no differences. This was done loading the Registry directly from BC3. Of course, when I load the Registry directly from BC3, I do not receive a parsing error, so I would expect no differences.

          The parsing error occurs when I try to load an export from the Registry (a .reg file). Is there some other way around this? We need to compare Registries from different machines, and exporting/loading .reg files is the most expeditious way.


          • #6

            Thanks for the additional info. I'll open a tracker entry for one of our developers to look into this. Could you be able to attach another example export from your Registry? You mention that it occurs if exporting from BC3 and RegEdit; are there any other differences if you compare the plain text in the Text Compare? If you can, please attach both the BC3 Export and RegEdit Export.

            The workaround for these files appears to be to delete the extra line break between the two brackets. Are you familiar with this Registry Line, or have ideas why this line break would be introduced during an export (but not during a live comparison)? Alternatively, you could also compare the Registry files in the Text Compare until we are able to troubleshoot the Registry Compare parsing.
            Aaron P Scooter Software