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Easiest Way To Manually Backup and Restore the Windows 95\98\98se Registry
Here's my simple bat file that will automatically backup your Win 9x Registry simply by clicking a desktop icon. This means you can keep your registry backup as current as you want. Anytime you click the icon, your registry backup will be updated. Restoring the registry becomes just as easy - in Windows,  you would just click an icon and in Dos you would just need to type RR at the prompt and your corrupt Registry is quickly restored using the backed up files you made.

Here's how and I'll try to make it as easy as I  can for beginners to understand.

1. Right click your desktop and choose New>Text Document.

2. Type or copy and paste the following commands into it:

@echo off
xcopy c:\windows\system.dat c:\windows\reg\ /h /r
xcopy c:\windows\user.dat c:\windows\reg\ /h /r

(note that there's a space between ...reg\ and /h /r)

Save and exit.

3. Rename your  new document "regbak.bat" (without the quotes)
(a warning will come up asking you if you're sure you want to change the
extension - click YES)

That's it  - you now have a desktop file that whenever clicked will instantly
backup your registry to c:\windows\reg.
Test it out - after clicking you should get a confirmation that 2 files were
copied - system.dat and user.dat
Go into Windows and see for yourself.  There should be a folder there, named Reg,containing system.dat and user.dat
Make it a habit to click RegBack often - especially before installing any
new programs on your system. Once you know  for sure the program works without problems, click again to update your registry.
This will always keep your registry backup current - and it will always be
under your control.  Also make a point to click it before making any registry changes.

Now if you ever need to RESTORE  your registry:

Create another bat file but this time in your Windows folder and with the
following commands instead:

attrib -h -s -r c:\windows\system.dat
attrib -h -s -r c:\windows\user.dat
attrib -h -s -r c:\windows\reg\*.dat
ren c:\windows\system.dat system.old
ren c:\windows\user.dat user.old
copy c:\windows\reg\system.dat c:\windows\system.dat /y
copy c:\windows\reg\user.dat c:\windows\user.dat /y

Save and exit and rename it RR.BAT.

Now right drag rr.bat to your desktop to create a shortcut to it.
Rename the shortcut to whatever you want - ei RegRestore.
Then right click the shortcut, go to Properties and choose Run Minimized and Close on Exit.Also change the icon to something more friendly if you want.
And that's it.You now have two easy ways to restore yout registry - in Windows by clicking the desktop shortcut you just made or in DOS by simply typing "RR" (without the quotes) at the prompt.

You might want to copy rr.bat to your boot disk as well.

Also notice that I made RR so that it doesn't delete your original registry
files - they're just renamed system.old and user.old, in your Windows directory. This is just  as a safety measure should you ever need to go back. However, once you know the restore is successful, you can and should delete them.

If you configured your computer for multiple users, you'll have to edit the bat
files a bit because with multiple users the user.dat is placed in a different folder called Profiles.   You would have to change the path for USER.DAT. Example: c:\windows\profiles\John\user.dat(instead of c:\windows\user.dat)
The system.dat path remains the same.

I also premade the backup and restore files which can be downloaded from the Files section of WinTips& Tricks.

Registry For Newbies

If you are a novice and would like learn more about the Registry, "Registry For Newbies" is the book I recommend. Very thorough and written in plain everyday english. Takes you from the very basics of explaining what the Registry is, to giving you a tutorial to use to make changes. All safe. All tested. And all very interesting. It's $29.95 but worth every penny.Find out more here:
Registry For Newbies