A. A. When you run the rdisk.exe it updates the directory %systemroot%\repair with the following files

File Registry Hive
AUTOEXEC.NT This is not a registry hive but rather a copy of the autoexec.nt file located in the %systemroot%\system32 directory
CONFIG.NT As above
DEFAULT._ HKEY_USERS\.Default
NTUSER.DA_ New user profile
SAM._ Parts of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Security
SECURITY._ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Security
SETUP.LOG Details of location of system and application files along with cyclic redundancy check information for use with a repair
software._ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software
system._ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System

As the system is used the files setup.log, sam._ and security._ will grow. The sam._ and security._ files are only updated if rdisk.exe is run with /s qualifier, e.g. rdisk /s.

If the contents of the %systemroot%\repair directory exceeds 1.44 MB then you will receive the error "The Emergency Repair disk is full. The configuration files were saved in your hard disk". You should look at the contents of the repair directory and ascertain which file is the problem, i.e. setup.log is 1MB!

If setup.log if the problem then you can perform the following.

  1. Create a copy of setup.log in the repair directory
    copy %systemroot%\repair\setup.log %systemroot%\repair\setup.backup
  2. Edit the setup.backup file using notepad
  3. Move to the \[Files.WinNt\] section and remove all entries except those starting with %systemroot%\system32 (or whatever %systemroot% equates to, e.g. winnt)
  4. Save the modified file
  5. Run RDISK.EXE
  6. When completed delete the setup.log that was created
    del %systemroot%\repair\setup.log
    And copy the backup version back
    copy %systemroot%\repair\setup.backup %systemroot%\repair\setup.log

If the problem is not setup.log and is that the sam._ and security._ files are too large then the problem is there are too many accounts on the system so you need to delete some of your user accounts :-) Only joking!

What you can do is locate an ERD that was created early in the computers life where the sam._ and security._ files are small and copy these to the %systemroot%\repair directory and in future do not run rdisk.exe with /s option. This does mean that account information will not be recoverable and you will need to know what the Administrator password was when the original ERD was created (as if it was used accounts would be set back to this state).

Obviously you will still want to be able to restore accounts in the event of a disaster so I would suggest one of the following

  • Use NTBACKUP.EXE with the option of backing up local registry
  • Use the REGBACK.EXE and REGREST.EXE that come with the resource kit to backup the entire registry to file and then restore, e.g.
    REGBACK d:\registry.bku

For more information see Knowledge base article Q130029 at http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q130/0/29.asp