HIV, Windows Registry Hive File (.hiv)

The HIV System file format

Windows computers use a program in order to handle registry information. The reg.exe program saves, loads and deletes this information. The program uses different kinds of registry files and one of them is the HIV file. The content of an HIV file is made up of a so-called “hive”. A hive consists of several keys, including subkeys, and values. This hive contains the saved data used by Windows and programs resp. software installed on the Windows machine. HIV files are used to backup whole groups of registry keys. The file can also load them simultaneously.

Technical details of HIV files

HIV files and the data inside are saved in a binary format. Different command prompts are can be used to either save hives in an HIV file or load a previously saved hive from an HIV file. Both actions, however, should be taken with caution. Any corruption of the registry caused by the HIV file (or due to an already corrupted HIV file) can have severe consequences for the Windows installation. Especially the setupreg.hiv should not be touched as it handles part of the Windows installer.

More information about the HIV file format

File extension .hiv
File category System
Associated programs Microsoft Reg (Windows)
Useful links More on HIV and registry hives
Developer Microsoft