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Windows 7: How to use Windows.Old ?


24 Aug 2012   #1

windows 7 64 bit
 
 
How to use Windows.Old ?

I just got a new win 7 installed over a Lenovo C partition. I did back up this PC's documents and bookmarks. The owner, or lenovo has 30 gigs of stuff in his Windows.old file. ( Windows installer created this because it found an existing copy of windows on the system) I did not want to wipe the whole system because I wanted to leave the recovery partition intact in case I could get it working again. My main problem was getting windows to boot in normal mode.. from there.. if I reinstall lenovo's One Key Recovery app, it should be able to point to the recovery partition for a factory reinstall.

I did this because you know.. always try the least intrusive fix first.. at least thats what i was taught.

If that doesn't work and the guy is stuck with this copy of windows.. how do you make use of the stuff in windows.old?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Aug 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium Service Pack 1 32-bit Build 7601
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2012   #3

windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Wow. That's a serious bunch of steps. I'll give it a shot. Thanks.

I didn't know you could actually use the windows.old stuff to reinstall that stuff from - I thought it was more or less just a non working record of stuff you had - so you could go and redownload and install everything you missed. Glad I asked. Now I have more options in my arsenal to fight difficult re-installs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Aug 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

Who asked to roll back the Windows 7 installation using windows.old folder? OP wants to know what to use the folder for. The answer is to copy out the User folders if you didnt' correctly back them up first.

You can also browse into Windows>System32 to find any drivers missing in Device Manager after all Windows Updates are done - drivers are delivered under optional Windows Updates.

If you're happy with the install then finish setting it up. If you're not, follow these steps to get a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which is a vastly superior install to the Factory Recovery with its bloatware and useless utilities. It explains in the tutorial how to decide whether to keep the Recovery and any tools partitions which came from factory.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2012   #5

windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Who asked to roll back the Windows 7 installation using windows.old folder? OP wants to know what to use the folder for. The answer is to copy out the User folders if you didnt' correctly back them up first.

You can also browse into Windows>System32 to find any drivers missing in Device Manager after all Windows Updates are done - drivers are delivered under optional Windows Updates.

If you're happy with the install then finish setting it up. If you're not, follow these steps to get a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which is a vastly superior install to the Factory Recovery with its bloatware and useless utilities. It explains in the tutorial how to decide whether to keep the Recovery and any tools partitions which came from factory.
True I suppose but both answers, yours and his, do give good uses of the windows.old folder. Thanks.

It's not my PC, i'm working on it for a friend. In his case, a factory install with moving back all his old stuff is preferable for him. He's not PC literate at all. My original goal was just to repair his not booting in normal mode problem but nothing worked. I could have done a clean install but would have lost the recovery partition - which i didn't want to do in case it's possible to reinstall from that in the future. This PC is set up like a Linux system.. it uses OneKey Recovery from lenovo and you cant resize or wipe the partitions or it will break completely. I thought better not to do that as he doesn't have factory restore disks and he cannot burn a copy from the system - he'd have to order them if OneKey Recovery doesn't work ( and it didn't, it only works in normal mode which would not boot). I may try to get that working again in the future.

So far, I have reinstalled the system just to C drive not messing up his D and hidden recovery partitions. The older system just used C for windows and used D for all programs. I went to the lenovo site to download and install all the drivers. Only things he's missing are Lenovo specific apps he doesnt use but may in the future - this stuff is hardware related, not bloatware.. like the fingerprint scanner that locks the PC.

heheh I wish my laptop had that cool feature but I use a usb drive for that to boot with Rohos login Key and Predator to lock it when I walk away. Two very cool apps that make good use of flash drives.

I plan to teach him to use system restore and make a copy of the image with Macrium Reflect, so he can reinstall easily if he breaks it again.. ( He goes to a lot of porn sites and allows anything into his PC.. hard to teach him not to do that)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

There should be software for any functions which are missing on the Lenovo Support Downloads webpage, as explained in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7.

Are you sure programs are on D, as normally that partition is for data or the User folders so that if you reimage C the data is safe or User folders current in their own storage partition? The easiest way to move User folders is to copy them over to D then right click each to add it to the related Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums.

You'd have to reinstall the Programs anyway, so there's no point in having them on D and they should be on C since they become part of the OS until uninstalled.

If you get the reinstall set up and running satisfactorily then save externally a Windows 7 backup image to use in place of Recovery. Over time he may decide he doesn't want it and can delete and recover its space using Partition Wizard CD Resize Partition - Video Help providing the Windows 7 or System Reserved partitions contain the System Active flags. If not you'll need to move them there first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2012   #7

windows 7 64 bit
 
 

This thing is screwy. i was copying the windows.old folder to a backup drive via USB and suddenly the pc crashed and told me the boot manager is missing.. trying to fix with the disk I used to install. So far, Startup Repair run 5 times, says it doesn't find any problems...Odd. It does other odd things. while copying the windows.old file it doesnt tell me it has so many files to go.. it says 0 files remaining. Sound I cant get to work even with the right drivers i got from lenovo. I even let device manager try to reinstall them from the windows old folder. I pointed to the drivers found in the Realtek folder and it said they matched and my drivers were up to date.

It's possible the guy damaged this computer somehow.. he has no arms and does everything with his feet.. he's kinda rough on stuff.. I will have to get that recovery partition to install through OnKey Recovery, which i reinstalled.. it should work because both the recovery partition and it accompanying OEM Part partition is still in tact. I've been fixing my own computers for 20 years and never saw such odd behavior than this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

Make sure the Windows 7 partition is marked Active using Method two of Mark Partition Active, then run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times.

Look in Device Manager. Are there any drivers missing?

Check the logs for repeat errors to resolve, use the System Resources to find Solutions, test the hardware using these Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7.

I would go over it good before giving up on the Clean Reinstall unless as I stated earlier you departed much from the Best Practices in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 in which case I would do it over following the steps.

If you decide to run Factory Recovery we can help you force it to run if it won't boot from it's hotkey.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2012   #9

windows 7 64 bit
 
 

I reinstalled windows again to access the OneKey Recovery application. I was able to do the factory reinstall of the data from the recovery partition. This should have fixed everything - and it didn't.. sound would still not work. This tells me it can't be a driver problem or a problem connected with other drivers not being installed correctly. At this point, it has to be a hardware problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to use Windows.Old ?




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