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Windows 7: Windows.old folder - Restore into a new installation



Windows.old folder - Restore into a new installation

How to Restore your Windows.old Folder into a New Installation
Published by Lordbob75
13 Jul 2009
Default Windows.old folder - Restore into a new installation

How to Restore your Windows.old Folder into a New Installation

information   Information
This will restore the files and folders from the windows.old folder.

This means that any documents, settings, and programs will be restored to their previous positions and settings.
It will look similar to your previous installation, but not exactly the same! There will be some differences!

YES, this works in Vista, as well as Windows Seven. The instructions are EXACTLY the same!

For more information, see also:
How to restore a Windows 7-based computer to a previous Windows installation by using the Windows.old folder


warning   Warning
Make sure you:
  1. Know how to boot from a CD/DVD.
  2. Know how to install Windows from a DVD, over an existing installation.
Make sure that the free space on the drive you are restoring to has enough free space for the windows.old folder.

This does NOT work perfectly!!!
When I used this, I still encountered some errors, such as TWO Program Files folders, and missing icon pictures.

This is NOT a recommended way to do a restore! It will work, but you should back up your data and take the time to either create a restore image, or reinstall your files.

It WILL work just fine for files such as those in your Documents folder.






Setup:

1) Make sure that you want to do a new installation. If you are, then boot into the Install Disk and complete the installation.

2) Now you want to restore some of your old files? OK, read on!

Let's begin:

1) Insert your Installation disk into your DVD drive, and reboot. Make sure you can boot from the DVD.

2) Press any key to boot from CD when the option appears.

3) At this point, you have already done a clean install over your existing installation.

4) Select "Repair Your Computer" from the installation menu (see screen shot below).

5) Select your Windows installation you want to restore to.

6) Select Command Prompt. This will bring up the command prompt window.

warning   Warning
This starts getting complicated, and if you do something incorrectly, it could cause problems. Make sure you have your windows.old folder backed up, as well as your current installation (if needed).

Type each command EXACTLY as it is written! If you misspell what is in the code box, you will misspell the folder, possibly causing problems or errors!

Note   Note
When you type one or more of the commands at the command prompt in the following steps in this section, and you then press ENTER, you may receive the following message:
The system cannot find the file specified.
If you receive this message, go to the next step in this section, and then type the command in that next step.


7) Type the following commands in, one at a time. Press ENTER at the end of each line. This will rename the windows.old folders, in preparation of being moved.
Code:
c:
Code:
ren Windows Windows.backup
Code:
ren "Program Files" "Program Files.old"
Code:
ren "Users" "Users.old"
Code:
rmdir "C:\Documents and Settings"
8) Now we will move the folders over the new ones, restoring your old settings and files. Again, type the commands in one at a time, pressing ENTER at the end of each.

If you are using a drive other than c: for your windows installation, replace c: with that drive letter!


Code:
move /y c:\windows.old\windows c:\
Code:
move /y "c:\windows.old\program files" c:\
8a) When the previous Windows installation was Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Windows XP, or Microsoft Windows 2000:
Code:
move /y "c:\windows.old\documents and settings" c:\
8b) When the previous Windows installation was a different version of Windows Vista or Windows Seven:
Code:
move /y c:\windows.old\users c:\
9) Now we need to restore the boot sector of the previous installation.NOTE: D: represents the DVD drive in the following commands. If the DVD drive on the computer is represented by a different letter, such as E:, use that letter in the command.
When the previous Windows installation was Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Windows XP, or Microsoft Windows 2000
Code:
D:\boot\bootsect /nt52 c:
When the previous Windows installation was a different version of Windows Vista
Code:
D:\boot\bootsect /nt60 c:
10) Restore the Boot.ini file for the previous Windows Installation of Windows XP or Windows 2000
Note: Only follow these steps when the previous installation is Windows XP or Windows 2000.
Code:
c:
Code:
attrib boot.ini.saved -s -h -r
Code:
ren"boot.ini.saved""boot.ini"
Code:
attrib boot.ini +s +h +r
11) Exit Command Prompt by typing:
Code:
exit
Then restart your computer.

Your Windows installation will start as normal, with the newly restored files and settings.
warning   Warning
This does NOT work perfectly!!!
When I used this, I still encountered some errors, such as TWO Program Files folders, and missing icon pictures.

This is NOT a recommended way to do a restore! It will work, but you should back up your data and take the time to either create a restore image, or reinstall your files.

It WILL work just fine for files such as those in your Documents folder.


For anyone that wishes to use it, I hope it works for you.
I hope this tutorial will help many a person, and provide a solution.

~Lordbob










Published by
13 Jul 2009   #1
matt_0978

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit
 
 

TOP TIP!

about the errors, possibly a repair install of the the restored OS will fix some of those?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2009   #2
Lordbob75

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Mint 9
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by matt0978 View Post
TOP TIP!

about the errors, possibly a repair install of the the restored OS will fix some of those?
A sfc /scannow may perhaps have solved the problems. I decided I was better off with a clean install, because I am lazy in certain ways.

Works for me know. The actual restore worked fine, but much better for files than programs.

I am glad you liked it!

~Lordbob
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2009   #3
Orbital Shark

 
 

Nice TUT mate, good work
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


13 Jul 2009   #4
Dinesh

Windows® 8 Pro (64-bit)
 
 

good job mate.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2009   #5
Lordbob75

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Mint 9
 
 

Glad you all like it! This is only my third tutorial. Seems to have the best response too. Seems no one cares about having shortcuts on your desktop for all our removable media (I find it indespensible!)
....
That might be because I never posted it here......
Well, here is the VF link.
Removable Media Shortcuts - Place On Desktop - Vista Forums
I will be adding that to these forums shortly.

~Lordbob
EDIT: Here is the SF tut Removable Media Shortcuts
Hope you guys like it!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2009   #6
johnwillyums

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Just discovered this. Great job and I was just thinking that it would be nice to be able to do something like that.
I shall bookmark this for October.

Cheers, John
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2009   #7
Wii Master 64

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

wow this is pretty cool! i am bookmarking this! also, can you just reinstall all the programs from opening the folder and placing them where they need to be?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2009   #8
Lordbob75

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Mint 9
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wii Master 64 View Post
wow this is pretty cool! i am bookmarking this! also, can you just reinstall all the programs from opening the folder and placing them where they need to be?
Unfortunately, no. You can copy things over and it MIGHT work, depending on the program.

But you need to reinstall them to set the registry back up to what it should be, etc.

~Lordbob
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2009   #9
Wii Master 64

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

basically, i just want to put my current firefox configuration into windows 7 so i won't have to figure out how i put all these add-ons in to work. and a few other things... most of my apps should work though, simply because they're very common and not very out of the ordinary.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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