Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Entire Windows folder has vanished

21 Aug 2011   #1

Windows 7 Professional
Entire Windows folder has vanished

You may have trouble believing this, but the ENTIRE WINDOWS FOLDER on the hard drive has vanished. I've been using my machine as usual although am having some bad problems, such as not being able to download/install since Windows Installer is also gone. I guess that's part of the Windows.system 32 stuff that disappeared.
I have a bad feeling I'll have to reinstall Win 7. How in the world could something like this happen? I have the old Windows folder from XP on the drive but no Win 7. Fortunately, I obssess over backing up and have Carbonite, Acronis True Image, Windows BU and everything on Seagate external drives. Many thanks for your ideas. ec

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2011   #2
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate


As you have everything backed up and if it's a Dell have a look at the factory restore option in the information below and be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.

information   Information

Turn on the computer.

2 As the computer starts, press <F8> on the keyboard until the Advanced Boot Options menu appears on the screen.

You must press <F8> before the Windows logo appears on the screen. If you press <F8> after the Windows logo appears on the screen, the Advanced Boot Options menu will not appear on the screen. If you do not see the Advanced Boot Options menu, restart the computer, and then repeat this step until you see the menu on the screen.

3 Press the <Down Arrow> on the keyboard to select Repair Your Computer on the Advanced Boot Options menu, and then press <Enter>.

4 Specify the language settings that you want, and then click Next.

5 Log in as a user who has administrative credentials, and then click OK.

6 Click Dell Factory Image Restore.

7 In the Dell Factory Image Restore window, click Next.

8 Click to select the Yes, reformat hard drive and restore system software to factory condition check box.

9 Click Next.
The computer is restored to the default factory configuration.

10 When the restore operation is completed, click Finish to restart the computer.
The software is now installed as it was when the computer was first received.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Check the hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostic tools.
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp.
HD Diagnostic
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Aug 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP


You know the C:windows folder is missing how exactly?

Have you run a bootable malware scan? Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper

It's possible malware has hidden it, so after disinfecting run SFC -SCANNOW Run in Command Prompt at Boot and Startup Repair from DVD Repair console or Repair CD:
System Repair Disc - Create
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Entire Windows folder has vanished

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Backed-up Folder Vanished during Attempted Restore
I backed up all my personal files to a external drive, then used DELL Backup & Recovery utility to restore the PC to the Brand New system state. Fine. While restoring files from the external drive I dragged my Music folder from the external drive to my personal folder. A window flashed a message...
Backup and Restore
My User Name Folder has vanished:
The "My Name/Home Folder from my desktop has mysteriously vanished and I cant find it anywhere. I created a shortcut to my Hard Drive as a quick fix but its not the same as I cant drag and drop things into (folders only get coped they dont "move"). How can I restore the home folder?
General Discussion
Folder renamed and vanished
Hi, I had a folder named "167". I changed it to "167..." to remind myself there were other folders between that number and the next that I still needed to collect. When I off-clicked into the window after renaming it the folder disappeared. I used the search bar and visually searched through the...
General Discussion
Safe to copy entire folder?
Is it safe and will work just fine to copy the entire user folder to a new installation? We have a W7 installation with user Admin. Can I just copy the Admin folder in C:\Users\ to the same location on a fresh installation of Windows 7? The old was Ultimate while the new clean installation is...
Installation & Setup
Share folder wizard has vanished
Hi I set up my folders to share over SMB, but it appears I didn't set up all of them to share with everyone. I'm trying to re share them but I can't seem to get to the same wizard. When i right click on a folder it gives me the option to 'Share With ...' rather than just 'Share ...' If i...
Network & Sharing

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 22:35.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App