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Windows 7: Overwrote a windows 7 by an other windows 7.

28 Jul 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium Alienware 64bit Edition
Overwrote a windows 7 by an other windows 7.

Hi guys,
I have an Alienware M15x which was running on the special Alienware edition of Windows 7 Home premium 64bit.
By mistake (long story which doesn't matter in solving this issue..) a second version of Windows 7 was written on the same partition OVER my previous one...
The Windows 7 (Alienware) was put into "windows.old"
However I lost all my installed programs and some stuff which I really liked and therefor would like to go back to it!
I read it can be done by using a Windows Installation disk and entering loads of coding but sadly my CD/DVD drive is (god sometimes I'm unlucky) broken and I'm waiting for a replacement (3months) I read it can also be done from a USB flash drive or a external hard drive by changing something in the BIOS before but there again I'm unlucky.. I have no clue what that BIOS password is and I can't get it back from Dell support since I didn't buy the computer from them but from an other little shop that imports them from god know where! -.-'

Do you guys know anyway I can go back to my windows.old as my OS?

Thanks in advance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

Welcome to Windows Seven Forums.

I'm hoping this article will help you.

How to restore a Windows 7-based computer to a previous Windows installation by using the Windows.old folder
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2011   #3

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86

Why dont you just download the required apps and drivers from dell's support page for your model? Other things you can do:

1) Via windows.old.

Windows.old folder - Restore into a new installation

Though this process is not perfect.

2) If the dell recovery partition is intact, try tapping F8 repeatedly at boot, and check whether you have a dell recovery or repair option that'll launch recovery. It may not be there since the dell custom mbr may have got wiped by the windows reinstall.

Theres a way to copy off the recovery partition or at leat the .wim files in it and use imagex to apply them. Its a bit involved though, let us know if you would like to use it. You can boot from a win7 usb key and do the copying.

3) Presumably you didnt make recovery disks. You can order a fresh set from dell for a nominal cost, those'll restore your computer to factory state. This is the easiest option.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Jul 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit SP1

From you current OS you can copy your windows.old files (not the folder) to another disk then use EasyBCD to create a new boot entry and locate the OS.
If that doesnt work you may have to the files in a more advanced way:
How to Copy Shared Folders Without Losing Share Permissions |
edit: tutorials..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium Alienware 64bit Edition

Thanks for quick replies..
@Seavixen32, as I have stated it my CD/DVD drive is dead. so I'm incapable to repair the computer in that method (unless you know a way to do it without the CD and without the BIOS password)
@Bill2, I do love the Alienware edition (i admit) and I for example don't have the Windows activation key, tho my old version was already activated. Then, 1. once again no CD drive... 2.My recovery partition is intact except for the fact that I'm missing the ".exe" file that goes with it, that made it unusable.. At least in all the ways I can think of. The only solution I saw to that problem is to get somebody else's recovery partition and fill up the gaps in mine with a copy of theirs but I don't know from where to get one.. 3. I wish I could but dell are not nice people and since I am in Romania give me a very long waiting time (2 months) and ask for a rather high price which I can't really afford right now.. ()
@Speedgamer01 I don't understand how the double boot will help me and I don't see at all how copying folder without losing share permissions will help me?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2011   #6

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86

You can create a usb install key this way, use another computer with a functioning dvd drive.

USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create

You can also consider investing in an external dvd drive.

The computer would have a rainbow sticker with a key at the back or underneath the battery, you can use that to activate a clean install.

There're a lot of ways.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2011   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium Alienware 64bit Edition

Can your "usb uninstall key" method work with a external Hard drive? Also will this bring me back to my original Windows or will I then have to use your previous method "1"?

And I already have an external DVD drive but its only for my other computer (special plug) so I don't really wanna buy an OTHER one...

The rainbow sticker is so old its impossible to read I tried all yesterday... they should make them like the Dell service tags... they at least last for a few years... -.-'
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2011   #8

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86

If you can get a usb win7 install key ready using that tut, you need to plug it into the alienware, then power it on and keep tapping F12 till you get a boot menu selection screen. Select the usb drive here, hit Enter, the computer will now boot into the usb drive.

Once you are booted into the usb, you can either run the procedure for restoring windows.old (in which case your original installation will be restored) or clean install win7 (but you dont have the sticker key, so you wont be able to activate).

The usb procedure can be run from an external hard drive, use this method.

USB hard drive a bootable Windows 7 install disk
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2011   #9


Dell Recovery Partition - restoring F8 link

Dell Restoring Your Computer´s Software to the Factory Settings

If you can't restore the F8 link to run Recovery you'll need to order Recovery Disks and/or attempt to recover your unreadable Product Key from Dell so you have the option to clean reinstall from the Win7 installer: Reinstalling Windows 7

Easiest method to write the Win7 ISO to flash stick is using this tool with Win7 in dropdown menu: Universal USB Installer – Easy as 1 2 3 | USB Pen Drive Linux

I would personally want to compare the factory install with clean installed Win7 on that rig, even cleaning up factory bloatware to see if it comes close to a clean install: Clean up factory bloatware
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2011   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium Alienware 64bit Edition

ok, this might be a VERYYYY stupid idea so please tell me if I'm wrong, but would it work if I used a second OS (eg:linux) to switch the files between C:\Windows.old and their new equivalent? or would that make the entire windows unusable? since they are both windows 7 they should use the same links but I prefer asking then doing a biggggg mistake!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Overwrote a windows 7 by an other windows 7.

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