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Windows 7: Unintentional Dual Boot Win 7 Home

25 Aug 2012   #1

windows 7 home 64 bit
Unintentional Dual Boot Win 7 Home

Hi - help needed please...

I left my laptop ticking over yesterday and when I came back there was an error message saying Windows could not start because a device was not available or system file had been corrupted.

I decided to reinstall Windows on the same partition thinking it would still give me my original programs, desktop etc. (duh!!) So now I have 2 windows folders - one with the new installation and one with WINDOWS.OLD

I still have all my original folders and files on C: but I want to get into the original WINDOWS and repair the corrupt system files. Is it possible to boot into the WINDOWS.OLD and run Windows Repair on the system files?


Alienware M15x
I7 - 8Gb

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2012   #2

Win 8 RP, Win 7, XP

You can do offline repair - see options for sfc.exe

Once sfc has sucessfully repaired windows.old you can swap
\windows and \windows.old (using command line when started from recovery DVD/USB)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview 64-bit

As it is visible, you have performed a Repair Install.

It generates the windows.old folder. As you have the original files and folders already, better you delete the windows.old folder.

Windows.old Folder - Delete
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Aug 2012   #4


If you reinstalled WIn7 over the old one on C, why would you think you could repair the old one now? You needed to ask us how to repair it before you reinstalled over it.

You said you have Dual Boot but that would mean you installed to another partition so you actually have two Win7 installations? What makes you think you have this - do you have Dual Boot menu when you start the PC?

If you do not actually have a Dual Boot but did in fact reinstall over C, then you can copy the files out of Windows.old and finish setting up the new install according to the steps in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7, or you can start over a get a perfect reinstall using those steps.

Or you can use the windows.old folder to roll back the reinstall using this method: How to restore a Windows 7-based computer to a previous Windows installation by using the Windows.old folder. However it is a lot of work that will take more time than getting a perfect Reinstall.

Then work through these Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7 if it boots, or these steps for Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Boot
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2012   #5

windows 7 home 64 bit

Thanks for all the replies. I'll let you know how it goes.....
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Unintentional Dual Boot Win 7 Home

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