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Windows 7: Having Trouble Restoring my previous Windows Vista OS

04 Mar 2013   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
Having Trouble Restoring my previous Windows Vista OS

I am trying to restore my previous OS (Windows Vista Home Premium) from my current one which is Windows 7 Professional.

I read the article at which explains how to achieve this goal but I am still having problems with the execution of the process.

My problem starts in Section 2 when I try to start the "Windows Recovery Environment" process.

After I insert my Windows 7 installation disc in the DVD drive and then restart my computer (Dell XPS 420) the instructions in the article say to "Press any key when you are prompted to restart the disc"?

I am not getting any prompt "to restart " from the disc and I can't seem to move on to the next step in Section 2 of this article where I am supposed to "select a language, a time" etc... and then on to the next steps where I am supposed to click on " Repair Computer" and go to the "System Recovery Options" where I can open the "Command Prompt" to enter the necessary commands to restore my old operating system and all the files associated with it.

I just want to restore my old operating system (Windows Vista Home Premium) and all the files associated with it that are in the "Windows.old" folder of my (C:) hardrive but I can't complete Section 2 of the instructions in article .

I would like to know how I can get to the part of the "Install Windows" window that has the "Repair your Computer" and "System Recovery Options" that open the "Command Prompt" feature when I am not automatically brought to these features just by inserting the Windows 7 installation disc and restarting my computer? How can I get to the "Command Prompt" option?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


information   Information
We always assume you have made your Recovery Disks using the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Media Creator app the first day you had your new PC.
& made the Startup Repair CD.
startup repair disc-create

Did you make the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Disks?

How to use Dell Recovery Partition,make Recovery Disks & how to order Recovery Disks.
Manuals | Dell US

Dell - Support
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2013   #3
Microsoft MVP


Access System Recovery Options through various methods (disks and F8 menu) shown in tutorial.

If I were you rather than waste more time on the unduly complicated rollback via windows.old method, I'd back up my files from Windows.old, boot the Windows Vista installer for your licensed version to follow the same steps as for Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7.

You can find the Vista installer for your licensed version here: Vista ISO download. Burn to DVD using ImgBurn or write to flash stick using UltraISO Software To Create Bootable USB Flash Drive.

Then boot the stick, during Custom install at the same Drive Options shown in Steps 6/7 of Clean Install Windows 7, delete all partitions, create new as you wish to reinstall Vista. The Recovery partitions will no longer run anyway, so recover the space to use elsewhere. You can test the OEM Diagnostics partition to see if it will boot and if not delete and recover it: Dell Diagnostics Utility - How to Run the
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Mar 2013   #4

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

I did successfully restore my previous OS but it seems that not all the programs and files were restored with it. Adobe Production Suite is absent in my "All Programs" list and I really need it back so I can finish a project that I was working on.

During the Command Prompt process there were 2 steps in Section 4 (of the article I mentioned) that resulted in the message "The system cannot find the file specified". As instructed I moved on to the next steps but I am thinking that these messages may have something to do with why I was not able to restore my Adobe Production Suite with my original operating system.

The thumbnails for all the Adobe Production Suite programs that I have pinned to my start-up menu are there, but when I click on them to open I get the following message: "The item you selected is unavailable. It might have been moved, renamed, or removed". I am hoping it was moved and just has not been found yet.

How can I find these Adobe Production Suite programs that were installed with my original OS and restore as I did my original operating system?

Also, my second hardrive that I installed that used to be called "New Volume (J:)" is now named "New Volume (F:)"? If I don't have the same name as before on this harddrive all of the files that I imported from it to use in my project that I am editing are "offline" when I open the project.

How can I re-name this "New Volume (F:)" hard drive back to it's original name of "New Volume (J:)"?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2013   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

If you did a factory restore it sets it back to day 1. Any programs installed after that will not be there, same goes for files.

Use disk management to change the drive letter.

Do you have a dvd marked programs originally installed with system etc. ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2013   #6
Microsoft MVP


If you purchased Adobe Creative Suite with the PC you should have the disk and Product Key. If not contact Adobe to locate an installer for the licensed version to reinstall it with the Product Key which is always issued (by law) when you purchase the software. Adobe software can be expensive so you should have guarded the Product Key like any expensive purchase.

In the future you should have a Win7 backup image saved externally of your OS partition so it can be reimaged if it ever become irreparable, or you decide you want to revert to it after trying another OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2013   #7

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

Changing the drive letter seems straight forward. Thanks for that info.

As for the programs that were not restored, I do have the original CDs and DVDs for the programs that I installed (Adobe, Sound card, etc..) after I bought this computer .

I could re-install the Adobe Production Suite but if I do this I will have to re-install the third party plug-ins that I had in the originally installed programs and this may affect the project that I was working on where I used these plug-ins. I will also lose the stored info in such features as "Open Recent Projects" in the drop-down menu.

I was hoping that I could restore the originally installed programs that have the above-mentioned stuff to save me time and effort.

How can I find these originally installed Adobe programs and restore them?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2013   #8

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

I just tried to change the drive letter from F to J but when I get to the part where I click on the drop-down menu in the "Assign the following drive letter" window I see that there is no letter J option in the list?

As I stated, I installed Windows 7 Professional 64bit in this computer after having used Windows Vista Home Premium 64bit for years and then I changed back to my origional OS (Vista) using the System Recovery. Before I changed from Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 the drive letter for this particular hard drive was J but when I changed back to my Vista OS it changed to F?

Every other hard drive letter was the same as it was origionally except for New Volume J which was now new Volume F? Would this have anything to do with the part of the System Recovery process I recently performed where I recieved the message "The system cannot find the files specified" when I was trying to move the "Windows.old\Program Files" and "Windows.old\Documents and Settings" folders?

I have to figure out why this hard drive did not go back to the letter J when I restored the Vista OS.
I really need to have the drive letter be J for this particular hard drive or all of my Premiere Pro project files that I have edited on this computer will be offline.

If the drive letter used to be J then I assume it can be that letter again somehow? I just need to know to change it back to J?

How can I change the drive letter for this hard drive to J if the letter J is currently not an option in the Vista Home Premium drop down menu of the "Assign the following drive letter" drop-down menu?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2013   #9
Microsoft MVP


If you're referring to OS drives as it appears, the OS drive you're booted into should always be C. This is how Win7 is engineered and intended if it is correctly installed from a booted installer and not from another OS holding that letter.

I would start over and correctly install Win7 following the steps in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7.
Unplug all other HD's to avoid having them interfere in any way.

Otherwise you can post back a screenshot of Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image - Windows 7 Forums and we'll try to help you sort it. Data drives or the non-booted OS can have their letters changed, if necessary freeing up the desired drive letter first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Mar 2013   #10

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

It turns out the letter J in my drive was in use by CD/DVD device. So I changed the drive letter of that device to M and found the letter J back in the drop down menu. I then assigned the original drive in question back to J.

To find the files that I lost in the original OS change I found a really good data recovery program from EaseUS called Data Recovery Wizard WinPE.

I was able to find the lost files by simply entering the file type (.aep) in the search box and they came right up! These were files that were written over by the new OS installation but I was able to recover them.

I then did a Windows 7 OS installation again and put the lost files back into the C drive folder where they were originally. I re-installed Adobe Creative Suite and all the third party plug-ins, then re-installed all my drivers including sound card and video card.

I opened up my Premiere Pro project that I have been working on and saw that the project was in the timeline panel but the monitors are saying Media Offline.

I am relieved to see that the project is in the timeline but still working on the problem of why the monitors say Media Offline.

Advice from anyone who might know the solution to this problem would be greatly appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Having Trouble Restoring my previous Windows Vista OS

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