Missing programs - NOT in Windows.old folder

  1. Posts : 2
    Windows 7

    Missing programs - NOT in Windows.old folder

    Before installing Windows 7 on my (hitherto Vista) VAIO I effected a full backup on an external hard drive.
    I then installed Windows 7 and noticed all my program files were missing. When I went into the Windows.old folder I was able to see a good deal of them, seemingly most of those that I had installed myself, such as iTunes, 7Zip, etc.

    The programs that were already installed on the VAIO when I bought it from the VAIO store, however, were absent. For example the whole Sony Recovery tool program, Adode Photoshop and others.

    When I connected the hard drive to the laptop I was able to see the backup I had done just before W7 installation but when I tried to expand the folder down (hoping to see 'Program Files') I only saw a series of strange looking (albeit large) files that didn't mean very much. Presumably this is the way in which my backup was encrypted or stored, but is there a way in which I can access the individual programs from the hard drive so that I can put them back on my laptop?

    I was able to find all my music, videos and documents in the Windows.old folder, and have restored them, but the missing programs worry me. Also the amount of free space on the laptop is identical now to when I still had Vista on there, making me think that perhaps the 'missing' programs haven't been deleted at all but may just be hiding somewhere in the 'Windows.old' folder. But I could well be wrong about that.

    Apologies if I have been unclear; I am not the world's greatest computer-user so I may have explained myself poorly. Would appreciate any help or suggestions, though. Cheers.
      My Computer

  2. whs
    Posts : 26,210
    Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

    You cannot move programs from Vista to win7 (except if they are installation .exes). There is a lot more to an installed program than just the program file (e.g. registry entries, dll's, etc.). You have to reinstall the programs in win7. Unfortunately you may have to buy a license for some that you might have received as a Sony gift for free with your Vaio initial Vista.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 17,545
    Windows 10 Pro x64 EN-GB

    Hello clhs and welcome to the Seven Forums.

    The only way to keep the software, applications and all the original bundled stuff from your Vista setup is to do an in-place upgrade installation. This way the Seven installation does not remove anything, it only replaces the system files and adds information to the registry.

    However, if you choose (like you did) the clean install over a former Vista setup, all earlier system files, folders, installed applications and software are moved to this windows.old folder. This folder has two main purposes: it stores all users personal files and folders allowing them after installation to be moved to the respective user folders in Seven setup.

    The second purpose is to allow restoring back to old Vista setup. About this you can read more here.

    Only portable applications and software in the windows.old folder can be used in Seven after installation. Basically, you have to reinstall all the programs you earlier had in Vista. Windows.old is not meant to preserve your programs to be used after a clean installation of Seven. It's only done so that restoring your old Vista setup would be possible as described in that article mentioned above.

    Complicated. Here's the short version: You have to reinstall all the programs after clean installation. Most of your applications won't work even if you try to move them from windows.old to the Program Files-folder.


      My Computer

  4. Posts : 2
    Windows 7
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the replies, Kari and WHS. Really appreciate the information and your time.

    Crikey, though. I have been quite naive, clearly, but I would never have imagined that paying Microsoft 60 to get an updated OS would mean effectively killing Photoshop and the Sony Recovery tool that I use quite frequently. So it looks like I am going to have to F10 my laptop and restore it to factory settings, thus eliminating Windows 7 (and all my music, photos and programs I've installed myself) just to reclaim the Sony recovery tool and Photoshop plus any other bundled programs (for the time being, I can't think of any of importance but am sure there will be some)...
    ...unless I can live without Sony Recovery tool and can just purchase Photoshop again...

    Cheers for the advice. Greatly appreciated.
      My Computer

  5. whs
    Posts : 26,210
    Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

    Before you do anything, make sure you copied your own files (music, pictures, etc.) to a safe place (external disk, USB stick or DVD). There is no reason for you to loose your own stuff.
    You could try an in-place upgrade as mentioned by Kari (although that is generally the second best solution).

    In this context you have to understand that the installation of a program is something very specific to the operating system at hand. And w7 and Vista are 2 different systems - despite of what some people say.
    Last edited by whs; 29 Oct 2009 at 07:21. Reason: typo
      My Computer


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