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Windows 7: Saving old files while re´nstalling windows 7.

22 Jun 2015   #1

Win 7 Home prem 64bit
Saving old files while re´nstalling windows 7.

Hi all,

A while back my laptop stopped starting up. It just stopped loading at the starting windows screen.
I figured if I'd re´nstall windows 7 itself it might start up again and I would be able to save my files. (Pictures mostly)

However my options are to upgrade or do a new installation. It says I would lose all my old files if I do so though. Is it possible to only replace the Windows folder and keep my files by just re´nstalling it? Don't want to take the chance on it so if anyone has experience with this type of situation that would be very helpful.

Thanks in advance

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2015   #2

Windows 10 Pro X64

Before you do anything, backup your data. Things can and often do go wrong so having a backup is never a wasted effort.

Then you have a couple options:

One is to save you files to a USB flash drive.

A better option is to get an external USB hard drive then use Macrium Reflect Free to make an image backup to it. That way you have everything backed up and can restore anything you need from it. Good tutorial by whs here:

Imaging with free Macrium

Do you have a install DVD? Read through Gregrocker's tutorial, see if you can download or borrow one then use the tutorial to get a good, clean install.

How to Clean Reinstall Windows 7

If not you should have a built in recovery partition that can be used to restore the computer to it's factory new state. The online users guide should tell us how to do that. What is the make and full model number of your computer?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2015   #3

Win 7 Home prem 64bit

Thanks for the tips. But how can I make a backup when I can't get anywhere near my files?
The problem is that I have no way of getting in windows. I've tried safe mode and startup helper but my laptop just keeps rebooting when I try anything to get somewhere. The only place I've managed to get to is my bios and running a windows 7 installation disc. Is there a backup program that can be ran from startup?

edit: My goal is to retrieve the files I currently can't get to
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Jun 2015   #4

Windows 10 Pro X64

If you have a installation disc, see this tutorial by theog on How to Copy & Paste in Recovery Console on Windows 7 or Vista for a neat trick to use to allow you to Copy & Paste from the Recovery Console to save files and folders.

Otherwise you can create a Linux Live CD to boot from. Then you can save you data to a flash drive from there. See here: Use Puppy Linux Live CD to Recover Your Data

One other alternative is to buy a USB Universal Adapter then connect the hard drive from your Desktop to another computer using the adapter and then save your data or do an image backup.

I have the NewerTech Universal Drive Adapter but any of them will work.

Just thought of one other option. Buy a new hard drive. Disconnect the old one, connect the new one, install Windows 7, Service Pack 1 and all updates. Once done, connect the old drive to a higher SATA port then you can copy all your data from the old drive to the new one then format the old drive and use it for data and do do image backups to.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2015   #5
Microsoft MVP


Lots of great options there to consider.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Saving old files while re´nstalling windows 7.

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