How to restore your personal files after you perform a custom installation of Windows Vista or of Windows 7
In some scenarios, you may be unable to perform an upgrade from an earlier version of Windows. If you cannot upgrade, you may have to perform a custom installation. When you perform a custom installation of Windows Vista or of Windows 7, Windows creates a Windows.old folder that contains the files from your previous system. You may want to recover your personal files from the Windows.old folder, and move them to the custom installation of Windows.
To have us restore personal files for you, go to the "Fix it for me" section. If you prefer to restore personal files yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.
Fix it for me
To fix this problem automatically, click the Fix it button or link. In the File Download dialog box, click Run, and follow the steps in the Fix it Wizard.
Microsoft Fix it 50582
- The Windows.old folder that contains the files from your previous system should exist on the computer.
- You may receive some error messages in the command prompt when you run the package. You can ignore the error messages.
- This wizard may be in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
- If you are not on the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or a CD, and then run it on the computer that has the problem.
How to restore a Windows 7-based computer to a previous Windows installation by using the Windows.old folder
Windows 7 - Windows.old folder - Restore into a new installation
1) Make sure that you want to do a new installation. If you are, then boot into the Install Disk and complete the installation.
2) Now you want to restore some of your old files? OK, read on!
1) Insert your Installation disk into your DVD drive, and reboot. Make sure you can boot from the DVD.
2) Press any key to boot from CD when the option appears.
3) At this point, you have already done a clean install over your existing installation.
4) Select "Repair Your Computer" from the installation (see screen shot below).
5) Select your Windows installation you want to restore to.
Click this bar to view the full image.
6) Select Command Prompt. This will bring up the command prompt window.
7) Type the following commands in, one at a time. Press ENTER at the end of each line. This will rename the windows.old folders, in preparation of being moved.
ren Windows Windows.backup
ren "Program Files" "Program Files.old"
ren "Users" "Users.old"
rmdir "C:\Documents and Settings"
move /y c:\windows.old\windows c:\
move /y "c:\windows.old\program files" c:\
move /y "c:\windows.old\documents and settings" c:\
move /y c:\windows.old\users c:\
When the previous Windows installation was Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Windows XP, or Microsoft Windows 2000
D:\boot\bootsect /nt52 c:
D:\boot\bootsect /nt60 c:
Note: Only follow these steps when the previous installation is Windows XP or Windows 2000.
attrib boot.ini.saved -s -h -r
attrib boot.ini +s +h +r
Your Windows installation will start as normal, with the newly restored files and settings.
I hope this will help many a person, and provide a solution.
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