If you were to go back in time to when you were installing windows7, you would notice that 7 has a nifty feature in it that creates a windows.old folder with your old win install in it. even if you clean install. just allows you to get all your old files without having to stick them on DVD . you wouldn't be able to restore that win folder, but at least the data is there.
What would happen if I installed XP on my computer and copied that windows folder and replaced it with the windows folder on the newly installed version of XP, would my desktop then be as it was prior?
Please let me know.
Exactly, Really the only thing that useful that is in the windows.old folder would be your picutres/music/documents etc.. you could just copy them over to your new installation but other then that, that folder is just old programs and windows files... if you want to transfer your pics and stuff over just go to : the windows.old>documents and settings>(your old username)>my documents and then copy things over at your leisure
Yes, though you may get errors about it being read-only etc (try to delete it right now without following the steps below, if it doesnt work, procede to the steps) first, right click on the folder, go to properties, and make sure the "Read-only (only applies to files in this folder)" option is un-checked, and click ok. Now one more box will pop-up just click ok. then once that process is down you can delete the folder
On installation, when asked to back up my files I said no, because I had already done that.
Then setup tells me it's going to create a windows.old folder.
Program Files, Users, and old your old Windows directories
Total size is 17GB with 62,800 files and 11,850 folders.
All I can say is look through the contents of all the directories and see if there is anything important you want to keep.. Your Program Files directory is useless as all programs need to be re-installed to created the registry entries. Basically all you can look for is documents, pictures, music, etc that you may have forgot about.
I checked the registry to make sure there were no references to it.
You can this command to take Ownership of the directory if you get any errors:
Copy and paste the info inside the quote into Notepad, choose Save As, then select All Files from the drop-down menu box and type in takeownersip.reg. Save it to your desktop and double-click on it to merge it intro the registry. this will place both Copy To and Move To to the right-click context menu for all files and/or folders.