Windows 7 all my programs, music,... in a "windows.old" file??


New Member
Jan 12, 2009
hey guys,

first of all, i'm not a computerwhiz and i had to keep my hands of this 7 beta, but i did so....

ive installed windows 7 from the official microsoft site and the install worked fine, os is running fine but all my programs, music, etc... was not being unpacked into windows 7. it came completely blank.
everything is now listed in a folder: windows.old

my question: how do i get everything in windows 7?? do i need to install all programs again?? music, pics and everything i can easy transfer, but all my programs i cant!

what to do...
Sadly.. yes... you will have to reinstall all the programs....

I dont even think there is an easy way of undoing the changes you have made, as its at OS level, though if you are desperate, you could reinstall your previous operating system and then wipe out the windows (not windows old) folders and rename the windows old folder to windows.... its a long shot though...
anybody else some suggestions?? im not gonna put vista back on because windows 7 is much better.
that is what happens when you do an upgrade of a windows OS. I had the same problem when upgrading from xp to vista. There is no way around it but to reinstall all programs.

On a side note, you do realize that the beta ends on Aug 1 right? Upgrading may not have been a great idea as you will have to do it all over again in a few months. I found Dual booting to be the best option.
Does it really put programs/files/etc. from a previous version of Windows into the Windows.old directory on an UPGRADE???? I've not upgraded a Windows operating system (that I actually use) in years -- I do a fresh install once every year and a half, or so. I find it's much cleaner. That said, I have played around with vista installs quite a bit. I've even upgraded a Vista Home Premium to Ultimate. The upgrade didn't move my old Windows dir to Windows.old. I have seen that if you do a custom install (and NOT an upgrade) with Vista, without formatting the partition, it will see that there is a previous version of Windows and stick everything from that version in the Windows.old dir. I can't actually believe that it would do that on an upgrade, though.
Indeed it does move most folders (Users, Windows, program Files) into a folder named windows.old on a clean install. I can not say anything about an upgrade but from what i have heard it moves the windows and program files into a windows.old directory but everything else stays the same.
Now that i think about it i attempted to do an upgrade from xp pro to vista and it wouldnt let me do it. i had to do a clean install but it kept my old files in the windows.old folder. depending on which version of xp you had i assume it did the same thing to you. it lets "upgrade" but its more of a clean install but it keeps your files in windows.old
My installation of Windows 7 is in a partition of the same drive with Vista. I also have Windows.old in Windows 7, but when I checked Properties I found that it is 258 MB. The folder is empty.

One cannot see the contents of the original Vista installation when running Windows 7. I booted Vista and transferred my Vista Documents and Settings to a USB drive. Then I booted Windows 7 and transferred the documents. You will need to keep updating the USB drive files for backup and possible reinstallation.

Did you do an Upgrade installation or a new installation as I did?
I did a brand new installation and i can see the contents of windows VISTA very closely.
[off topic] I don't want to drag this off-topic, but I want to provide the facts. My Vista installation, when booted, is in HP (C:) and Seven_Beta (C:) is the partition of Windows 7 Beta. Both are on the same hard drive.

Seven_Beta (C:) is in a partition that I had made with Vista, previously Backup (L:). I had planned to load Windows 7 on an external USB hard drive, but found during installation that Windows 7 will not install on a USB device. I then relabeled my backup partition "Seven_Beta" and installed Windows 7 Beta. [/off topic]
anybody else some suggestions?? im not gonna put vista back on because windows 7 is much better.
You do realize that you are using a BETA version of Windows 7, right?

And you do realize that it will stop working 8-1-09, right?

If the release version of Windows 7 is not out before then (and you have not bought and installed it after backing up your files - because there is no upgrade from a beta to a full version, it is reformat/reinstall time), you will have to put your old Vista back on if you want to continue using your computer. And if you have not backed up all your essential files before that time - you will be in very deep sh*t!

This is not something to replace your working Vista install. It is something to test and evaluate, and to provide feedback to MS for the final release version.
Indeed it is a beta version but in many respects is far superior to that of VISTA and far more stable as well. I have taken an image of the hard drive before activation. There is an activation crack online that i can use to fully activate it for the trial time.
RE: windows.old 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.

It contains:
Program Files, Users, and your old Windows directory and all sub subdirectories.

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 and deleted it, then restarted Windows and ran a defrag. Now my system is much faster.
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sorry to revive a dead topic, but i was google searching this, and i stumbled upon it. so, because there is a windows.old folder, then you don't have to back anything up?
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