all system files have been moved to windows.old dir !!


New Member
Hello guys, new here with a great hope to get help for a brand new problem I’ve never been facing before which is driving me crazy for many hours ‘till this very moment am writing down these words.

I’m running a single Windows 7 Ultimate x86 OS on my laptop and it used to work very well ‘till earlier today once I get back home trying to use my computer as usual to find out that it always runs the startup repair after showing the words “windows is loading files” instead of starting windows normally. Once the diagnostic & repair process is done it tells me that Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically. When I view the details I get the following under Root cause found:

Boot configuration is corrupted.
Repair action: Partition table repair.
Result: Failed. Error code = 0x490

After many times doing the previous repairs with no result I went to Command Prompt in order to check my system drive to find out that both “Windows” & “Program Files” directories are not existed there anymore. Instead, there’s a “Windows.old” directory that contains those 2 system directories as well as “Users” & “PerfLogs” directories plus the “autoexec.bat” & “config.sys” files. Sure there’s noway to use the system restore tool or anything else even using my Windows boot DVD. Still can’t use the cmd commands single handedly to fix this.

As I said earlier I have never faced such problem before plus I have no idea how to regain my windows since I can never format my system drive as I need to backup all the files, settings, bookmarks & favorites located in my user profile first. can anyone plz explain what happened exactly and how to solve this problem ?!

Thanks a lot in advance and nice to be here with you all. Wish to get a reply soon.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Could you go over how your laptop starting to utilize Win 7? Did you install it or did it come previously installed.

Could you have a virus?


Extraordinary Member
As far as the backup is concerned, you could copy the whole of the user\username folder to a safe place. I am assuming you are able to use the OS for that?? If not, get hold of one of the live OS downloads, even Ubuntu, and do it from there.

You can then reformat, if the partition table is truly the problem, and do a custom install.

More daring. Perhaps you could copy and paste the absent folders from the Windows.old folder? That will only work if the Windows old files are from a previous Windows 7 installation.

What happened? Well, I cannot tell you why it suddenly happened. But the Windows.old folder is created uniqely for the possibility of a "rollback", in the event of a failed install. During this process, it wipes the earlier problematic areas, and copies the folders from Windows.old back to the OS. I does seem that somehow, it has carried out this process, possibly, as the previous poster suggests, through a virus. The repair seems to have deleted the original folders, but has, for some reason, been unable to rewrite them from the windows DVD. As you have tried more than once, I don't think there will be a solution to that.

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