How to restore your personal files after you perform a custom installation of Windows Vista

How to restore your personal files after you perform a custom installation of Windows Vista

Article ID : 932912
Last Review : March 15, 2007
Revision : 1.1
On This Page

INTRODUCTION

This article describes how to restore personal files after you perform a custom installation of Windows Vista.

When you perform the custom installation of Windows Vista that is described in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article, Windows Vista creates a Windows.old folder that contains the files from the Microsoft Windows XP installation.

932856 (/Feedback.aspx?kbNumber=932856/) You cannot upgrade certain language versions of Windows XP to Windows Vista

You may want to recover personal files from the Windows.old folder, and move them to the installation of Windows Vista.

Back to the top

MORE INFORMATION

To recover personal files from the Windows.old folder, locate the folders that contain the files. Then, move the files to the appropriate folders in Windows Vista.

Back to the top

Locate the personal files

After you install Windows Vista, move personal files from their former folders to the corresponding folders in Windows Vista.

Important We recommend that you do not delete any files or folders until you verify that you have successfully moved all the personal files to Windows Vista.

The Windows.old folder

When you install Windows Vista, the Windows.old folder is created. The Windows Vista installation program creates this folder to store the files from the Windows XP installation. To locate the Windows.old folder in Windows Vista, click StartStart, type drive: windows.old in the Start Search box, and then click Windows.old in the Programs list.

User If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or click Continue.

The Windows.old folder contains the following folders from the Windows XP installation:

1. drive: Windows.old Windows
2. drive: Windows.old Documents and Settings
3. drive: Windows.old Program Files

The Documents and Settings folder

Most programs store a user’s personal files in the Documents and Settings folder. Generally, you do not find personal files in the Windows folder or in the Program Files folder.

The Documents and Settings folder contains one folder for each user who logged on to the computer in Windows XP. For example, the following folders appear in the drive: Windows.old Documents and Settings folder:

• drive: Windows.old Documents and Settings Administrator

If you did not use the Administrator account to log on to Windows XP, this folder may not contain any personal files.

• drive: Windows.old Documents and Settings All Users

If you used the Shared Files feature in Windows XP, the shared files are located in the All Users folder.For example, this folder contains recorded television shows on computers that are running Windows Media Center Edition 2005. Open the folders in the All Users folder to locate any files you may want to preserve. Then, copy these files to a new location that is outside the Windows.old folder structure.

• drive: Windows.old Documents and Settings UserName

Most personal files are located in folders that are labeled for each user who logged on to the computer in Windows XP.

User folders

Most personal files are located in the following location:

drive: Windows.old Documents and Settings UserName

This folder contains the following three folders:

• drive: Windows.old Documents and Settings UserName Cookies
• drive: Windows.old Documents and Settings UserName Start Menu
• drive: Windows.old Documents and Settings UserName UserData

Typically, these three folders do not contain important user data. The following three folders are also located in the drive: Windows.old Documents and Settings UserName folder:

• drive: Windows.old Documents and Settings UserName Desktop
• drive: Windows.old Documents and Settings UserName Favorites
• drive: Windows.old Documents and Settings UserName My Documents

Typically, these three folders contain most of the important personal files from the Windows XP installation.

Back to the top

Restore the personal files

To recover personal files from the Windows XP installation, follow these steps.

Step 1: Restore recorded television shows

By default, Windows Media Center 2005 saves recorded television shows in the Recorded TV folder. To recover these files, follow these steps:

1. Locate the Windows.old folder, and then open the following folder:

Documents and Settings All Users Documents Recorded TV

Note The path may also be the following:

Documents and Settings All Users Shared Documents Recorded TV
2. Right-click Recorded TV, and then click Cut.
3. Click StartStart, and then click the user name in the upper-right side of the Start menu.
4. Right-click Videos, and then click Paste.

Windows Vista moves the recorded television show files to the Videos folder.

Step 2: Restore Internet Explorer favorites

To move the contents of the Favorites folder from the Windows XP installation to Windows Vista, follow these steps:

1. Locate the Windows.old folder, and then open the following folder:

Documents and Settings UserName Favorites
2. Press CTRL+A to select all the items in the Favorites folder. Then, press CTRL+X to move the items in the Favorites folder to the clipboard in Windows Vista.
3. Click StartStart, and then click your user name in the upper-right side of the Start menu.
4. Right-click Favorites, and then click Paste.

Windows Vista moves the Internet Explorer Favorites files to the Favorites folder in the Windows Vista profile.

Step 3: Restore the Desktop folder

If you did not store any files or data on the Windows XP desktop, you can skip this step. You can open the Desktop folder in the Windows.old folder to verify that only shortcuts and no data files were located on the Windows XP desktop.

To restore the Desktop folder from the Windows XP installation, follow these steps:

1. Locate the Windows.old folder, and then open the following folder:

Documents and Settings UserName
2. Right-click Desktop, and then click Cut.
3. Close all windows in Windows Vista.
4. Right-click a blank area on the Windows Vista desktop, and then click Paste.

The Windows XP Desktop folder appears as an icon on the Windows Vista desktop.

Step 4: Restore the My Documents folder

Typically, most personal files are stored in the My Documents folder in Windows XP. Although you can move this folder to any location in Windows Vista, we recommend that you move it to the Documents folder. Then, you can more easily find these files in Windows Vista.

To move the My Documents folder, follow these steps:

1. Locate the Windows.old folder, and then open the following folder:

Documents and Settings UserName
2. Right-click My Documents, and then click Cut.
3. Click StartStart, and then click Documents.
4. Right-click Documents, and then click Paste.

Windows Vista copies the My Documents folder together with its contents to the Documents folder.

Back to the top

Restore other users’ files and folders

If other users logged on to the computer in Windows XP, follow the steps in the Restore personal files section to restore the other users’ data. When you do this, you may want to log on to Windows Vista as a separate user for each Windows XP user who has data on the computer. This may help keep each user’s data separate in Windows Vista.

Restore other files and folders from the Windows.old folder

After you restore all the personal folders from the Windows XP installation, examine the Windows.old folder to determine whether any other folders that contain personal data exist.

Important Make sure that all important data has moved before you delete the Windows.old folder.

Back to the top


APPLIES TO
• Windows Vista Home Basic
• Windows Vista Home Premium
• Windows Vista Ultimate
• Windows Vista Business
• Windows Vista Enterprise
• Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit edition
• Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit edition
• Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit edition
• Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit edition
• Windows Vista Starter

Back to the top

Keywords: 
kbhowto kbinfo kbexpertisebeginner KB932912

Back to the top

 

Microsoft Knowledge Base Article

This article contents is Microsoft Copyrighted material.
Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms of Use | Trademarks


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Leave a Reply

*
To prove that you're not a bot, enter this code
Anti-Spam Image