How can I get W7 back? No "Windows Old" dir

  1. Posts : 346
    Windows 10 home Version 21H2

    How can I get W7 back? No "Windows Old" dir

    What I want is Windows 10, but now I have nothing.

    During the install from W7 pro the setup routine said that I need to uninstall Acronis true image, which I did. Unfortunately that contained my W7 image. Now ten fails to install and my boot stops after showing the windows logo that looks like seven is starting. I don't get a BSOD - only no video (monitor says no video detected).

    I tried reverting to W7 but the repair utility says there are no restore points - probably because they were stored in Acronis that I deleted. I've tried going to safe mode and looking in the recycle bin but can't find Acronis.

    I am getting some error logs but I can't decipher them. I have some screen captures presented here.

    I'll appreciate some advice on how to proceed.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How can I get W7 back?  No "Windows Old" dir-system-restore.jpg   How can I get W7 back?  No "Windows Old" dir-error-messages.jpg  
      My Computers

  2. Posts : 35,511
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    Hi, a confusing picture... and frustrating.
    1. Acronis TI: Where did you save your images? Normal practice is to save them on (e.g.) an external disk - media which are separate from the PC which has been imaged. If you have images saved like that, you would be able to restore your PC. I'm a bit puzzled when you say your images are lost- that would be unfortunate.

    Your best bet would have been to be able to restore from your image backup using an Acronis TI boot disk.

    2. Forget System Restore in this scenario. It's completely irrelevant - restore points apply to the OS you are and have been using. They only protect a limited range of files.
    3. You say you have no Windows.old folder- which would be your old Win 7 OS.. so reverting to a previous build is not an option.

    I would recommend you make sure you have a copy of anything you don't want to lose on your HDD on a separate disk. Preserving your data is your first priority. (Best practice is not to put personal data on the same disk/partition as Windows despite Uncle Microsoft making that so easy to do).

    Once done, if you cannot recover your system as is, you can reinstall Win 7 and go from there.

    Maybe someone else can think of a way to recover what you've got, but I wouldn't be certain of its state or potential difficulties with drivers, or quite where you got to in the installation sequence.

    You could try using Win 10 installation media, booting your PC from that, selecting repair, and seeing if you can get into Safe Mode, but no guarantees here.

    Good luck..
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 346
    Windows 10 home Version 21H2
    Thread Starter

    Thanks dalchina for your insight and valuable response.

    yes, you are entirely correct. This is an unusual situation and my assumptions are not valid. The whole picture is that the 7-10 upgrade is on a computer that I retired to my home theater system following my purchase of a new main computer for my office. The retired computer worked fine as a backup and networked. The other problem is that I was no longer hooked up to the 2 TB external hdd that I had been using for backups. I didn't realize the error in my ways until trying to upgrade the spare computer to ten.

    data loss isn't really a major problem fortunately because all of my important data is on the new office computer. What I'm really trying to avoid is needing to reinstall all my programs. I'm interested in your suggestion to use win ten installation media. How do I get that? Is it possible to burn an iso disc from Microsoft?

    of course my main reason for the post is hoping that I could restore my retired computer to Windows seven, then maybe I could go through the routine in a more civilized manner. But maybe at this point it is simpler to install seven from the install disc. The install disc is an upgrade from vista, so I guess I shouldn't reformat the hdd. Any suggestions for keeping me from more trouble?

    your response has helped me to retinnk where I am and why.
      My Computers

  4. Posts : 719
    win 7 dual boot / 10
    Try the info here to make a 10 install media
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 35,511
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    Ok, understood.
    It may be you have something installed which Win 10 didn't like. I had that happen to me on my first attempt to upgrade, so I had to use my disk image which I'd just created to revert to Win 8, uninstall the offender and try again.

    Here's how to get a Win 10 iso:
    Windows 10 ISO Download - Windows 10 Forums
    You need to choose the same one you've installed.

    Using that as e.g. a boot disk, you can (by choosing 'Repair' at the bottom of the relevant screen), and navigating through the Troubleshooting options
    - try to access Safe Mode
    - run Startup Repair ( which sounds as if it's worth doing, but shouldn't be necessary).
    - The option "revert to your previous build" (Win 7) depends on you having a Windows.old folder.

    If you can get to Safe Mode you can set up a clean boot, and try to get to normal mode.

    If you can ever boot to normal mode, you can do an in place repair install of Win 10 using the installation medium should that prove necessary.

    Win 7:
    - I guess you've checked C:\ for Windows.old... it should be there if it's <30 days from installing '10 and the installation completed..

    An really outside chance would be it's there and recoverable... but that would be amazing.

    How long did the Win 10 installation run for? Is there any chance it actually failed, and your Windows folder is still Win 7's, so you just need to do a startup repair? Hmm...
      My Computers

  6. Posts : 346
    Windows 10 home Version 21H2
    Thread Starter

    Still no joy.

    I created the USB drive per the tutorial. The install proceeded but finalized with a message that windows 10 could not be installed. Apparently a critical driver is missing. See attached picture. I browsed the windows 7 install disc and the Dell restore disc that cane with the computer to revert back to a clean Vista installation and the unnamed driver could not be found.

    I can get to safe mode and already tried system repair to no avail.
    If you can get to Safe Mode you can set up a clean boot, and try to get to normal mode.
    I don't know what this means. Is there an option somewhere to initiate a clean boot? I've tried several times to boot in normal mode and computer will not.

    I'm thinking that I need to bite the bullet and reinstall Windows 7. I'm a little hesitant beyond needing to reinstall all programs in that it is an OEM install upgrade bought from Amazon. The install routines that I have seen so far asks for the original windows license ID - a 16 digit number I think - and my disc doesn't have that.

    I may need to go all the way back and restore my computer to Vista and then upgrade vista to 7 before I can upgrade to 10.

    It seems that MSFT could be more forgiving in a botched attempt at the W10 upgrade - no way to go back.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How can I get W7 back?  No &quot;Windows Old&quot; dir-img_0486.jpg  
      My Computers

  7. Posts : 35,511
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    Hi, first try a clean boot. A search gives this:

    (Oddly I can't find that in the tutorials here.. it's probably there somewhere).

    So boot to safe mode, set up a clean boot, and see what happens.
    The intention at this point wasn't to reattempt the installation.

    I'm not yet sure that your Windows folder is Win 7 or Win 10, with no Windows.old having been created. For how long did your Win 10 installation proceed? The attempt to do a clean boot may make this clear, else would need to explore it and check.

    "Windows 7 OEM on the other hand by contrast with UEFI/SecureBoot BIOS Win 8 systems utilises a generic OEM SLP key and cert file, input from the installation media. There are markers present in the BIOS for "Windows 7" however there is no unique product key residing in the BIOS. Moreover these markers do not have any distinguishability on Windows 7 OEM Edition. e.g. a Dell Windows 7 Home Premium Reinstallation DVD will install and activate on a system which came with Windows 7 Professional. The user will be incorrectly licensed but it'll work."

    Normally I would not expect a driver problem to stop a Win 10 installation. That's puzzling- also there's no clue what the driver is.
      My Computers

  8. Posts : 346
    Windows 10 home Version 21H2
    Thread Starter

    Thanks again for your work on this. You can give up anytime you wish. I'm about ready to throw in the towel and reinstall windows. My computer came with Vista and I upgraded with the Win 7 OEM disc, so I likely will need to reinstall Vista from the Dell recover disk that came with the computer and go Vista->Win 7->Win 10.

    Anyway, the instructions for the clean boot were clear. I got to the step "See this post if Use original boot configuration greyed out in Windows 10." That led me to download and install/run the utility Dual Boot Windows 10 which appears to be a useful utility. However, running the repair option I get an error file that I have sent to the developer as requested. It is copied below the asterisks. Interestingly, the utility appears to think that I have Microsoft Windows NT 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 if I decipher the error message correctly.

    **************************************************************************************************** ***********
    Please mail generated file:
    'E:\My Documents\DualBootRepair.err'
    to '[email protected]'.
    Thank you.

    Application version: DualBootRepair_1.3.0.0
    OS Version: Microsoft Windows NT 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1
    The system cannot find the file specified
    at System.Net.NetworkInformation.SystemNetworkInterface.GetAdaptersAddresses(AddressFamily family, FixedInfo fixedInfo)
    at System.Net.NetworkInformation.SystemNetworkInterface.PostWin2KGetNetworkInterfaces(AddressFamily family)
    at System.Net.NetworkInformation.SystemNetworkInterface.GetNetworkInterfaces(AddressFamily family)
    at System.Net.NetworkInformation.SystemNetworkInterface.InternalGetIsNetworkAvailable()
    at #=qRUGnmX_WSKfpOPz$hIJU831N7OABLS8m8$oACACm6BI=.#=qJSHpXdEbNdLTgV2ZeGlgJqMG3d7g_pJOqboItWt7hps=()
    at #=qRUGnmX_WSKfpOPz$hIJU831N7OABLS8m8$oACACm6BI=.#=qk3CYGI85Zxai_LUt1y0O27jFUdBJ7rXbrhvhlOulYNo=(Obje ct #=ql6sWHV3WTPoJ8pBzrd_M6w==, EventArgs #=qdSgQNbYqv155wxEpiWQxPQ==)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.OnClick(EventArgs e)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Button.OnMouseUp(MouseEventArgs mevent)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WmMouseUp(Message& m, MouseButtons button, Int32 clicks)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.ButtonBase.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Button.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.NativeWindow.Callback(IntPtr hWnd, Int32 msg, IntPtr wparam, IntPtr lparam)
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