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Importing Registry From Windows.old


Ripper-the-Jack's Avatar
Ripper-the-Jack Ripper-the-Jack is offline
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04-Oct-2009, 07:00 AM #1
Question Importing Registry From Windows.old
Hey, I've just installed Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit over Vista Premium 32 bit. However, before i did that i forgot to export a lot of registry values from Vista that i now need since a none of my programmes will work (they are all installed on a seperate drive from the OS drive so were unaffected by the installation of Windows 7).

Is there a way to get the old registry back so i can take some of the registry values from it and add it to the new registry in windows 7? I still have the windows.old folder and all of its contents.
javaaman's Avatar
javaaman javaaman is offline
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05-Oct-2009, 07:48 AM #2
Exclamation Don't mix registry settings...
Howdy - Unfortunately, the registry settings from Vista are incompatible with Windows 7. This is basically true of all operating systems. You will have to reinstall your programs in Win7. This is due to the different registry structures of the 2 operating systems. You can not "blend" operating systems per se. This is, in part, why you were warned that the new install of Win7 would destroy all previous files on the hard drive. Unless you elect to save them in a .old folder; like you did. However, this is primarily done so that you will have access to your personal files, photos, etc. that were previously on the drive.

Additionally, you will not be able to "un-install" your programs from Win7 or the 2nd hard drive because they were obviously never installed in Win7 and will not show in "add or remove programs." Point being, if your 2nd hard drive has only programs that can not currently be used, it is advised to format this drive to clear it and begin with a clean slate to do your Win7 installs.

If you can not format the 2nd drive due to other files present, I suggest installing (in Win7) "Eraser" from Heide and erase (overwrite) all program folders (and any "un-foldered" program files) from the 2nd drive before beginning the reinstall process. Eraser has a handy right click context menu option. Just right click on the folder and select erase. In the "Confirm Erasing" window that will appear choose: Options > Select: Pseudorandom Data 1-pass for this application. It may take several minutes to erase all files.

Be advised that eraser permanently overwrites files to an irretrievable state.
You will find that eraser will also overwrite your recycle bin. I find that using eraser, in general, for files that you KNOW you don't want makes for a healthier hard drive and there is also an option for erasing the unused space on a hard drive. Eraser is FREE and GREAT open source software!

Hopefully it will be easy for you to reinstall all of your programs and hopefully they will all work in Win7. Please let me know if this was helpful.



Here is the Eraser download link from sourceforge:

Here is the Heide link to read about Eraser from the publisher:

Last edited by javaaman; 05-Oct-2009 at 09:37 AM..
javaaman's Avatar
javaaman javaaman is offline
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05-Oct-2009, 10:32 AM #3
Lightbulb On the other hand...
Howdy again - On the other hand, if you really want to try transferring the registry settings as you first asked, then you can do this. Here is a way to roll back to your original Vista OS from the current Win7 installation. It requires that there be a Windows.old folder. Please backup this .old folder before you begin, just in case. (Just copy Windows.old to a jump drive or DVD before you begin, for safekeeping)

Once you have restored the Vista OS, test it to ensure that all programs still function properly. Then capture the registry settings with your program of choice for future transfer. Store captured registry settings on a jump drive or CD/DVD. Then reinstall Win7 and go for it.

I am still of the opinion that you can not import Vista registry settings into Win7 and that you will be un-successful in attempting to do so. But if you still want to try here is the link from Microsoft for restoring to a previous Windows installation from Win7:

Good luck,


Last edited by javaaman; 05-Oct-2009 at 10:38 AM..
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