How do I access files under Window.old after reinstalling Windows Vista?

Mitchell Ruffin June 17, 2011
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I moved a 250 Gig HD from one computer to another machine that had a bad 500 Gig HD to remove. When I installed the 250 GB HD in place of the 500 GB HD, I had to reinstall Windows. The machine had used a different version of Windows Vista than the one that came with the 250 GB HD.

During the reinstall all of the Windows components and files that existed on the 250 GB HD were put into a file called Windows.old. When I try to use say a DOC file inside of the is folder, I get a message that says there isn’t a program on the system that can open and execute it.

How do I get the old Windows install to work with the new Windows install.

  1. Anonymous
    June 18, 2011 at 7:36 am

    You have to re-install your programs in Vista. After you re-install the programs you shouldbe able to open your data files.

    Also make sure that you have the right permissions on the files to be opened or transferred.

    Executing these commands should give you access to the files:
    cd f:windows.oldprogram files
    takeown /F . /A /R /D Y > NUL
    icacls . /grant System:(CI)(OI)(IO)(F) /grant
    Administrators:(CI)(OI)(IO)(F) /grant Users:(CI)(OI)(IO)(RX) /grant
    System:(F) /grant Administrators:(F) /grant Users:(RX) /T /L /Q

    This will allow you to get at the files inside those folders. You shouldfollow the advice of another poster and re-install the applications inWindows Vista, as most of them won't work just by running them fromWindows.old.