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"Windows.Old"

Last response: in Windows 7
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January 12, 2013 8:11:02 PM

While trying to set up for dual-booting with Linux, I used a free program that apparently messed up my Win7 MBR or structure of my sectors. I panicked because I couldn't see anything on the disk. I concluded in despair that everything was lost so I got a Win7 disk from a friend. When I installed it, fortunately it straightened out what was wrong and created a separate folder called "Windows.Old" with all the contents I had before. Relief! Now, however, I'm getting messages that my installation of Windows 7 isn't "genuine" so it's time to revert back to the previous installation and license that I had, if possible, from the Windows.Old folder. I have some ideas, not the least of which is to make an Acronis image of everything I have now then try to transfer what I have in the "Window.Old" folder to the root directory. I understand that I would probably need to do that with the disk as an external disk so that the system files are inactive while I do it. Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks in advance for your time and consideration.

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a b $ Windows 7
January 12, 2013 8:17:36 PM

Don't make it overly complicated. Just activate your newer installation with your key, and delete the Windows.old folder. Then buy a copy of VMWare Workstation that will let you play with all the OS's you want without messing up your primary install.
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January 12, 2013 8:41:34 PM

Thanks for the quick response, RealBeast. I have Parallels Workstation which I think would fulfill your suggestion similar to VMWare Workstation.

In terms of the Windows issue, I don't have a key for the "panic installation" from my friend, and what he loaned me is Enterprise edition whereas mine is Professional, so that's why I'm thinking I need to get my original installation back. Believe me, after all I've been through with this, I would absolutely love to do everything in the least complicated way possible. If I need the license key again (Windows 7 came pre-installed on a Lenovo T410), how would I obtain it (from Windows.Old)?
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a b $ Windows 7
January 12, 2013 8:53:40 PM

You can download a legit iso of your version of Windows from DIGITAL RIVER and do a clean installation from that with your key. If you do, upon booting from the DVD do a custom install and first delete all partitions, then install to the single unallocated space that remains. If you have any problem with activation, just do a phone activation -- MS is always understanding and will quickly allow it, usually just with the computerized phone part, although I have rarely even had to do a phone activation in situations like this.

Your original key should be on a sticker on your computer.
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a b $ Windows 7
January 12, 2013 8:58:49 PM

licence key -- look on the base of your unit, sometimes under the battery compartment (if applicable) otherwise in the box you got the laptop out of it may be attached to something

running disk cleanup also will cleanup the old install (click clean up system files, then select everything)
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January 18, 2013 7:40:19 PM

Best answer selected by muybn.
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January 18, 2013 7:42:11 PM

Perfect! This is incredibly valuable information. You da beast!

RealBeast said:
You can download a legit iso of your version of Windows from DIGITAL RIVER and do a clean installation from that with your key. If you do, upon booting from the DVD do a custom install and first delete all partitions, then install to the single unallocated space that remains. If you have any problem with activation, just do a phone activation -- MS is always understanding and will quickly allow it, usually just with the computerized phone part, although I have rarely even had to do a phone activation in situations like this.

Your original key should be on a sticker on your computer.

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January 18, 2013 7:43:21 PM

Thank you, Apache_Lives. Great information.

apache_lives said:
licence key -- look on the base of your unit, sometimes under the battery compartment (if applicable) otherwise in the box you got the laptop out of it may be attached to something

running disk cleanup also will cleanup the old install (click clean up system files, then select everything)

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