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windows 7The new Microsoft operating system is just great with its shiny look and its gorgeous buttons. However, some users may find it a little too tricky to use or too naive to work with. If you do not like Windows 7, you might want to downgrade to the previous Microsoft operating  system, Windows Vista. So let’s see how to make this procedure easy and painless… in only 10 steps!

Before starting, you  have to make sure that in your Windows 7 is available a special folder called Windows.old. Remember, without it, you won’t be able to downgrade. So, click the Computer icon on your desktop, click the C: partition (or whatever partition containing your operating system) and look for such a folder. If your System has got it, you are OK and you can go on with the steps below.

  1. Now insert your Windows 7 DVD into your CD/DVD drive and reboot your PC. (by the way, take note of the letter associated to your optical drive. It will be very usefull later!) Your computer should boot from the DVD.
  2. The first window will ask you to choose your language, time and currency and the type of keyboard.
  3. The next window will ask you to install Windows 7.  Under the big Install Now button, you should notice a link called Repair your Computer. Click it and select your Microsoft operating system, the one installed on your machine. Press the Next button.
  4. A new window called System Recovery Option should appear on your screen. Among the different ways to fix your Windows you should be able to see one called Command Prompt. Click it.
  5. The black Command Prompt window should appear. At this point, type the following commands. One by one, making sure to press Enter after each:
    • C: (or whatever partition your Windows 7 is installed)
    • Md Win7
    • Move Windows Win7\Windows
    • Move “Program Files” “Win7\Program Files”
    • Move Users Win7\Users
    • Attrib –h –s –r ProgramData
    • Move ProgramData Win7\ProgramData
    • Rd “Documents and Settings”
  6. These commands will move  Windows 7 content to a special folder. Now let’s move and the content located under the famous Windows.old to the C: drive. Use these commands to perform the operation just described. Do not forget to press Enter after each command:
    • move /y c:\Windows.old\Windows c:\
    • move /y “c:\Windows.old\Program Files” c:\
    • move /y c:\Windows.old\ProgramData c:\
    • move /y c:\Windows.old\Users c:\
    • move /y “c:\Windows.old\Documents and Settings” c:\
  7. Now, let’s restore the boot of Windows Vista by typing this command:
    • D:\boot\bootsect /nt60 c:
  8. Make sure that D: is the real name of your CD/DVD drive! Type exit and press Enter.
  9. Reboot your computer to start using Windows Vista!
  10. Delete the Win7 folder located in the C: drive.

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2 Comments to “How to Safely Downgrade from Windows 7 to Windows Vista in 10 Easy Steps”

  1. Grr Says:


    Does it also holds good for downgrade to XP?

  2. Paul Says:

    the only way to have a windows.old folder is if you upgraded to 7 from vista [which is stupid anyway, you should be doing a clean install of 7]

    next time image the system before upgrading. as a matter of fact, dont upgrade. your system will be slower if you upgrade as opposed to a clean install.

    this article is a waste of bandwidth.

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