In this article, we will show you how to manually restore to your previous version of the Windows Operating System on your computer before you installed Windows Vista.
To perform this procedure, you will be using the Windows Command prompt. The steps are outlined in detail and easy to follow especially for a beginning to intermediate computer user.
You may find it easier to follow the steps if you print this article first.
Steps to restore a computer to a previous Windows installation after you install Windows Vista
Step 1: Determine whether there is a Windows.OLD folder and whether there is sufficient free space on the Windows hard disk
a. Click Start, and then click Computer.
b. On the View menu, click Details.
c. In the Free Space column, note how much space is available for Local Disk (C:) under the Hard Disk Drives area.
d. In the Hard Disk Drives area, double-click Local Disk (C:), and then determine whether the Windows.OLD folder exists.
Note: If the Windows.OLD folder does not exist, you cannot follow the steps in this article to restore the previous Windows installation to this computer.
e. Right-click the Windows.OLD folder.
f. Windows Vista will determine the size of the folder after several seconds.
Determine whether the Windows.OLD folder is smaller than the free space that is available for Local Disk (C:) in step 2.
Step 2: Start the Windows Recovery Environment
a. Put the Windows Vista installation disc in the DVD drive, and then restart the computer.
b. Press a key when you are prompted to restart from the disc.
c. In the Install Windows window, select a language, a time, a currency, a keyboard input method or other input method, and then click Next.
d. In the Install Windows window, click Repair your computer.
e. In the System Recovery Options window, click the version of the Windows Vista operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next.
f. In the System Recovery Options window, click Command Prompt.
The Command Prompt window opens, and it displays the command prompt. The command prompt is where you will type the commands that are described in the following steps.
Step 3: Rename the Windows Vista folders
Note When you type one or more of the commands at the command prompt in the following steps in this section, and you then press ENTER, you may receive the following message:
The system cannot find the file specified.
If you receive this message, go to the next step in this section, and then type the command in that next step.