Uninstalling Vista...

#1
Welcome Googlers!

This thread is summed up and perfected in our guide here: So You Overwrote Your XP?

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Okay, here's my problem. When I installed Vista I did a clean install. Unfortunately it was on the same partition as my XP. Now I wanna go back to how things were - that is with no Vista and only XP. But I can't boot from my XP cd... Any ideas?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
OK, so long as you didn't format the partition and only installed over it, it is *theoretically* possible to restore it.

First & most importantly,

  • Is there a "Windows.old" folder in the Vista partition?
  • Do you have anything you want to keep on the Vista partition? If so, back it up to another drive or CD/DVD.

If there is the Windows.old folder, please tell me the folders within it... just the first level is enough.
 
#3
Computer Guru said:
OK, so long as you didn't format the partition and only installed over it, it is *theoretically* possible to restore it.

First & most importantly,

  • Is there a "Windows.old" folder in the Vista partition?
  • Do you have anything you want to keep on the Vista partition? If so, back it up to another drive or CD/DVD.

If there is the Windows.old folder, please tell me the folders within it... just the first level is enough.
I do have the Windows.old folder and no, I don't want to keep anything from the partition. All of my documents are on another partition.
 
#4
Welcome to NeoSmart Technologies ps_hansen, I'm sure someone will be around to help you in no time :smile:

EDIT
Guess they already have... :wink:
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#5
ps_hansen said:
I do have the Windows.old folder and no, I don't want to keep anything from the partition. All of my documents are on another partition.
OK, can you list the contents of that folder please?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#7
Great!

Please take a moment to verify that the "Program Files" folder seems to have the right files from before the upgrade, then you need to do this:

1) Burn Vista to a DVD if you haven't already. It needs to be burned, not mounted or extracted.
UNLESS
1) You have another Windows or Linux partition on the system that you can boot into to delete some files from the Vista partition (i.e. Linux compiled with NTFS write support). Please post back saying which step you took.

2) Copy as many of these files from your Vista partition to the Windows.old folder:
Code:
\ntldr 
\NTDETECT.COM 
\MSDOS.SYS 
\CONFIG.SYS 
\AUTOEXEC.BAT
Let me know which ones you copied and which ones you didn't/couldn't find.
 
#8
Computer Guru said:
Great!

Please take a moment to verify that the "Program Files" folder seems to have the right files from before the upgrade, then you need to do this:

1) Burn Vista to a DVD if you haven't already. It needs to be burned, not mounted or extracted.
UNLESS
1) You have another Windows or Linux partition on the system that you can boot into to delete some files from the Vista partition (i.e. Linux compiled with NTFS write support). Please post back saying which step you took.

2) Copy as many of these files from your Vista partition to the Windows.old folder:
Code:
\ntldr 
\NTDETECT.COM 
\MSDOS.SYS 
\CONFIG.SYS 
\AUTOEXEC.BAT
Let me know which ones you copied and which ones you didn't/couldn't find.
What do I need to burn the Vista dvd for?

Anyway... None of the files are listed in Vista's Windows directory.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#9
If you don't have another partition to boot to, we're going to use the Vista DVD to delete the Vista-related files and replace them with the ones in Windows.old - something that you can't do from within Vista itself. But, like I said, if you have another Vista partition, another XP partition, or you're willing to create another partition and install XP to there, that'll work too.
 
#10
Computer Guru said:
If you don't have another partition to boot to, we're going to use the Vista DVD to delete the Vista-related files and replace them with the ones in Windows.old - something that you can't do from within Vista itself. But, like I said, if you have another Vista partition, another XP partition, or you're willing to create another partition and install XP to there, that'll work too.
I don't have any other partitions except the one that's bursting with all my documents... So we'll have to do it from the Vista DVD... But how do I do that?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#11
OK, Just Burn the DVD with Nero or Roxio or whatever your favorite burning program is (Daemon Tools and Alcohol 120% can do it too), and then post back :smile:
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#14
OK, that's great!

1) Download, Install, and Run VistaBootPRO

2) Use VBPRO to delete the Vista Bootloader. It's on the settings tab with the big red button. Press OK at all the prompts, and let VBPRO exit.

3) Restart with the DVD in the drive.

4) At the first prompt where you have the huge "Install Vista" button, click the link in the bottom-left-hand corner ("Advanced" or "Fix Startup"?)

5) Open a Command Prompt (CMD Window) from there.

4) Execute the following commands:
Code:
cd c:
cd c:\
ren boot boot.vista
ren Windows Windows.vista
ren Users Users.vista
ren "Program Files" "Program Files.vista"
ren "Config.Msi" "Config.Msi.vista"
ren "Documents and Settings" "Documents and Settings.vista"
ren MSOCache MSOCache.vista
ren ProgramData ProgramData.vista
ren Recycled Recycled.vista
ren * *.vista
xcopy Windows.old\* c:\ /E /C /I /G /H /R /K /Y
shutdown -r -t 0
Provided you copied all the files I mentioned earlier to Windows.old, this should reboot into XP.
Do you have another PC that you can use to post here in case something goes wrong?

Best of luck!!
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#15
Oh yeah..
This is assuming your Vista drive is Drive C:\
 
#16
Computer Guru said:
Oh yeah..
This is assuming your Vista drive is Drive C:\
I haven't copied any of the files you mentioned to windows.old cause I couldn't find any of them... And yes, I do have another computer if anything goes wrong
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#17
OK, no problem.
Grab those files from the other computer, and copy them to the Windows.old folder :smile:
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#19
Hey, are you comfortable opening your PC?

The easiest way to do it would be to temporarily attach the HD we're working on to the other PC, work on it there from within Windows, then move it back. It would be a lot faster.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#20
ps_hansen said:
Computer Guru said:
OK, no problem.
Grab those files from the other computer, and copy them to the Windows.old folder :smile:
Oh... I thought I should copy those from Vista's Windows folder!?
No.
From the root directory.
For example, if Vista is installed to E:\ those files would be in E:\