[Solved]| How to roll back from Windows 10 to 7 , if Windows 10 can't boot?

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by eross, May 22, 2016.

  1. eross

    eross MDL Novice

    Jul 27, 2007
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    #1 eross, May 22, 2016
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
    This is a Dell Vostro 3550 laptop that came with Windows 7. Today, Windows 10 installed automatically, without user intervention. The problem is that Windows 10 can't finish the boot process . After the first few seconds of booting, it stays on a black screen forever. Nothing I tried changes that.
    I would like to try to manually roll back to 7, by connecting the disk to another PC via USB, renaming the Windows.old folder to Windows, and renaming the current Windows to something else.
    My question is: Is that enough or do I need to edit any other files or folders?

    Thanks!

    Edit:
    I followed the suggestions provided here:
    First I tried F8 and Shift+F8 - no luck. Windows 10 just tried to load again and again. Occasionally I get a W10 BSOD with error WDF_Violation.
    Next, I used Hiren's boot cd miniXP to replace the folders in windows .old with those of windows 10. I saved the W10folders in a temp folder and rebooted. Windows 7 started to boot, but went into a BSOD/restart loop. I couldn't even see the message. So back to Hiren boot CD and reverse the process.
    Finaly I used Windows 10 Media (USB drive) to boot into setup , went to repair> Troubleshoot>Advanced options>Go Back to the Previous Build. Strangely there was only Windows 10 there. Clicked on that. It went into a screen "Restoring your previous version of Windows " but got stuck on "Restarting". After Googling it I realized I need to force a shut down for this to complete. After restarting, Windows 10 again tried to boot, went into the same BSOD as before and restarted. This time it completed the rollback to Windows 7!
    After checking that everything is working I used GWX Control Panel to delete anything Windows 10 on the PC, and prevent it from trying to reinstall again.
     
  2. kaljukass

    kaljukass MDL Addicted

    Nov 26, 2012
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    You deserve the Nobel science prize.
    Why do not to read what is already written? There is thousands postings how to upgrade, how avoid, how roll back, etc.
     
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  3. eross

    eross MDL Novice

    Jul 27, 2007
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    Perhaps, but I could not find any answer to my particular quetion. I know how to roll back from within Windows 10, but this PC cannot boot into Windows
     
  4. pisthai

    pisthai Imperfect Human

    Jul 29, 2009
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    Maybe, it's really a MAYBE, you could try to boot from a Windows 10 install media (DVD and/or USB Flash drive) to start the rollback procedure! Tha MAYBE could work! It's a guess but worth trying!
     
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  5. eross

    eross MDL Novice

    Jul 27, 2007
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    Thanks for the suggestion. This is not my own laptop, and the owner does not have any Install media. I will try to get the PC to me (different city...). But, is that an option when you boot from the install media ?( I have created a bootable USB drive with Media Creation Tool.) It's usually System Restore that's an option.
     
  6. MrMagic

    MrMagic MDL Guru

    Feb 13, 2012
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    Just wipe it and reinstall 7
     
  7. T-S

    T-S MDL Guru

    Dec 14, 2012
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    You're right on principles but wrong on details.

    windows.old is a container for windows, program files, users and so on.

    Hence you have to move the folders from the root directory to someting like windows.new and all the folder inside the windows.old folder to the root directory.

    I strongly advise against doing that from another windows.

    Do it from the recovery consolle using the command line or (better) using any linux live distro. Or you will face an endless string of troubles because the permissions.
     
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  8. eross

    eross MDL Novice

    Jul 27, 2007
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    Thanks
    what about using Hiren boot CD with miniXP?
     
  9. glennsamuel32

    glennsamuel32 MDL Senior Member

    Jul 15, 2012
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    #9 glennsamuel32, May 22, 2016
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
    Start the PC while holding down Shift + F8 to reach the boot menu...

    Go to Advanced Options -- Go back to Win 7...

    If you're lucky, Windows 10 will restore Win 7 with all your files...


    Hiren's can be used to access your files / pictures and save them to an external storage...

    So if you need to clean install Win 7, you have your personal stuff...
     
  10. T-S

    T-S MDL Guru

    Dec 14, 2012
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    I think it should work.

    Never tried to do that task with It. I'm more confortable with linux, with mini XP you have a mini something, with a good and light linux I have a fully Working os that I can use if I have to move a lot of files, its fdisk is more practical and so on.

    But It's matter of personal preferences I think
     
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  11. glennsamuel32

    glennsamuel32 MDL Senior Member

    Jul 15, 2012
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    Yes I'm too more comfortable with Linux to get access to files / folders, since Windows permissions don't affect Linux ;)

    Hopefully, the OP has an Ubuntu disk available...
     
  12. eross

    eross MDL Novice

    Jul 27, 2007
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    Are the folders in Windows old all that's been changed? Nothing with bootmgr or bootsect etc?
     
  13. eross

    eross MDL Novice

    Jul 27, 2007
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    Is that done without installation media? Plain boot?
     
  14. T-S

    T-S MDL Guru

    Dec 14, 2012
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    And w/o any clue or what's really happening. Very handy when it works, very unpleasant when it doesn't.
     
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  15. glennsamuel32

    glennsamuel32 MDL Senior Member

    Jul 15, 2012
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    No other installation media required...

    If you do not get the boot options, then it isn't possible...

    Just make sure you try it at least 10 times before giving up ;)
     
  16. PhaseDoubt

    PhaseDoubt MDL Expert

    Dec 24, 2011
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    I like post #6. But before that, boot from a LiveCd such as Linux Mint and copy off all important personal data files. Then wipe the drive, reinstall 7 and give the owner his installation media. You also might want to help him understand the importance of regular backups as well as keeping at least one secured system image.
     
  17. eross

    eross MDL Novice

    Jul 27, 2007
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    Solved. Needed to use Windows 10 installation media to rollback to 7. Please see my first post.
    Thanks to all who helped. :worthy:
     
  18. glennsamuel32

    glennsamuel32 MDL Senior Member

    Jul 15, 2012
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    If you couldn't get to the recovery component without any media, it's clear that Win 10 wasn't completely installed on your pc...

    Strange that it upgraded on it's own without intervention and then failed to boot...

    That's why I never do any upgrades...just clean install for peace of mind...
     
  19. eross

    eross MDL Novice

    Jul 27, 2007
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    When the PC booted to Windows 7 desktop, it returned to the spot it was left - all open software was there. Windows update was open with an error saying Windows 10 upgrade failed. This means that the upgrade is now a required windows update, and anyone with automatic updates enabled will eventually get this!
    The absurd thing is that Dell informs that this laptop is not tested with Windows 10 upgrade on it's support page:

    "Product not tested for Windows 10 upgrade

    Dell is not testing or developing Windows 10 drivers for this product. If you choose to upgrade, some features, applications, and connected devices may not work as expected."


    And yet Microsoft decided that it is, and upgraded the computer with permission from the user.

    In my office we have 20 PC's. I never reserved a Windows 10 upgrade on any of them. yet all were scheduled by Microsoft for automatic upgrade. In fact one has upgraded during one of the employees work, and she had to stop working for the duration of the upgrade. This is outrageous!
    After that I disabled GWX on all the other PCs. I intend to upgrade soon, but at my discretion.
    I can't believe there is no class action suite yet against MS, due to these forced upgrades.
     
  20. PhaseDoubt

    PhaseDoubt MDL Expert

    Dec 24, 2011
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    #20 PhaseDoubt, May 23, 2016
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
    There might be at some point. The gears of justice often grind finely, but they also grind slowly. Almost as soon as the Microsoft forced upgrade campaign started, solutions to thwart it began to pop up. Two I know of are the GWX_Control_Panel and grc.com's never10.exe. They both have worked perfectly for me.
    Sometimes the best medicine is preventive and not corrective. I've successfully upgraded our three remaining Windows 7 computers to 10 and taken the time to eliminate as much of the "privacy-robbing" features as I can. But long before that, I used GWX_Control_Panel and later never10. Maybe you'd benefit from one of them. I suggest never10.

    Our Dell Latitude 10 Windows 8.1 tablet failed the Windows 10 upgrade for exactly the reason you stated. But, no harm was done and no disk space was wasted via the attempted upgrade. never10 is working just fine on it and as of July 29, per Microsoft, the Windows 10 nagging will be phased out. Better late and slow that never I guess.