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How do I retrieve files, programs, and settings from an old Operating


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#1
IcarusAbides

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I received a message that my "computer has changed significantly since Windows XP Professional was first installed. You need to reactivate within 3 days or you will no longer be able to use Windows." 2 days later, the computer was stuck in the boot-up menu. Black screen with white script. The PC was given me by an uncle who no longer has the XP install discs, so no magic 25 digit code to "reactivate".

I bought XP Home Version (because I could afford it) and installed it being careful to not overwrite the XP Professional that was the original OS. So when I boot up the PC, both XP versions are listed on the boot up menu. After installing XP Home Version I ran the Transfer Wizard and it looks like everything is still there, but in the C:\ menu when I open a folder and click on a program I'm told to reinstall or download said program. For the files from the first OS, I'm told Access Denied. Transfer Wizard did create 2 .DAT files and my hard drive still says that 81 Gigs of space is still used.

How can I transfer my Programs, Files and Settings from the first OS to the second OS? I can't access my photos or iTunes library or Firefox bookmarks... the list goes on. Any ideas? :)
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#2
Neil Jones

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Um, you didn't need to buy an entire new operating system. A free phone call would have reactivated the existing installation.

XP Home isn't an upgrade to XP Professional, and in most cases it will simply end up overwriting it. So unfortunately without any of the original program disks I have to say you've lost them all as your XP Home has wiped the previous installation.

Your old documents should still be in C:\Documents and Settings\<whatever your old username was>.
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#3
phillipcorcoran

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I don't think re-activation would have been that simple if the OP does not have the Product Key it was originally supplied with -- that's the first thing they asked me to read out when I needed re-activation. Anyway that's not really the issue now since the OP has bought a new copy of Windows.

To the OP -- you cannot transfer any Programs from the old Windows to the new one. Programs have to be re-installed on to the new Windows, and to do that you need the installation discs for each program. Why? - because when you install a program, a script copies files to various sub-folders inside the Windows folder, and puts entries into the Registry. If any one of those files or Registry entries is missing, the program won't run.

You are being denied access to your old documents folder because you are not logged on to the user account associated with that folder (obviously you can't do that now anyway). It's a privacy and security feature of XP that sometimes can be an unecessary complication. You need to 'take ownership' of that folder to gain access to it:

http://support.micro....com/?id=308421
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#4
IcarusAbides

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Any ideas re: iTunes? If I reload that program, will I lose my library? :)
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#5
IcarusAbides

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Thanks Phillip for the link to microsoft. It took me right where I needed to go and walked me through the process clearly. And it worked! :) Everything retrieved. You were right about the programs, too. I'll have to re-install, but I can deal with that. I have only to figure out iTunes, then I'm golden. Thanks again for the helpful advice! Cheers!
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