Author Topic: Windows.old Questions  (Read 1490 times)

Offline Spikey00

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Windows.old Questions
« on: March 15, 2010, 05:39:58 PM »
I have a few a questions regarding windows.old after a clean re-install of Windows 7; I did not expect that the computer still leave all my old files intact for it was supposedly a "clean" install.  I now don't see a difference between upgrading and clean install, but this wouldn't be the question.

Since all my files were still on the HD, it rendered my minor backups useless, not that I am complaining.  However, my main issue is with removing Windows.old after I have extracted all that I need from the old installation so as to recover the space left over--so far I have done a select drag-over from folders such as the old Programs Files to a folder on my desktop.  At first, I was cautious on whether or not these programs would still be functioning, as I have no idea why they would still run anyways if I assume a clean reinstall removes all registries and such, but unexpectedly, most of them ran fine.  However, with that assumption, what allows the programs to run if there is a lack of registries?  Can I remove Windows.old safely without the concerns of any mishap with the programs?  I attempted at binning the folder temporarily, but unfortunately the content names are too long/etc. and must otherwise be deleted permanently.

Short:  My programs from my reinstall of Windows 7 are still functioning for the moment, but if I delete the Windows.old remnant will they still run?

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As a side question, why do game need registries [beyond referral]?  I'm confused, as some games don't need registries in order to run properly, and there are software that can "portable-ize" programs and such.


Thank you for your responses in advance.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Windows.old Questions
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2010, 05:48:57 PM »
Windows.old is just for your convenience if you want to get any last data out of there.  Nothing current still uses it at all, so you can safely delete it.

The registry is used for a lot of programs to say where the program is and to store data.  In some senses I think it is there to intentionally make the programs less portable.  I practice very minimal use of the registry for this reason.
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Offline Spikey00

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Re: Windows.old Questions
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2010, 06:58:23 PM »
Then can I say migrating to another OS with CDs and the like is unnecessary, or does clean install sometimes delete absolutely everything?

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In that sense, do registries help resist defragmentation (or are they just there for no real benefit to the user)?


Thanks for the reply, Chris.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Windows.old Questions
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2010, 07:23:59 PM »
Well, in theory, the registry helps when creating distinct settings for each user of the computer as opposed to .ini files or the like (settings.dat, in AI Wars' case).  It's also less likely the user will accidentally damage their registry keys than accidentally delete an .ini file.  But it makes it windows-only and the registry is a major pain in a lot of other ways.
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Offline Echo35

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Re: Windows.old Questions
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2010, 12:26:17 PM »
Who upgrades Windows without a clean format/install? I've always considered it a bad idea, lol

Offline Spikey00

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Re: Windows.old Questions
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2010, 06:13:04 PM »
Well, in theory, the registry helps when creating distinct settings for each user of the computer as opposed to .ini files or the like (settings.dat, in AI Wars' case).  It's also less likely the user will accidentally damage their registry keys than accidentally delete an .ini file.  But it makes it windows-only and the registry is a major pain in a lot of other ways.

Is it fair to say that then, if any program or software that has .ini/.dat/etc. files, then it does not need registries (if not, then what's the point to it...)?

To my mind, I'm finding registries a lot more redundant than what they're worth--regedit is a horror when you need it, and for user-orientation it seems that using more localized files in the respective program folder is far more convenient, even if the user may somehow delete these files (doesn't the program usually create a new one?).

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Seeing how Windows leaves my files alone after a clean install, I'm pretty sure I will do that in the future, instead of waiting for an entire day for the OS to "upgrade", which doesn't really do anything apart from being useless.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Windows.old Questions
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2010, 06:25:13 PM »
Well, in theory, the registry helps when creating distinct settings for each user of the computer as opposed to .ini files or the like (settings.dat, in AI Wars' case).  It's also less likely the user will accidentally damage their registry keys than accidentally delete an .ini file.  But it makes it windows-only and the registry is a major pain in a lot of other ways.

Is it fair to say that then, if any program or software that has .ini/.dat/etc. files, then it does not need registries (if not, then what's the point to it...)?
Not necessarily, you might have a few pieces of info that really need to be user-specific and perhaps not even visible/findable by other users (game passwords and the like) but keep everything else in the simpler format.
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Offline Spikey00

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Re: Windows.old Questions
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2010, 09:33:34 PM »
Ah, I understand.

Thanks for all the information, Keith.
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