Situation: given a good user-level Windows 7 Backup (i.e. a "Windows Backup" of their Documents and Pictures and the like), but not an entire-disk backup.

Given a fresh install of Windows 7 on the same box, required due to malware etc.

What steps to take to recreate the users and restore their files to get back as quickly as possible?

Do I create the user then restore the files? But then permissions are mucked up?

Is there another order of events to make this simple?

  • Do you care about the files more, or the permissions?
    – soandos
    Aug 15, 2011 at 1:23
  • The files. (Restoring them seemed to have all broken permissions - because the newly created user that I was restoring to was different) Google searching led to many discussions of File/Owner/Permissions but an hour later, my parent Photo directory still did not want to load (when logged in as their new user)
    – sdg
    Aug 15, 2011 at 1:29

3 Answers 3


To get all the files:

The windows backup is really just a large zip file. So, use your favorite zip utility (winzip, winrar, 7zip, etc) look at the files, then extract the files that you want.


Make the user first and then take the document folder or the contents inside it into the user's document folder. Permissions won't be mucked up


Not a simple scenario and pray the user has not encrypted folders. Whenever i face this problem i attempt to organize the files in a folder and place them in the desktop of your user. Organize whatever you kows need tech knowledge and the user is unaware of, for example, firefox and thunderbird profiles or outlook files. With not much effort you can replace messenger history and internet explorer favorites and alike. Other files will be placed in thatbig folder for your user to organize by herself. The reason is the IDs of users are different despite they have the save name, a security issue, i guess... Ah, don't forget to set the permissions on the user files.

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