Something has messed up my Windows 7 installation and I have to make a fresh install on the same partition (C:\ drive) but without deleting any existing folders on that drive (other than Windows or program files folder).

I need to preserve my users folder, which contains a lot of important data and besides that there are other very important folders which must not be deleted during a reinstall.

If I select custom install and just choose the C:\ drive, will it delete any of my files on that same drive? How can I keep my existing files?

  • Whatever you do ... back it up first. If the data's there, you may be able to copy it out with a linux livecd/dvd/usb – Journeyman Geek Oct 22 '15 at 2:03
  • Try this: lifehacker.com/5983652/… – Jatin Oct 22 '15 at 2:18
  • Short answer is NO it would create a windows.old folder in C:\ with your old data – pun Oct 22 '15 at 5:13

Best practice is to back up your files anyway, but yes, you can do a repair build with Windows 7 which won't remove your files.

A new install will put all your files and folders into a folder on your c drive where you can get them after install. So they will still be there, but all in subfolders of a folder, rather than in your my docs, desktop etc... Don't do an install that formats your drive.

  • I am not doing repair I am doing a new install replacing existing windows and wanted to know if in that case the existing folders or files in that drive and unharmed ? – Ahmed Oct 22 '15 at 2:14
  • Yes, it will keep the files, changed my answer to include that scenario. – Kilisi Oct 22 '15 at 2:17
  • The folders and files which are on the root say for example I have C:\data_and_media what happens to them ? are they also put in a sub directory on root ? – Ahmed Oct 22 '15 at 2:19
  • no they remain on the root, just your old windows installation is renamed and will contain your personal files. For Windows 7 I can't remember if the old Windows is renamed or the new one is called Windows001 or something, either way your files are ok. – Kilisi Oct 22 '15 at 2:20
  • 1
    Typically its Windows.old on upgrades – Journeyman Geek Oct 22 '15 at 2:30

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