Moved Windows System Files

August 10, 2011 at 15:20:39
Specs: Windows 2000
Hi. I was in the process of cleaning up an old hard drive (ancient computer boot drive) by putting files onto a new external hard drive. I mounted the old drive as external on a different system, and started moving files. However, I realized that if I just moved all the files I would not be able to run some of the old applications, so I needed to keep at least the OS intact. As it turns out, I had moved the Drivers folder and the I386 folder (among a few dozen others that shouldn't impact the OS). The old drive has not had anything written to it since, and recuva also indicates that the files are easily recovered. My question is whether I can simply copy the files back to the same location or will Windows not be able to recognize that they are the "original" files? Do I need to "recover" those files "in place"? If so, not sure how since all the undelete apps I can find all say to recover to another drive... Of course, then they won't be found by Windows. Recovering to another location won't be any different than the original move, will it? Many years ago I know it was an option to "recover in place" which would simply reset the "deleted" flag, but that no longer appears to be an option. Any help is appreciated!


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October 16, 2011 at 18:23:24
Disabling System File Protection should allow you to copy the files back to the System folders, or to recover with Recuva to another folder and later return them to the System Folders.

Disabling the SFP or WFP feature in Windows 2000, Millennium, XP & 2003

Disable Windows File Protection (Windows 2000/XP)

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