Windows.old - how to prevent the upgrade backup?


  1. Posts : 8
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    Windows.old - how to prevent the upgrade backup?


    Hello people,

    I was wondering if there's any way to prevent Windows 10 from saving the old build in Windows.old when upgrading to a new one. I know about backup being a safety measure if something goes wrong, but I have more faith in Microsoft doing it right than in my SSD surviving the extra write load on it compared to Win 7 for very long. For backup purposes I have a regularly updated system image that I store on a normal HDD that's gonna last way longer with the same write operations count than any SSD, so I technically don't need the build backup and I'd like to get rid of it, tell Windows not to do it.

    Any thoughts?
    Thanks

    Dex
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 61,516
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
       #2

    Hello Dex, :)

    There's nothing you can do to prevent the Windows.old folder from being created when you upgrade Windows. However, you can easily delete it using an option in the tutorial below afterwards.

    https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/2...dows-10-a.html
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 13,933
    Windows 10 Pro X64 21H1 19043.1503
       #3

    I don't think you need to be concerned about wearing out your SSD. What make and model number do you have. Unless it's really old it will last a looonnngggg time :)

    My SSD is maybe 5 years old now (Samsung 840 EVO 250GB) and has written 6.79TB of data to date according to Samsung Magician.
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 3,257
    Windows 10 Pro
       #4

    dexsk said:
    I was wondering if there's any way to prevent Windows 10 from saving the old build in Windows.old when upgrading to a new one. I know about backup being a safety measure if something goes wrong, but I have more faith in Microsoft doing it right than in my SSD surviving the extra write load on it compared to Win 7 for very long.
    You cannot stop it, because the backup is a vital part of the upgrade process. By that, I mean that Windows does not make a copy of Windows , then upgrade over your original files. Instead, it renames the folders (this is a simple operation that does not involve copying the files) and then installs the new OS clean. After the OS is installed, it migrates files from your Windows.old (including registry entries) to the new OS folder.

    So, without Windows.old it's not possible to perform an upgrade.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 13,933
    Windows 10 Pro X64 21H1 19043.1503
       #5

    There has to be some copying of files going on since the \Users directory tree is also contained under Windows.old.

    I don't have one I can look at any more, but what about the Program Files, Program Files (X86) and ProgramData directories. Aren't they also copied under Windows.old?
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 8
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Ztruker said:
    I don't think you need to be concerned about wearing out your SSD. What make and model number do you have. Unless it's really old it will last a looonnngggg time :)

    My SSD is maybe 5 years old now (Samsung 840 EVO 250GB) and has written 6.79TB of data to date according to Samsung Magician.
    Mystere said:
    You cannot stop it, because the backup is a vital part of the upgrade process. By that, I mean that Windows does not make a copy of Windows , then upgrade over your original files. Instead, it renames the folders (this is a simple operation that does not involve copying the files) and then installs the new OS clean. After the OS is installed, it migrates files from your Windows.old (including registry entries) to the new OS folder.

    So, without Windows.old it's not possible to perform an upgrade.
    Samsung 840 120GB here, looks like it's gonna hold a good long time then :) and Mystere, thanks for the explanation, that summed it up nicely :)
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 3,257
    Windows 10 Pro
       #7

    Ztruker said:
    There has to be some copying of files going on since the \Users directory tree is also contained under Windows.old.

    I don't have one I can look at any more, but what about the Program Files, Program Files (X86) and ProgramData directories. Aren't they also copied under Windows.old?
    Yes, that's what I meant by "migrate". It copies files, as well as registry entries from the Windows.old users folder to the new one. The point being that the copy can't be stopped if you are doing an upgrade, because the copy is used as part of the upgrade process.
      My Computer


 

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