What is this large folder?

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  1. f14tomcat's Avatar
    Posts : 47,454
    Triple boot - Win 10 Pro, Win 10 Pro Insider (2) - (and a sprinkling of VMs)
       #41

    Steve C said:
    Thank you all for your help.

    The conclusion is that once you have enabled Application Guard you are left with several GB of useless files in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Containers even after disabling Application Guard. There appears to be no safe way of deleting the files.

    I'll file a feedback report and you never know Microsoft may get around to fixing their sloppy engineering.
    Thank you for doing the Feedback chore. Regret there is no apparent user solution.
    And Bree, for being the guinea pig.

    Cheers..............
      My Computers

  2. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 15,428
    10 Home x64 (2004) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #42

    Steve C said:
    The conclusion is that once you have enabled Application Guard you are left with several GB of useless files in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Containers even after disabling Application Guard. There appears to be no safe way of deleting the files.

    I'll file a feedback report and you never know Microsoft may get around to fixing their sloppy engineering.
    I would like to reclaim those 'several GB' too. Do post an update if anything comes from your feedback report....
      My Computers

  3. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 15,428
    10 Home x64 (2004) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #43

    Take Two...


    Bree said:
    I would like to reclaim those 'several GB' too. Do post an update if anything comes from your feedback report....
    OK, so I got impatient and thought I'd have another go. This time I managed to remove C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Containers without killing my system. Well, the Start menu works, my VMs still run and I'm posting this from that machine. This may be overkill, but these were the steps I took...

    Uninstalled 'Windows Defender Application Guard' in 'Turn Windows features on or off' and restarted.

    Used Advanced start-up in Settings > Update & Security > Recovery to boot to a Command Prompt. CD into C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows then used the command rmdir /s containers

    This removed most but not all files. There were a number of reports that 'The system cannot find the path specified', all in subfolders of the BaseImages folder.

    Code:
    containers\BASEIM~1\84C610~1\Files\Users\WDAGUtilityAccount\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy\AC\AppCache\2TZYVOBF\1\C__Windows_SystemApps_Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy_cache_Desktop_10[1].txt - The system cannot find the path specified.
    ...
     containers\BASEIM~1\84C610~1\Files\Windows\System32\CatRoot\{F750E6C3-38EE-11D1-85E5-00C04FC295EE}\Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP-Component-SKU-ProfessionalSingleLanguage-License-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.17763.1.cat - The system cannot find the path specified.

    Restarted and checked the size of Containers, it was now down to 260MB.

    In Regedit, deleted the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Containers (after checking that it didn't exist on the machine that had never had Application Guard) then restarted.

    In Advanced Security took ownership of Containers, granting myself Full Control at the same time, and ticking the boxes for 'Replace owner on subcontainers and objects' and 'Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permission entries from this object'.

    Used File Manager to delete C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Containers. It reported that some file paths were too long to go into the Recycle bin, did I want to permanently delete them? (This may also explain the rmdir errors earlier).



    So far, everything seems to be working normally. Even SFC thinks the system is healthy.

    What is this large folder?-image.png



    Postscript:

    Still working

    I have now made a new Macrium image of this 'slimmed down' system. Mounting it and the image I restored to start this process, I see that my C: drive has now gained 4.7GB extra free space.
    Last edited by Bree; 17 May 2019 at 20:33. Reason: Postscript
      My Computers

  4. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 5,283
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
    Thread Starter
       #44

    Bree said:
    OK, so I got impatient and thought I'd have another go. This time I managed to remove C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Containers without killing my system. Well, the Start menu works, my VMs still run and I'm posting this from that machine. This may be overkill, but these were the steps I took...

    Uninstalled 'Windows Defender Application Guard' in 'Turn Windows features on or off' and restarted.

    Used Advanced start-up in Settings > Update & Security > Recovery to boot to a Command Prompt. CD into C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows then used the command rmdir /s containers

    This removed most but not all files. There were a number of reports that 'The system cannot find the path specified', all in subfolders of the BaseImages folder.

    Code:
    containers\BASEIM~1\84C610~1\Files\Users\WDAGUtilityAccount\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy\AC\AppCache\2TZYVOBF\1\C__Windows_SystemApps_Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy_cache_Desktop_10[1].txt - The system cannot find the path specified.
    ...
     containers\BASEIM~1\84C610~1\Files\Windows\System32\CatRoot\{F750E6C3-38EE-11D1-85E5-00C04FC295EE}\Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP-Component-SKU-ProfessionalSingleLanguage-License-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.17763.1.cat - The system cannot find the path specified.

    Restarted and checked the size of Containers, it was now down to 260MB.

    In Regedit, deleted the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Containers (after checking that it didn't exist on the machine that had never had Application Guard) then restarted.

    In Advanced Security took ownership of Containers, granting myself Full Control at the same time, and ticking the boxes for 'Replace owner on subcontainers and objects' and 'Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permission entries from this object'.

    Used File Manager to delete C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Containers. It reported that some file paths were too long to go into the Recycle bin, did I want to permanently delete them? (This may also explain the rmdir errors earlier).



    So far, everything seems to be working normally. Even SFC thinks the system is healthy.

    What is this large folder?-image.png



    Postscript:

    Still working

    I have now made a new Macrium image of this 'slimmed down' system. Mounting it and the image I restored to start this process, I see that my C: drive has now gained 4.7GB extra free space.
    Thanks - I'll try that method in a few days if nobody reports any problems
      My Computers

  5. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 15,428
    10 Home x64 (2004) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #45

    Steve C said:
    Thanks - I'll try that method in a few days if nobody reports any problems

    Well, mine's still working OK. I don't think there's a large sample base to hear from, just you and me were mad enough to try Application Guard by the looks of it


    There may be more come the release of 1903, seems the new Sandbox feature uses the same Containers function.
      My Computers

  6. EdTittel's Avatar
    Posts : 3,761
    Windows 10
       #46

    Nice work, @Bree: as so often is the case you took my idle musings in reading over the thread (along the lines of "why not try force deleting from alternate boot media?") and turned them into useful practice. Please: keep up the good work!
    Best wishes,
    --Ed--
      My Computers


  7. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 15,428
    10 Home x64 (2004) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #47

    EdTittel said:
    Nice work, @Bree: as so often is the case you took my idle musings in reading over the thread (along the lines of "why not try force deleting from alternate boot media?") and turned them into useful practice. Please: keep up the good work!
    Thanks. After the first attempt which went wrong it seemed the obvious next step. Deleting the registry key may well have been crucial too.

    As I said, I probably took more precautions than were strictly necessary, but as it worked I'm not inclined to restore the original image and try to refine the process
      My Computers

  8. EdTittel's Avatar
    Posts : 3,761
    Windows 10
       #48

    @Bree: indeed, one of the hardest lessons for inveterate tinkers to learn is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" Again: keep up the good work.
    --Ed--
      My Computers

  9. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 5,283
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
    Thread Starter
       #49

    Bree said:
    OK, so I got impatient and thought I'd have another go. This time I managed to remove C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Containers without killing my system. Well, the Start menu works, my VMs still run and I'm posting this from that machine. This may be overkill, but these were the steps I took...

    Uninstalled 'Windows Defender Application Guard' in 'Turn Windows features on or off' and restarted.

    Used Advanced start-up in Settings > Update & Security > Recovery to boot to a Command Prompt. CD into C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows then used the command rmdir /s containers

    This removed most but not all files. There were a number of reports that 'The system cannot find the path specified', all in subfolders of the BaseImages folder.

    Code:
    containers\BASEIM~1\84C610~1\Files\Users\WDAGUtilityAccount\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy\AC\AppCache\2TZYVOBF\1\C__Windows_SystemApps_Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy_cache_Desktop_10[1].txt - The system cannot find the path specified.
    ...
     containers\BASEIM~1\84C610~1\Files\Windows\System32\CatRoot\{F750E6C3-38EE-11D1-85E5-00C04FC295EE}\Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP-Component-SKU-ProfessionalSingleLanguage-License-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.17763.1.cat - The system cannot find the path specified.

    Restarted and checked the size of Containers, it was now down to 260MB.

    In Regedit, deleted the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Containers (after checking that it didn't exist on the machine that had never had Application Guard) then restarted.

    In Advanced Security took ownership of Containers, granting myself Full Control at the same time, and ticking the boxes for 'Replace owner on subcontainers and objects' and 'Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permission entries from this object'.

    Used File Manager to delete C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Containers. It reported that some file paths were too long to go into the Recycle bin, did I want to permanently delete them? (This may also explain the rmdir errors earlier).



    So far, everything seems to be working normally. Even SFC thinks the system is healthy.

    What is this large folder?-image.png



    Postscript:

    Still working

    I have now made a new Macrium image of this 'slimmed down' system. Mounting it and the image I restored to start this process, I see that my C: drive has now gained 4.7GB extra free space.
    All done now on my laptop using your method. I didn't need to take ownership of Containers after deleting the registry key and restarting.
      My Computers

  10. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 15,428
    10 Home x64 (2004) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #50

    Steve C said:
    All done now on my laptop using your method. I didn't need to take ownership of Containers after deleting the registry key and restarting.
    That's good to know, thanks. I did say I might have gone a bit overboard on the steps required.

    Oh, and still working fine, several reboots later
      My Computers


 

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