Delete Windows BT file

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  1. Posts : 434

    Delete Windows BT file ( Which has messed up my PC)

    Hi so I'm thinking of this weekend finally updating my windows version from 1809, but I have an issue I have about 20 GB's of space taken from a previous failed installed 1903 update back in September and I'd like to get rid of it.

    Disk Cleanup won't show the file and I downloaded TakeOwnershipPro but that was taking too long and doing the CMD wasn't working either. (See below)

    So any other ideas I can do before I finally install my new windows version?
    takeown /F C:\$Windows.~WS\* /R /A
    icacls C:\$Windows.~WS\*.* /T /grant administrators:F
    rmdir /S /Q C:\$Windows.~WS\
    Last edited by Redbatman; 18 Jan 2020 at 13:49.
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  2. Posts : 43,284
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    Any file that's hard to remove from Windows can be removed
    a. By booting to an offline command prompt
    b. By using a live boot disk such as Kyhi's (top of the Software and Apps section)
    c. Using a program which deletes it on restarting e.g. Emco Unlockit (free).
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  3. Posts : 5,391
    Windows 11 Pro 64-bit

    Please boot your computer with Windows Setup Media and from Windows Recovery Environment start the Command Prompt.

    Please type below command into Command Prompt and press Enter key.

    rmdir /S /Q C:\$Windows.~WS

    Please replace partition letter C: with Windows installed partition letter. When computer boots into Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) environment the drive letter assign to Windows partition may not be C: drive letter because Windows 7, 8 , 8.1 and 10 creates a separate system partition when it's installed from scratch. The system partition contains boot files WinRE assigns the system partition the C: drive letter and the Windows installed partition will be assign any other drive letter usually D: drive letter is assign to Windows installed partition. The Bcdedit /enum | find "osdevice" command can be use to find out the drive letter of the Windows installed partition the output of the Bcdedit command is similar to this osdevice partition=D:. The drive letter after partition= is the drive letter of the Windows partition.
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  4. Posts : 43,284
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    If you want to boot to a command prompt outside windows you don't need a bootable disk- just boot to Advanced Startup options e.g. SHIFT + left click restart, and follow the prompts.

    The 3rd screenshot shows command Prompt.
    Boot to Advanced Startup Options in Windows 10
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  5. Posts : 32,028
    10 Home x64 (22H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    This is a surprising question. I've never had a problem just using File Explorer to delete Windows.~BT and Windows.~WS.

    Delete Windows BT file-image.png
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  6. Posts : 41,638
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit

    These are some steps to increase the free space:

    1) run through the steps in this tutorial to free up space:
    Free Up Drive Space in Windows 10

    2) Open accounts for free cloud space and temporarily transfer files to allow space during the upgrade:
    (one drive, drop box, google drive)
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  7. Posts : 434
    Thread Starter

    This is what I get when I try it manually.

    My issue is also similar to this user
    Disk Cleanup doesn't remove $WINDOWS.~BT - Super User
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Delete Windows BT file-bt.png  
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  8. Posts : 32,028
    10 Home x64 (22H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Redbatman said:
    This is what I get when I try it manually.
    Now that is nothing to do with permissions or ownership. You have a process running (probably a left over from your September failed update) that has a file open in that folder. To try and get rid of this rogue process I would try running the Windows Update Troubleshooter.

    If after that you still cannot delete the folder, then booting to Safe Mode should allow you to delete the folder. If not, you can delete it from a command prompt in Advanced Startup as dalchina suggested in post #4.

    Boot into Safe Mode on Windows 10
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  9. Posts : 434
    Thread Starter

    So apparently CMD prompt doesn't work since its not located it the windows folder but its hidden on C drive like so. What should I do?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Delete Windows BT file-windows-hidden-bt.jpg  
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  10. Posts : 1,773
    Windows 10 Home

    It's always been a hidden folder but you should be able to manually delete that like any other. I get that folder every time I mount a Windows ISO and delete it right afterwards with no problem. Did you run the WU Troubleshooter from Settings, as suggested by Bree, reboot and try again ?
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