Deleting Windows.old

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  1. Posts : 230

    Nice work Mystere!

    I've got a theory about this (I see it a lot at work).
    At work, the errors come on individual files during a copy operation.
    I do not see any errors during an installation - and don't often go looking to delete the Windows.old folder (we usually only delete it if the system is running short on storage space).
    I'll have a deeper look next time I encounter it.

    I suspect that there's several possible issues here:
    1) that the filename length thing is/isn't being tripped during the temporary copy operations (where Windows uses the free space on the drive before it actually copies it to the new location).
    2) that the addition of the Windows.old folder makes the length go over the limit
    3) If, at some point, the operation becomes a rename (rather than a copy) operation), then I'd have to suspect that the rename operation doesn't take the length of sub-file name lengths into consideration.
    4) That the routine that makes the Windows.old folder is fault/error-tolerant and it's forced to copy everything (despite any rules) because this is a critical process during the installation

    As such, I wonder if there are errors listed in the installation log files. It would be good if you could search inside the logs for the filenames that have been seen as being too long.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 3,502
    Win_8.1-Pro, Win_10.1607-Pro, Mint_17.3

    toppergraph said:
    No body Knows All to the mystrey`s of any O/S unless you Wright your own. But disk cleanup has been with windows scince I can rember. Where your win.old came from ;I don`t Know. but your now sorted Thanks to #5.
    Mystere said:
    WightWalker said:
    It begs the question: how can the file name be created in the first instance by the very same operating system that prevents it's removal?
    First, the obligatory Beg The Question // Get it right.

    Now that I've annoyed everyone with my pedantics, .....
    Funny sequence of posts.
    toppergraph replies to WightWalker: no one knows all the mystery's ... unless you Wright your own ...
    to wit mystere replies to WightWalker: First, the obligatory Beg The Question // Get it right.
    Now that I've annoyed everyone with my pedantics,....

    Speaking of my own pedanticism and annoying people with the practice:
    pendatic, adj
    pedanticism, noun
    pedantry, noun - plural ped·ant·ries

    Now that I've had a wee bit 'o fun - back to the question that was raised

    C:\windows.old is the way we humans see the filename. But I/O doesn't work in human terms.
    I guess the answer is the last sentence in the quoted paragraph below.
    MSDN said:
    Naming Files, Paths, and Namespaces

    Win32 File Namespaces
    The Win32 namespace prefixing and conventions are summarized in this section and the following section, with descriptions of how they are used. Note that these examples are intended for use with the Windows API functions and do not all necessarily work with Windows shell applications such as Windows Explorer. For this reason there is a wider range of possible paths than is usually available from Windows shell applications, and Windows applications that take advantage of this can be developed using these namespace conventions.

    For file I/O, the "\\?" prefix to a path string tells the Windows APIs to disable all string parsing and to send the string that follows it straight to the file system. For example, if the file system supports large paths and file names, you can exceed the MAX_PATH limits that are otherwise enforced by the Windows APIs. For more information about the normal maximum path limitation, see the previous section Maximum Path Length Limitation.

    Because it turns off automatic expansion of the path string, the "\\?" prefix also allows the use of ".." and "." in the path names, which can be useful if you are attempting to perform operations on a file with these otherwise reserved relative path specifiers as part of the fully qualified path.

    Many but not all file I/O APIs support "\\?"; you should look at the reference topic for each API to be sure.
    There are at least two ways that I know of to 'correctly' remove windows.old if it is present
    a) Post# 5 points to Disk Cleanup
    b) The free version of Piriform cCleaner also offers to cleanup the folder

    I prefer to use native Windows features whenever feasible.

      My Computer


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