W10 Anniversary Update - delete windows.old directory?

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  1. Posts : 158
    W10
       #1

    W10 Anniversary Update - delete windows.old directory?


    One me time! After installing the Anniversary Update I cannot delete the "windows.old" folder. I have gone through the routine of System Settings>Storage>This PC>Temporary Files and checked the Previous Version of Windows. That did the job and cleared out everything except a couple of folders in the windows.old folder. I have tried all the usual stuff like Properties>Disk Clean Up>Clean up System Files and checked "Previous Windows Installation(s). Yet the windows.old folder remains! I also tried the elevated Command Prompt method suggested for Windows 8. That did not work either. What the heck am I missing for the W10 Anniversary exercise?
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  2. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,526
    Windows 10 Pro
       #2

    I had a stubborn windows.old folder on a tablet. I booted from Kyhi's recovery drive and deleted it with file explorer:
    Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk - Windows 10 Forums
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  3. Posts : 471
    Windows 10 Pro
       #3

    My fool proof solution to files that cannot be deleted: Use a Linux live CD to boot and delete from there. This way you can show all permission issues the middle finger It's even simpler if you have got a dual boot setup. This way you only need to boot Linux to delete those stubborn files.
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  4. Posts : 63
    Windows 10 Pro x64 - Dev (OS BUILD 21343.1000)
       #4

    Ken429 said:
    One me time! After installing the Anniversary Update I cannot delete the "windows.old" folder. I have gone through the routine of System Settings>Storage>This PC>Temporary Files and checked the Previous Version of Windows. That did the job and cleared out everything except a couple of folders in the windows.old folder. I have tried all the usual stuff like Properties>Disk Clean Up>Clean up System Files and checked "Previous Windows Installation(s). Yet the windows.old folder remains! I also tried the elevated Command Prompt method suggested for Windows 8. That did not work either. What the heck am I missing for the W10 Anniversary exercise?
    On my laptop i was able to delete Windows.old folder by System Settings>Storage>This PC>Temporary Files and checked the Previous Version of Windows.
    I did the same on a friend of mine laptop, and didn't worked. The only way that did the trick was downloading this:

    Download Unlocker 1.9.2 - FileHippo.com

    Install it, then with the right mouse button, under the windows.old folder, look for unlocker, and delete the folder.
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  5. aardvark's Avatar
    Posts : 164
    Pro x64 Desktop v1607 14393.51, Home x64 Laptop v1607 14393.51
       #5

    Just curious; did you try to take ownership of that folder?

    https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/2...dows-10-a.html
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  6. Posts : 158
    W10
    Thread Starter
       #6

    No, I did not try taking ownership. I looked at the how to and decided to try Unlocker first! I used Unlocker on two systems and got different results. The first system I was instructed to do a reboot before "windows.old" would go away on the second system Unlocker just deleted the folder. I attached a snap shot of what Unlocker was showing me - the same on both machines.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails W10 Anniversary Update - delete windows.old directory?-unlocker.jpg  
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  7. Posts : 158
    W10
    Thread Starter
       #7

    And the saga goes on... I have seven machines running W10 with the Anniversary Update applied. Unlocker worked in one fashion or another on five of the machines (meaning I had to reboot 2 of the 5 before Unlocker would make the windows.old folder go away). All five of the systems that I was able to use Unlocker had an Nvidia video card. The last two machines do not have a video card (using the onboard video from Intel) and Unlocker did not delete the windows.old folder, even though it had me reboot. So... I need a little more help to make this adventure complete! Is there a simple instruction on taking ownership of a folder and/or does TweakUI work on W10?
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  8. DooGie's Avatar
    Posts : 9,336
    Wndows 10 Pro x64 dev channel
       #8

    altae said:
    My fool proof solution to files that cannot be deleted: Use a Linux live CD to boot and delete from there. This way you can show all permission issues the middle finger It's even simpler if you have got a dual boot setup. This way you only need to boot Linux to delete those stubborn files.
    Yes I've used that method a couple of times and it does work well.

    Probably best to mention that if you forget to empty trash when in Linux then you end up with a Trash directory when you boot back into Windows.
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  9. Posts : 158
    W10
    Thread Starter
       #9

    I'm stubborn, It looks like the Intel VGA driver is still using what is in one of the folders under windows.old. I installed an old version of the Intel VGA driver and Unprotect was able to delete the windows.old folder! I then updated the Intel VGA driver to the latest version and all is well. It would appear that MSFT and INTC have a minor Anniversary Update bug! Thanks all for the help. I hope my digging a little further in the registry helps someone out there.
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  10. Mystere's Avatar
    Posts : 3,257
    Windows 10 Pro
       #10

    Ken429 said:
    I'm stubborn, It looks like the Intel VGA driver is still using what is in one of the folders under windows.old. I installed an old version of the Intel VGA driver and Unprotect was able to delete the windows.old folder! I then updated the Intel VGA driver to the latest version and all is well. It would appear that MSFT and INTC have a minor Anniversary Update bug! Thanks all for the help. I hope my digging a little further in the registry helps someone out there.
    That's pretty common, and has been since the first installs. For some reason, certain files get loaded into memory after an upgrade. After you have used Disk Cleanup to remove the Windows.old, then you need to reboot, after reboot you can finally delete the rest of the files.
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