Windows 10: Disk Cleanup says it can remove 44GB of old windows installations

  1.    02 Jun 2018 #1

    Disk Cleanup says it can remove 44GB of old windows installations


    Hey

    I decided today to cleanup my C:/ drive a bit, and I saw that I have a windows.old file. Its size is 4.52GB on disk. When I started Disk Cleanup, it said I can 44.6GB worth of old windows installations. does not seem right at all since windows.old is at 4.52GB only. Is this some bug? is it safe to clean it?
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  2.    02 Jun 2018 #2

    Wecome to the forum have you run the clean system filesyou have to run it after the first scan see our tutor as it clears installation files as well Delete Windows.old Folder in Windows 10 | Windows 10 Tutorials
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  3.    02 Jun 2018 #3

    Sommervold said: View Post
    Hey

    I decided today to cleanup my C:/ drive a bit, and I saw that I have a windows.old file. Its size is 4.52GB on disk. When I started Disk Cleanup, it said I can 44.6GB worth of old windows installations. does not seem right at all since windows.old is at 4.52GB only. Is this some bug? is it safe to clean it?
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    It is not just windows.old but various files downloaded to do upgrades/updates. They could easily accumulate over time.
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  4.    03 Jun 2018 #4

    This size as reported in Disk Cleanup is not always correct, and it sometimes strains credulity. Over a year ago, in fact, Disk Cleanup reported 3.99 TB of Windows Update Cleanup files to get rid of (on a 500 GB drive, in my case: read about it in my Windows Enterprise Desktop blog post Cleanup 3.99 TB from 500GB Drive!).

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    It turns out that this size includes hard links to non-existent files whose sizes get included along with stuff that really takes up disk space. As the preceding example demonstrates with some drama, this can lead to massive over-reporting of on-disk size. It's just "one of those things" about Windows that we all learn to love and appreciate, right?

    HTH,
    --Ed--
    Last edited by EdTittel; 03 Jun 2018 at 09:57. Reason: clean up URL
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  5. Cliff S's Avatar
    Posts : 21,739
    Win10 Pro, Win10 Pro N, Win10 Home, Win10 Pro Insider Fast Ring, Windows 8.1 Pro, Ubuntu
       03 Jun 2018 #5

    I agree with Ed above.

    One thing to add though:
    If you are already on version 1803(April 2018 update) and above, use Settings>system>storage>Free up disk space now, to do it.

    Disk cleanup can, in rare cases(it's happened to me) leave behind a zero byte folder in one of the windows.old subfolders, and that can be a real pain it the ASUS to remove using diskpart

    I haven't seen this problem yet with using the settings app.... yet.
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  6. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,851
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       03 Jun 2018 #6

    EdTittel said: View Post
    This size as reported in Disk Cleanup is not always correct, and it sometimes strains credulity. ...It turns out that this size includes hard links to non-existent files whose sizes get included...
    Not quite non-existent, there's actually one copy of the file and lots of hard links pointing to it. This is common practice in the C:\Windows\WinSxS folder (a copy of which will be in your Windows.old folder).

    It's a non-trivial task to sort out which are hard links and which are separate files, so to save time File Explorer and Disk Clean up just add up all the file sizes, hard links or not. Mostly the total is reasonably accurate - occasionally it's ludicrous
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  7. Posts : 1,497
    Windows 10 Pro (32-bit) 16299.15
       03 Jun 2018 #7

    You could always take a backup image first (with Macrium Reflect Free or something like that), before letting Disk Cleanup do its thing.

    I find having a an extra backup image rarely does any harm.
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  8.    03 Jun 2018 #8

    EdTittel said: View Post
    This size as reported in Disk Cleanup is not always correct, and it sometimes strains credulity. Over a year ago, in fact, Disk Cleanup reported 3.99 TB of Windows Update Cleanup files to get rid of (on a 500 GB drive, in my case: read about it in my Windows Enterprise Desktop blog post Cleanup 3.99 TB from 500GB Drive!).

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	bigclean.jpg 
Views:	50 
Size:	50.1 KB 
ID:	191032

    It turns out that this size includes hard links to non-existent files whose sizes get included along with stuff that really takes up disk space. As the preceding example demonstrates with some drama, this can lead to massive over-reporting of on-disk size. It's just "one of those things" about Windows that we all learn to love and appreciate, right?

    HTH,
    --Ed--
    Warning: OT...
    Ed, your vocab is impeccable - had to google "credulity" (and yep, I barely scraped through English Lit ... LOL )
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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