Windows 10: Cant delete windows old folder Solved

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  1.    04 Dec 2017 #21

    is this still alive?


    I tried all in this thread to delete or move C:\Windows.old including adding take ownership of to my context, AOMEI Backup - which made a backup to another drive at least minus the ones in use but did not keep a log so I could review these files in use, file assassin, ADK, logged on as Admin, and some others. I cant find Previous Windows Versions Installations either which was mentioned.

    I was able to change ownership to Admin, but system also has full permissions and when logged in as admin it says I need system permission, I could delete all inheritance from system, but got scared off. I was able to delete a few individual files, but not all, and going through 12,000 files one x one is not a fun proposition.

    My Windows.old file is 21GB, and it never gets deleted despite what MS Help pages report Just had Fall update today and it increased again. My C: is only 55GB and this is 21GB of it while I have TB's worth of external storage connected on my personal, where I apparently am not the owner, if I were, I could delete this and would have days ago, but still cannot.

    The reason being is that I have over 150 files that are in use from Windows.old when starting in safe mode. That is crazy. Some from a printer I no longer own. And if they auto start in safe mode, how can I kill them as they will always be running.

    I'm assuming the boot from a live Linux is for Linux only.

    Per f14Tomcat / SteveC's comment about using Autoruns from systeminternals. I d/l it and ran and saved a copy of its findings. Quite detailed and color coordinated. I picked one, then a second random file. The file was from an old printer I no longer have which I can find in explorer, but not delete as it is apparently in use, then tried file assassin and it was unable to even locate the file at all.

    pretty stuck, once again
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 2,565
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1803 - 17134.5 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       04 Dec 2017 #22

    We don't actually close threads so the answer is yes.

    first option I would try is windows default one - right click on the c: drive in Explorer, Select Properties, and check for a Disk Cleanup button, if there click on it and also select the option to also cleanup system files, thesr should be an entry for the windows old or Leftover install files there select this and any other options (all are pretty safe and release space), and let it proceed.

    Open and Use Disk Cleanup in Windows 10 Performance Maintenance Tutorials

    If your previous attempts have prevented this standard method, Download a Suitable Linux distribution and use Rufus to create a bootable USB stick (you can use a DVD if you wish and have the ability to create these), when you boot from the Linux media you need to select the Live option an then use the Linux OS to navigate to the Windows.Old and delete it, As Linux does not use the NTFS security model it can usually delete files that are protected in windows ( Be careful as you can delete other sensitive files and destroy a windows install)

    Mint or Ubuntu are the two Linux distros that I know are capable and simple to use for windows users but if you need more information post back and I'm sure one of our Linux users will be able to assist
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  3.    06 Dec 2017 #23

    SOLVED By The Monkey Man


    Barman58:
    I followed your advice, although I had already ran disc cleanup, this time I just went for it in extended cleanup, hit all but user file history and windows esd install files. Only because they seemed they might come in handy, but that was just a shot in the dark.
    windows.old is not showing up in C: where it had previously. Freed up 10GB on C:
    The odd part is that windows.old was 21GB, what happened to the other 11GB.
    I also had backedup windows.old, at least all that I could, by utilizing the suggestion of AOMEI Backup to an external drive, just in case.
    I still need to dig around a bit as I was not expecting to remove files from any other than C:, not sure if I missed a step but had never ran the extended cleanup, that trick alone was worth the price of admission.

    Well Barman, from one 58 to another, a tip of me hat to ya, Kudos, a double sawbuck in yer jar, and Now BARMAN58 at the bar is a friend of mine, He gets me my drinks for free, And he's quick with a joke or to light up your smoke, But there's someplace that he'd rather be. He says, "lambert58, I believe this is killing me." As a smile ran away from his face, "Well, I'm sure that I could be a movie star,If I could get out of this place."
    AND I am just a monkey man and I'm glad you are a Monkey too man!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 2,565
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1803 - 17134.5 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       06 Dec 2017 #24

    You can't beat a bit of Billy Joel :)

    The ESD file may be the location of the Missing Space @Kari is our "Go To Guy" for this kind of information ( he should now be aware of this thread )

    only issue I have is that a Chimp is a Great Ape rather than a Monkey
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 14,077
    Windows 10 Pro
       06 Dec 2017 #25

    I am not sure what the issue is. If all of Windows.old has been removed, that's it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 2,565
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1803 - 17134.5 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       06 Dec 2017 #26

    Kari, Are the ESD install files part of the Windows Old? and what would happen if the set the extended disk cleanup to clear the windows old but not the ESD files? this case the Windows old showed as 21GB and after removal the reclaimed space is only 10 GB there is an 11GB difference that does not seem to make sense :)
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 14,077
    Windows 10 Pro
       06 Dec 2017 #27

    Barman58 said: View Post
    Kari, Are the ESD install files part of the Windows Old?
    Yes. Windows.old contains user and app data to allow restoring previous Windows version. The upgrade files do not belong to previous installation per se, but as they were already downloaded and prepared when upgrade was done, they too will be moved and can after the upgrade be found in C:\Windows.old\Windows\SoftwareDistribution and its subfolders.

    Removing previous Windows installation with extended disk clean-up will remove them.


    Barman58 said: View Post
    And what would happen if the set the extended disk cleanup to clear the windows old but not the ESD files? this case the Windows old showed as 21GB and after removal the reclaimed space is only 10 GB there is an 11GB difference that does not seem to make sense :)
    I have never seen Disk Clean-up to show accurate information. In most cases I've noticed that for instance when Disk Clean-up tells me Previous Windows installations (Windows.old) being let's say 30 GB, only some 15 to 20 GB will be freed. I wouldn't worry about that.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 2,565
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1803 - 17134.5 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       06 Dec 2017 #28

    Thank you Kari :)

    Hope this explains things for @Lambert58
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    28 Dec 2017 #29

    It was of GREAT assistance, and KUDOS to Barman58 and Kari.
    I really Liked Grape Ape, and wowza wasn't Mata Hairi a hot number...........
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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