Windows 10: Loss of disk space despite clean install Solved

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  1.    24 May 2017 #11

    I tried the Disk Cleanup as suggested. No change in the storage map. It would seem the only resolution would be to completely wipe my current drive and then reinstall W10 as a new program, then retrieve backup files. I am nervous about this approach, but I cannot spend a lot more time dickering around. Any suggestions? What would be the best method to wipe the disk and reinstall?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    24 May 2017 #12

    I tried the Disk Cleanup as suggested. No change in the storage map. It would seem the only resolution would be to completely wipe my current drive and then reinstall W10 as a new program, then retrieve backup files. I am nervous about this approach, but I cannot spend a lot more time dickering around. Any suggestions? What would be the best method to wipe the disk and reinstall?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,275
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       24 May 2017 #13

    Can't say for others but I've done clean installs 2 ways, one method is booting to a Linux Mint LiveDVD to run GPARTED or booting to a GPARTED boot CD, both allow deleting all partitions to give the drive a clean start.

    The second method involved using an HDD that still contained a single partition with no files on it. Caveat: the partitioned and formatted drive did not get any additional partitions during the clean install of version 1703 Build 15063, has only 1 partition on it. It is an older computer without EFI and the used HDD was from a different computer.
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  4.    24 May 2017 #14

    Thanks. I am a bit if an idiot, so I am unsure with how to proceed with your suggestions. I am not sure where to get or how to use Linux Mint LiveDVD and I do not know what GPARTED means. Sorry to be so retarded in this. Your help is appreciated.
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  5. Fafhrd's Avatar
    Posts : 1,927
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       24 May 2017 #15

    You have a bootable USB windows 10 setup drive, and a Macrium backup, it seems. I guess you still have these, or can make them again. All your files and apps are gone.

    Why not perform a clean install following one of the tutorials here on tenforums, e.g.
    Clean Install Windows 10 Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials

    You will need to delete all the existing partitions at the "where do you want to install windows" screen to leave just unallocated space.
    then proceed from there.
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  6.    24 May 2017 #16

    Fafhrd said: View Post
    If you have a Windows.old folder, it was not a clean install, but an upgrade.
    Actually, a clean install over an existing OS will create a Windows.old folder, it just won't migrate any of the information or data from it.
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  7. WOT's Avatar
    Posts : 471
    Win 10 Pro 15063.332 (ex-Insider)
       24 May 2017 #17

    Looking at your screenshots, I see you have 453 GBs in "Other" and 32 GBs in "Temporary." You can click on each one of those entries and expand them to get more specific information on what may be taking up all that space. I know for sure that your windows.old will be displayed in the "Temporary" view but it would also be interesting to see what's in that "Other" view that is taking up a whopping 453 GBs. FYI, you can also delete items from within the expanded Temporary view. If you need help after looking at the expanded views, please post a screenshot of each (like so):

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. Fafhrd's Avatar
    Posts : 1,927
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       25 May 2017 #18

    Remember that these Windows settings views of items on the disk drives do not run with elevated permissions, and just like any other modern Windows App has limited access to system files.
    If Windows File Explorer desktop application has folder options set to view hidden and system files, then there will be more information available there.

    It's a matter of definition if a clean install leaves anything behind, but I'd define a clean install starting with an empty unallocated disk drive, booting from a setup USB or DVD or a networked ISO setup image, allowing setup to create necessary partitions for UEFI or MBR installations, and continue the installation from those sources.

    My view is that a windows .old is left from an upgrade started from within a running windows system, even if the user elects to keep nothing (files and data), since it will use drivers from the old system, and offers a rollback option (hence Windows.old remaining).
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9.    26 May 2017 #19

    You are all correct that I installed W10 originally as an upgrade to this computer. That seems to have caused a lot of space to be taken up with the residual files/folders from the old system. These were not removed by doing what I thought was a clean installation later on. Hence, I am stuck with a reasonable sized hard drive that has little space left on it, and a Macrium backup image that has dutifully imaged all the files and folders that are eating up so much space on my disk. Hence, restoration of the Macrium image would not solve my problem.

    My optimum solution would be to delete all the old files and folders in the "Other" area noted on my storage map, but I am not sure of a safe way to do this without causing more problems with functionality.

    The nuclear option is to wipe the drive and start over. I could recover data files and apps from my backups, but this creates a bit of a time crunch to get it all back up and working again. Do any of you have suggestions on the optimal approach? I am at my limit of knowledge here so your input and experience would be greatly appreciated.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    26 May 2017 #20

    If you don't care about wiping out all of that data, it's fairly seamless to boot your computer from that Windows 10 bootable USB flash drive and follow carefully the tutorial that Fafhrd provided a link for in post #15. Just carefully read the step by steps provided and pay particular attention to Step 10, where you will actually "discard" all of that data. I say "discard" because it's not a wipe in the strict and secure sense. However, discarding or unallocating the drive space to that data in Step 10 should accomplish what you want.
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