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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    How to get rid of the Windows.old folder after upgrading to Win8 from Win7

    After one upgrades Win7 to Win8 the installer leaves a folder called Windows.old on the Hard Disk. Now this folder contains about 14.7GB of files cluttering up my 128GB SSD and these files cannot be deleted. The system jealously guards them.

    The BIG question is how does one remove them to reclaim that much needed space on the drive?

    God bless,

    B

  2. #2
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    You can simply delete the file. You can also run the disk cleanup utility, choosing the option to clean system files - if you do it, you will be offered the option to delete windows.old.

  3. #3
    Silver Lounger
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    You can also go in and delete large blocks of the folders/files inside and find out which are being protected by the system. You'll be able to delete the vast majority of files that way. I find Windows 7 does the same thing but after a while it relinquishes and allows full deletion.

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Reversion Completed

    Thanks for your replies however I am really not so impressed with Win8. It doesn't offer any compelling reasons to change so I reverted back to Win7 which is just fine for all I need.

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    For future reference MS shows the approved method to delete the windows.old folder.

    How long did you try Win 8? It took me a couple of weeks and quite a bit of customization to get accustomed to it. Most of that time was used learning how to get around in Win 8. That's why I put together my Tutorial on Taking the scary out of Win 8.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  6. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Here are a few more options for deleting the Windows.old folder from The WindowsEightForums.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    Thanks Clint, there is a lot to wade through there but it is very helpful,

  8. #8
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medico View Post
    For future reference MS shows the approved method to delete the windows.old folder.
    That link is for Windows 7, Ted. No Start Orb in Windows 8.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  9. #9
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    The method in this link is fairly simple and straightforward.

    I couldn't merely delete the windows.old folder in either an explorer window or through an elevated command prompt; access denied. The folders are for the most part owned by TrustedInstaller. One must first take ownership in order to be able to delete the folders.

    However, Cleanmgr.exe has sufficient privileges to wipe them out in short order. Just remember you have to run it twice in succession.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    That link is for Windows 7, Ted. No Start Orb in Windows 8.
    Sorry, I should have mentioned search Disk Cleanup, or if you have added one of the Start Orb alternatives as I have then the link will be appropriate.

    Bottom line however is to use the Disk Cleanup utility as the correct method.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  11. #11
    New Lounger
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    I finally did it but it requires 2 things:
    Firstly to change the ownership of the Windows.old folder with all its sub folders to USERS and then
    secondly run the Disk Cleanup Utility.

    Thanks to you all for your readiness to help.

  12. #12
    2 Star Lounger
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    I moved my windows.old file to an external HD as you never know when you may need "something"

  13. #13
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Step4.jpg
    This will be the key component in effectively removing the Windows.old folder when using the disk cleanup utility.
    I had an extremely difficult time doing it otherwise.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  14. #14
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by MQG1023 View Post
    I moved my windows.old file to an external HD as you never know when you may need "something"
    This is the BEST advice about the Windows.old folder. I know. I've had to refer back to it several times after a 'disastrous' Refresh!
    Take my advice. I'm not using it.

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