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Deleting Windows.old folder?


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#1 hedera

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 08:33 PM

I just upgraded my Vista Home Premium (32 bit) laptop to Win7 Ultimate (64 bit), and so far (knock wood!!) things have gone very well, until I tried to restore my data. This data has lived on my hard disk for a year and a half, I'm restoring from a backup - but it keeps telling me I need more space.

I recall that the upgrade process told me it was going to save the old Windows in a folder called "Windows.old", in case I needed something from it. It did this - and a little investigation tells me the folder takes up around 76 GB of my 136 GB hard drive! 47GB of which is a spare copy of my userid (not including all files). My instinct tells me I can blow this away without trouble, since if something goes wrong with Win7 I'll fix it rather than back off to Vista - I'd just like to run the idea by the community and see if there are issues I'm not thinking of, where I might actually need some of that.

On the same issue, it created a new root-level folder called Program Files (x86). This is a MERE 137MB, but I'm assuming that whatever is in there I can't run on 64 bit anyway, so I can delete it. Does this sound reasonable??

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#2 Romeo29

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 09:39 PM

Windows.old contains all the folders from Windows Vista installation including Document and Settings, Program Files and Windows. If you need anything from them, you can dig through it. Documents and Settings folder is important to look through as it may contain some program or game settings, bookmarks etc. After you have taken what you need (if you need anything) you can safely delete this Windows.old folder.

C:\Program Files(x86) is used for installing 32 bit programs running under 64 bit Windows. It is a system folder and cannot be and should not be deleted.
You should not start thinking that all programs being made are 64 bit programs. For example, popular software like WinAMP and WinRAR are available only in 32 bit version. Windows XP, Vista and 7 are not fully 64 bit operating systems. They allow 32 bit programs to run using the WOW technology. Microsoft has announced that starting from Windows 8, they would completely stop support of 32 bit programs.

#3 hedera

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 01:22 AM

Romeo, thanks for the reply, that's very helpful, particularly about the \Program files (x86), I like to understand these things.

As for Windows.old, I finally decided to move the folder to my network storage drive, which has most of half a terabyte free; looks like it'll take a cool 24 hours to shift it (I didn't buy the N-class wireless card)... but I need the space on the local drive. Actually, since I'm upgrading from Vista, I didn't have a "Documents and Settings" folder that I ever found, but it's got all the stuff in there somewhere.

#4 Romeo29

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 05:03 AM

Yes I later thought about it but was too lazy to log back to internet and edit it :huh:
If you are upgrading from Vista then you would have a "Users" folder instead :huh: The "Documents and Settings" folder is present if you upgrade from XP. The basic idea is all the folders on your system drive are kept in Windows.old so you can later find something you might want back from older OS.




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