I am finding it IMPOSSIBLE to delete Windows.old


PeterL

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In Safe Mode it still tells me the directory is not empty, I can't delete the files in the folder either.
 

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RFS

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The way to delete this folder is via disk cleanup, saying to delete system files. The disk clean-up utility is in Windows Tools.
 

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  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
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    Manufacturer/Model
    Self-build
    CPU
    Intel I3-10100
    Motherboard
    MSI H410M-PRO
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    16 GB
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    Philips 27 inch
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    1920x1080
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    Samsung EVO 970 NVMe SSD 256 Gb
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    Self-build
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    Intel i3-8100
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    Gigabyte Z370 D3
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    16 Gb
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    Nvidia GT 720
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    Philips 27-inch
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    1920x1080
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    Samsung 960 NVMe SSD 256 Gb
    Seagate 2 Tb HDD
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Whoanjo

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So it takes a little more time to clean
 

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jimbo45

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Hi there
another method -- boot up Windows install iso / media in command mode and delete the file manually. (delete file !!! don't be afraid to use the command line -- it works !)
Cheers
jimbo
 

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Stigg

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Try this. I had the exact same problem on one of my computers.
I didn't expect it to work, but it did.

Open an elevated Command Prompt, and paste the following into it.
Code:
chkdsk C: /r
You will be offered a restart.

After the restart, go back and try deleting the folder again.

It worked for me.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Stigg's Build
    CPU
    Intel Core i9-10900X
    Motherboard
    GIGABYTE X299X DESIGNARE 10G
    Memory
    Corsair 64 GB (4 x 16 GB) CMW64GX4M4C3000C15 Vengeance RGB Pro 3000Mhz DDR4
    Graphics Card(s)
    GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Super Mini ITX 6 GB OC
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    Realtek ALC1220
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 27" FHD LED FreeSync Gaming Monitor (LS27F350FHEXXY)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 Pro Series 1TB M.2 2280 NVMe SSD
    Western Digital Red Pro WD8003FFBX-68B9AN0 8 TB, 7200 RPM, SATA-III
    Western Digital Red Pro WD8003FFBX-68B9AN0 8 TB, 7200 RPM, SATA-III
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    Corsair HX1200 1200W 80 Plus Platinum
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    Fractal Design Define 7 Black Solid Case
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    Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black
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    Razer Ornata V2
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    Razer DeathAdder Essential
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    Logitech BRIO 4k Ultra HD USB-C Webcam
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    Windows 10 Pro
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    ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GM501GS
    CPU
    Core i7-8750H
    Motherboard
    Zephyrus M GM501GS
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    SK Hynix 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) HMA82GS6CJR8N-VK 16 GB DDR4-2666 DDR4 SDRAM
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    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC294
    Monitor(s) Displays
    AU Optronics B156HAN07.1 [15.6" LCD]
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung MZVKW512HMJP-00000 512 GB, PCI-E 3.0 x4
    Samsung SSD 860 QVO 4TB 4 TB, SATA-III
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    N/A
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    N/A
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    N/A
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    Razer DeathAdder Essential
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    PC/AT Enhanced PS2 Keyboard (101/102-Key)
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RFS

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The clean-up utility will also remove old stuff in other places, such as Windows Update log files etc. It's worth doing first....
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Self-build
    CPU
    Intel I3-10100
    Motherboard
    MSI H410M-PRO
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GT 1030
    Sound Card
    Motherboard default
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Philips 27 inch
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung EVO 970 NVMe SSD 256 Gb
    Samsung QVO 870 SATA SSD 2 Tb
    PSU
    ATX 450W
    Keyboard
    Logitech
    Mouse
    Logitech Wireless
    Internet Speed
    930 Mb down / 120 Mb up
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Microsoft Office 2021 Plus
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Self-build
    CPU
    Intel i3-8100
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Z370 D3
    Memory
    16 Gb
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia GT 720
    Sound Card
    Motherboard default
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Philips 27-inch
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 960 NVMe SSD 256 Gb
    Seagate 2 Tb HDD
    PSU
    ATX 450W
    Mouse
    Logitech Wireless
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    Microsoft
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    930 Mb down / 120 Mb up
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    Edge
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    Windows Defender

Stigg

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The clean-up utility will also remove old stuff in other places, such as Windows Update log files etc. It's worth doing first....
It won't work with the "Directory is not empty" message.
For some reason, this problem has become prevalent recently.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Stigg's Build
    CPU
    Intel Core i9-10900X
    Motherboard
    GIGABYTE X299X DESIGNARE 10G
    Memory
    Corsair 64 GB (4 x 16 GB) CMW64GX4M4C3000C15 Vengeance RGB Pro 3000Mhz DDR4
    Graphics Card(s)
    GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Super Mini ITX 6 GB OC
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC1220
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 27" FHD LED FreeSync Gaming Monitor (LS27F350FHEXXY)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 Pro Series 1TB M.2 2280 NVMe SSD
    Western Digital Red Pro WD8003FFBX-68B9AN0 8 TB, 7200 RPM, SATA-III
    Western Digital Red Pro WD8003FFBX-68B9AN0 8 TB, 7200 RPM, SATA-III
    PSU
    Corsair HX1200 1200W 80 Plus Platinum
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7 Black Solid Case
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black
    Keyboard
    Razer Ornata V2
    Mouse
    Razer DeathAdder Essential
    Internet Speed
    FTTN 100Mbps / 40Mbps
    Browser
    Mozilla Firefox
    Antivirus
    N/A
    Other Info
    Logitech BRIO 4k Ultra HD USB-C Webcam
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GM501GS
    CPU
    Core i7-8750H
    Motherboard
    Zephyrus M GM501GS
    Memory
    SK Hynix 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) HMA82GS6CJR8N-VK 16 GB DDR4-2666 DDR4 SDRAM
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC294
    Monitor(s) Displays
    AU Optronics B156HAN07.1 [15.6" LCD]
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung MZVKW512HMJP-00000 512 GB, PCI-E 3.0 x4
    Samsung SSD 860 QVO 4TB 4 TB, SATA-III
    PSU
    N/A
    Case
    N/A
    Cooling
    N/A
    Mouse
    Razer DeathAdder Essential
    Keyboard
    PC/AT Enhanced PS2 Keyboard (101/102-Key)
    Internet Speed
    FTTN 100Mbps / 40Mbps
    Browser
    Mozilla Firefox
    Antivirus
    N/A
    Other Info
    USB2.0 HD UVC Webcam

jimbo45

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It won't work with the "Directory is not empty" message.
For some reason, this problem has become prevalent recently.
Boot up win 11 (or any W10) install media -- or even Macrium stand alone media. Enter command mode (in Macrium there's a pictire of a screen in the bottom left) -- use the stand alone version not the OS version or you'll have the same prolem --then simply run the os delete command (del filename).

Cheers
jimbo
 

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AndreTen

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    ASUS B460M
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    16 GB DDR4 Crucial
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    Intel on chip
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    Cherry G-81
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    Windows 10 Home
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    ASUS/Vivobook Flip 14
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    Ryzen 7 4700u
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    8 GB DDR4
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    AMD Vega
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davehc

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fwiw. The disk cleanup utility is also now in Windows explorer. Click the 3 dot bar, top left.

This should have cleaned the windows.old folder - does for me, as advised in post #2., but the op has not responded.
 

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PeterL

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Thank you all for your suggestions. The elevated Command Prompt worked, saved me much teeth gnashing.
 

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System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 64bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Bespoke
    CPU
    3.70 gigahertz Intel core i7-8700K
    Motherboard
    MSI 7B22
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GTX 1050
    Sound Card
    on board
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell 27" Ultrasharp
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x1440
    Hard Drives
    Drive c: 1tb SSD
    DriveD: 1TB SSD
    DriveE: 2tb HDD
    External drive Samsung T7 2TBSSD
    Cooling
    no
    Antivirus
    MalwareBytes & Norton 360

AddRAM

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You can also use a live Linux Distro.
 

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    Skylake Special X299
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    Intel Core i9 9900X
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    Asus ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II
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    GSkill Trident Z RGB 32GB 3600 16-16-16-36 (F4-3600C16Q-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA RTX 3080 12GB FTW3 Ultra Gaming (12G-P5-4877-KL)
    Sound Card
    Supreme FX
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    Asus PG279Q
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    2560 x 1440 165Hz
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 980 Pro 500GB x2, Seagate Barracuda 4TB x2, Western Digital Black 4TB x1
    PSU
    EVGA 1200 P2, EVGA Black Custom Braided Cables
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    Thermaltake View 31 Tempered Glass Limited Edition
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    Corsair H115i, Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
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    Logitech G910 Orion Spark
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    Logitech G700s, Asus ROG GX860 Buzzard
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    Verizon Fios Quantum Gateway 75/75
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    Windows Defender, Malwarebytes 4.5.2
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    Thermaltake Riing Duo 14 x3, Thermaltake Riing Plus 14 x2, Corsair HS70 Pro Wireless Headset
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
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    Manufacturer/Model
    Skylake Special Z170
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    Intel Core i7 6700K
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    Asus Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1
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    GSkill Trident Z RGB 16GB 3600 16-16-16-36 (F4-3600C16D-16GTZR)
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC x2, EVGA Pro SLI Bridge
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    Realtek High Definition
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    AOC G2460PG
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080 144Hz
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 870 Evo 500GB, Seagate Barracuda 4TB x2
    PSU
    EVGA 1000 P2, EVGA White Custom Braided Cables
    Case
    Corsair Vengeance C70 Gunmetal Black
    Cooling
    Corsair H100i v2, Corsair ML120 x2, Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
    Mouse
    Logitech G500s
    Keyboard
    Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum
    Internet Speed
    Verizon Fios Quantum Gateway 75/75
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender, Malwarebytes 4.5.2
    Other Info
    Corsair SP120 x4, LG Blu-ray Drive, Durabrand HT-395 100 Watt Dolby Digital Amp
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