Jump to content

Photo

Small question about the Windows.old folder (Windows 7)


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 Anthus

Anthus

    the wild-eyed boy from freecloud

  • Contributors
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Columbus (The one in Ohio)

Posted 05 December 2017 - 02:28 PM

I'm preparing to reinstall Windows (yay). I already have everything backed up on my external, got the disc, got the product key, and I'm ready to go. I was wondering about the windows.old folder that is created. I've read that doing a "Custom" (Clean) install still leaves a windows.old folder in spite of claiming to remove everything. However, another thing I was reading says you can reformat the hard drive while doing a clean install. This seems like it would get rid of the folder, as it wipes the drive clean before putting a new OS on to it.

 

My question is, what really gets rid of the windows.old folder? In the past, I've done clean installs, and I seem to remember it keeping the .old folder. I don't need anything in it, but if it does stay around, it would be convenient to copy my steam games from it, instead of re-downloading the ones I didn't back up. Other than that, no pertinent data (would be) in it. All my other projects, ZC, and stuff are backed up externally, to not one, but TWO drives cause I'm a paranoid wreck about losing my stuff.

 

I'd like it to be the cleanest install possible, but I'm willing to manually delete the windows.old folder if it is created. Thanks. :)



#2 Saffith

Saffith

    IPv7 user

  • ZC Developers
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 December 2017 - 02:47 PM

Yes, formatting the disk first should stop it from being created.
If it somehow gets created anyway, the proper way to delete it is through the disk cleanup tool. In Explorer, open the Properties dialog for C:, and there'll be a Disk Cleanup button there.

#3 Demonlink

Demonlink

    Experienced Quest Developer

  • Members
  • Real Name:Miguel
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Where you can't see me. Ha!

Posted 05 December 2017 - 03:21 PM

I have my hard drive with 2 partitions, one for Windows and the other for my personal stuff. In any case, I suggest formatting everything (or the entire partition where you want to install the OS). Doing it prevents from creating the .old folder. :)



#4 ShadowTiger

ShadowTiger

    ·

  • Members
  • Gender:Unspecified

Posted 06 December 2017 - 09:01 AM

Yuk.  I don't think I'd ever do any kind of "upgrade" when it comes to an OS. It's generally better to start completely from scratch so you're 100% sure that you have as few driver conflicts as possible.  If you have a License Key sticker  (Or in Win8.1/10, the same Motherboard) and a matching copy of that operating system, and all of your other Licenses and products keys, you're pretty much good to go.  Just be sure to have a copy of the ethernet drivers (Or, even better, the motherboard driver disk.) on hand so you can go online and get the rest of the drivers.

 

If you don't want to format the disk immediately, you can make a full backup of the entire drive onto an external hard drive using Macrium Reflect.  It's my go-to life saving program for backing up drives.  You can even open up the image for later perusal if you want to nab something from it.  Essentially, external hard drives are REALLY good to have for that reason.

 

I'm not saying any of this as the solution to the topic at hand, but more like additional insights to the issue.


  • Anthus and Lüt like this

#5 ZoriaRPG

ZoriaRPG

    The Timelord

  • ZC Developers
  • Gender:Unspecified
  • Location:Prydon Academy

Posted 06 December 2017 - 07:44 PM

Yuk.  I don't think I'd ever do any kind of "upgrade" when it comes to an OS. It's generally better to start completely from scratch so you're 100% sure that you have as few driver conflicts as possible.  If you have a License Key sticker  (Or in Win8.1/10, the same Motherboard) and a matching copy of that operating system, and all of your other Licenses and products keys, you're pretty much good to go.  Just be sure to have a copy of the ethernet drivers (Or, even better, the motherboard driver disk.) on hand so you can go online and get the rest of the drivers.

[...]

 

I agree with this. In fact, my theory, is: Always use a virgin disc when installing any OS. Failing to do this is simply asking for trouble. I suppose that relatively new SSDs may be a viable exception, but if you have a magnetic media drive, you may as well save future headaches and replace it during a clean install.

 

This also gives you the ability to fall back to the installation on your old drive; should you ever need to do that.


  • ShadowTiger likes this

#6 Anthus

Anthus

    the wild-eyed boy from freecloud

  • Contributors
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Columbus (The one in Ohio)

Posted 06 December 2017 - 10:19 PM

Thanks everyone.

 

Ideally, yeah, I'd like to replace the hard drive. This one is about 5 years old, and that alone makes me kind of nervous. Replacing it isn't currently in the budget. I haven't actually done it yet, I'm still trying to organize my stuff as much as possible. You wouldn't believe how many duplicate ZC quests, and files I have from moving stuff, re downloading stuff, making backups, etc. 



#7 ShadowTiger

ShadowTiger

    ·

  • Members
  • Gender:Unspecified

Posted 07 December 2017 - 10:16 AM

Do you at least have the following things on hand?
  • Between one to three 8+ GB USB sticks.
  • Another laptop or desktop computer on-hand with access to the internet.
  • An External Hard Drive to store all of those loose files temporarily. (Or permanently.)
I really recommend having the base ISOs of all of the relevant operating system files. You can get Windows 7 here. Be sure to get the one that you have the License Key for! Home Premium or Professional, etc. If you don't know, it's either on a sticker on top of your desktop case, (Or laptop's underbelly.) or on the installation disks if you bought the OS loose.

Then burn it to a USB stick with Rufus.

As long as you have the operating system ready to unleash, as well as its license key written down, if it's Windows 7, you're good to go. Remember that on pre-built PCs, Windows 8.1 and 10 keeps their license key on the BIOS, so as long as you have the identical installation media (Home or Professional.) you won't even need the key during installation time.

The reason I'm saying all of this is that if something isn't in your budget yet, it may be worthwhile to wait until you can get the better hardware for cheap when it might be on sale. You'll have everything all ready to go then.
  • Anthus likes this

#8 Anthus

Anthus

    the wild-eyed boy from freecloud

  • Contributors
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Columbus (The one in Ohio)

Posted 07 December 2017 - 08:38 PM

Do you at least have the following things on hand?

  • Between one to three 8+ GB USB sticks.
  • Another laptop or desktop computer on-hand with access to the internet.
  • An External Hard Drive to store all of those loose files temporarily. (Or permanently.)

 

All of the above. :D

 

Come to think of it, I could buy a new hard drive pretty soon. I want to get a decent one though. This is not the type of thing to go cheap on, and I'm thinking seriously about switching to Solid State Drives. I like Corsair, and Seagate, they seem pretty reliable from experience. This is a computer built with parts picked off of the shelf, so my windows key is on the case of the installation disc  :P. I have an OEM version of Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit with a license key, and a retail 'Upgrade' for both 32, and 64-bit Home Premium with a key (these are legit btw, I would never pirate a whole OS that seems totally not safe). I'll be using the OEM one, on hopefully a clean drive. This pretty much makes the initial question pointless, but hey, I got it solved.

 

I'll just have to wait a little longer, but this is not super immediate or anything. It's not like this hard drive seems to be failing, so the wait might be worth it.

 

edit: I also do still have the motherboard driver disc. It might not be a bad idea to put that iso on a flash drive though, just in case, for whatever weird reason, the optical drive craps out on me. :P



#9 ZoriaRPG

ZoriaRPG

    The Timelord

  • ZC Developers
  • Gender:Unspecified
  • Location:Prydon Academy

Posted 08 December 2017 - 03:09 AM

All of the above. :D

 

Come to think of it, I could buy a new hard drive pretty soon. I want to get a decent one though. This is not the type of thing to go cheap on, and I'm thinking seriously about switching to Solid State Drives. I like Corsair, and Seagate, they seem pretty reliable from experience. This is a computer built with parts picked off of the shelf, so my windows key is on the case of the installation disc  :P. I have an OEM version of Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit with a license key, and a retail 'Upgrade' for both 32, and 64-bit Home Premium with a key (these are legit btw, I would never pirate a whole OS that seems totally not safe). I'll be using the OEM one, on hopefully a clean drive. This pretty much makes the initial question pointless, but hey, I got it solved.

 

I'll just have to wait a little longer, but this is not super immediate or anything. It's not like this hard drive seems to be failing, so the wait might be worth it.

 

edit: I also do still have the motherboard driver disc. It might not be a bad idea to put that iso on a flash drive though, just in case, for whatever weird reason, the optical drive craps out on me. :P

 

For SSDs, you want SanDisk. Look at the specs on the Evo Pro. I replaced my dead HDD with one of them, and I love it: It has a very long lifespan, as well. My HDD died abruptly, with absolutely no indication of a failure condition. I agree that they are worthless, which is why I suggest at the very least, backing up your data, and waiting until you can afford to do this properly.

 

Really though, you could buy a basic HDD for the present, install and configure everything, for £30 to £40, and be done; then buy an SSD later, and clone the HDD to it. (If you want to go this route, use a HDD that is smaller than the SSD that you plan to buy in the future, as that makes block cloning easier.)

 

A five year old HDD: Do not install a new OS on that. It is a very bad idea. 'Crossing the streams', bad. You are likely to have dead sectors everywhere, and you could end up with an unusable pile of rubbish instead of a viable system; that you have now. Even server/enterprise rated drives aren't rated for > 5 years of use these days, and you are walking a tightrope with the drive motor. If it is a laptop drive, that's even more of a precarious situation.

 

Have a look at HDD prices on Amazon. For desktop systems, WD Blue or better drives are affordable, WD Black is probably your most reliable non-commercial drive. Laptop drives, are a gamble at all times. .

 

Also consider that you may dislike whatever you upgrade into, and if you want to revert, you will be unable to do that, if you install over--whatever. Putting the old system drive in a static bag, in a box, on a shelf, is a very good Plan B.

 

Regarding disc tools: The only thing that I ever use is Parted Magic. It's a 'Live CD' with open source utilities for quite literally any kind of disc operation that you would ever need. I can shove an ISO of the old, distributable for it on a server somewhere if you want it; and you can use UNetbootN (or something similar) to convert it into a USB flash drive bootable device.


  • ShadowTiger and Anthus like this

#10 ShadowTiger

ShadowTiger

    ·

  • Members
  • Gender:Unspecified

Posted 08 December 2017 - 01:08 PM

All of the above. :D
 
Come to think of it, I could buy a new hard drive pretty soon. I want to get a decent one though. This is not the type of thing to go cheap on, and I'm thinking seriously about switching to Solid State Drives. I like Corsair, and Seagate, they seem pretty reliable from experience.

Absolutely. With no moving parts, you won't have to worry about things like platter scoring or mechanical arm failure. If your SSD starts to click, you run the heck away. :P

I really like my Western Digital 240 GB SSD. I got it for $135 a while ago. Take a look at their page. Just make sure it has drivers for it.

This is a computer built with parts picked off of the shelf, so my windows key is on the case of the installation disc  :P. I have an OEM version of Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit with a license key, and a retail 'Upgrade' for both 32, and 64-bit Home Premium with a key (these are legit btw, I would never pirate a whole OS that seems totally not safe). I'll be using the OEM one, on hopefully a clean drive. This pretty much makes the initial question pointless, but hey, I got it solved.

I'm absolutely happy to hear. Looks like you're sitting pretty!

I know this is even less relevant than anything that's been said before, but most 7th gen Processors don't support Win7 or below. I got myself an i5-7600k Processor and had to resign myself to installing 10. It's been okay so far. :shrug:
 

I'll just have to wait a little longer, but this is not super immediate or anything. It's not like this hard drive seems to be failing, so the wait might be worth it.

"Seems to be." :sweat: The health of hard drives can be a little bit random. I know someone that was sitting on 1,330 bad sectors and didn't even know it until I checked his drive for the hell of it. He had no idea. :freak: No slowness or anything. I've also seen a single bad sector bring a drive to its knees. It feels uncomfortably random.
 

edit: I also do still have the motherboard driver disc. It might not be a bad idea to put that iso on a flash drive though, just in case, for whatever weird reason, the optical drive craps out on me. :P

True, though optical drives are $20.


For SSDs, you want SanDisk. Look at the specs on the Evo Pro. I replaced my dead HDD with one of them, and I love it: It has a very long lifespan, as well. My HDD died abruptly, with absolutely no indication of a failure condition. I agree that they are worthless, which is why I suggest at the very least, backing up your data, and waiting until you can afford to do this properly.

Agreed. Out of curiosity, what brand of drive was it?
 

Really though, you could buy a basic HDD for the present, install and configure everything, for £30 to £40, and be done; then buy an SSD later, and clone the HDD to it. (If you want to go this route, use a HDD that is smaller than the SSD that you plan to buy in the future, as that makes block cloning easier.)

Yes, this is VERY important. If, that is, you can find a drive that small. :-/ That's the tough part. I always feel awkward buying used or refurbished drives.

 

A five year old HDD: Do not install a new OS on that. It is a very bad idea. 'Crossing the streams', bad. You are likely to have dead sectors everywhere, and you could end up with an unusable pile of rubbish instead of a viable system; that you have now. Even server/enterprise rated drives aren't rated for > 5 years of use these days, and you are walking a tightrope with the drive motor. If it is a laptop drive, that's even more of a precarious situation.

It's so true. I just had a 2.5" (Laptop) drive literally toast a client ID sticker that was on it because it got so hot. You never really know what drives are bad or not until you get them, and then it's too late. Folks don't just put up new hard drives on eBay.
 

Have a look at HDD prices on Amazon. For desktop systems, WD Blue or better drives are affordable, WD Black is probably your most reliable non-commercial drive. Laptop drives, are a gamble at all times.

I've seen the same thing. If you get a WD black drive and it's a bit loud, don't be too shocked. I've seen more WD black drives that were loud than ones that weren't. :blink:
 

Regarding disc tools: The only thing that I ever use is Parted Magic. It's a 'Live CD' with open source utilities for quite literally any kind of disc operation that you would ever need. I can shove an ISO of the old, distributable for it on a server somewhere if you want it; and you can use UNetbootN (or something similar) to convert it into a USB flash drive bootable device.

Hiren's BootCD also includes PartEd Magic, as well as a panoply of other very useful tools. It's worth having a copy of.
  • Anthus likes this

#11 Saffith

Saffith

    IPv7 user

  • ZC Developers
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 December 2017 - 07:53 PM

It would be worth looking into SMART monitoring software. It's not perfect - there's no guarantee it'll find any sign of trouble before the drive fails - but it's significantly better than nothing. I wouldn't know what software to recommend on Windows, though.

Possibly of interest: the cloud backup company Backblaze goes through a lot of hard drives, and they write extensively about their observations. https://www.backblaz...-test-data.html
  • ShadowTiger and Anthus like this

#12 ShadowTiger

ShadowTiger

    ·

  • Members
  • Gender:Unspecified

Posted 11 December 2017 - 10:10 AM

Thanks for the observations, Saffith! To check the SMART status of a Hard Drive, I boot into the device using Fedora Linux. (Or any Linux, really.) It seems to have the best and most accurate results. When I view SMART status from within Windows, (Even if I'm not actually based on the Hard Drive I'm viewing) I always get the strangest results. For some reason I keep getting results under the "Value" field that are multiples of 100. :sweat: Like, "100 Reallocated Sectors" - Drive is healthy." :rolleyes: Honestly now. And Fedora reports zero Reallocated Sectors. (Or pending, etc.)


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users