Beverly from Taunton MA writes:

I have an ASUS CM5570 that is 4 years old as of Aug 9. It came with VISTA and a Win 7 Home Premium upgrade. I then purchased Win 7 Ultimate. Now I have all of them aboard under Windows, Windows old, Windows old.000 and windows old .oo1. Could I remove any of them because my HD is 3/4 full. I have removed everything else that I did not use, but it did not improve things very much. Any thoughts? Thank you.

Beverly, if you are certain that your laptop upgrade has gone the way you wanted it to, and you have all the files that you need or want onto the main part of your hard drive, it is safe to remove the Windows.old folders.

Before removing the folders, firstly check the following:

  • Are you missing any files that you want or need from your old installations of Windows?
  • Are all your preferences how you wanted them to be, following the upgrade? (Do you want anything back the way you had it prior to upgrading?)
  • Have you been using your installation long enough to know you’ve confidently tested all areas of your laptop that you use frequently?

If you’re certain about all of these, you can then go ahead and remove the Windows.old folders. Though a normal deleting of the files isn’t recommended, as there is a specific Windows function built-in to handle these folds. You can utilise this function by doing the following:

Be warned before starting, once this is done it cannot be undone.

Click the Start button, or the Windows logo on your keyboard.

Type in the following, “Disk Cleanup” 

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Click the resulting application, named “Disk Cleanup” Select the applicable hard drive. In most cases this will be C:

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Disk Cleanup will begin to calculate all the space it can save for you.

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Once it is done calculating, you will be presented with numerous options. One of these options will be “Previous Windows Installation(s)” This is the option you want to choose to get rid of Windows.old folders. (See image below.)

Check any other options that you may want to remove also, “Recycling Bin” and “Windows Update Cleanup” are good suggestions for clearing space.

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Click “Ok,” and it’ll prompt asking you if you’re sure you want to permanently delete the files. Press “Delete files,” and let the Disk Cleanup application do its job.

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Once it’s complete, these folders will be gone.

Enjoy all the space that you’ve freed up, with peace of mind that you’ve removed the folders correctly!

~ Jake