Archive for March, 2015

How to Delete the Windows.old Folder in Windows 10/8/7

March 23rd, 2015 by Admin

When you perform a custom Windows installation or upgrade Windows to a newer version, the old Windows folder is renamed to Windows.old in case you’d like to revert the upgrade. Windows 8 or 10 users might also have seen the Windows.old folder after performing a PC refresh.

Windows.old contains not only your old Windows installation files, but also your old Documents, Settings and Programs. The folder is usually gigantic in size and can take up considerable space in your system partition. So if you are pretty sure that you no longer need any data from Windows.old then it would be a wise decision to delete it.


Unfortunately, you can’t remove the Windows.old folder by simply pressing the Delete key because your user account doesn’t have ownership of the folder. Here’s how to take ownership all files and subfolders in Windows.old, so you can then delete the whole folder to reclaim some space.

How to Delete the Windows.old Folder?

  1. Download and install the freeware TakeOwnershipPro on your local computer.
  2. Start the TakeOwnershipPro program and drag the C:\Windows.old folder to the program. Tick the “Include subfolders and files” box.


  3. Click Take Ownership. The program will begin to take ownership of all files and subfolders in the Windows.old folder. It could take you one or two minutes, depending on number of files and folders it contains.
  4. Once it is done, you can then delete the Windows.old folder without any permission issue.

It’s that simple. Deleting the Windows.old folder can save you quite a large amount of hard disk space and it will not affect the present state of the new OS.

Can’t Delete Files Containing Special Characters in Windows

March 16th, 2015 by Admin

There might be situations where you need to delete some folders or files contains special characters in the filenames. When you try to delete, move or rename such a folder/file from Windows Explorer, you’ll receive the error message “The file name you specified is not valid or too long“.


Or get a similar error message “The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect” when you try to delete the folders/files from Command Prompt.


I have tried many third-party softwares such as unlocker, 7-Zip File Manager, and other tricks discussed in various forums. But none of them work. This problem is very tricky because a set of special characters can’t be used in filenames, such as
\ / : * ? " < > |

Almost all Windows apps are unable to process these stubborn files. To get around this problem, you need to use a Ubuntu Live CD or Linux distribution. In my example, I boot my computer from Ubuntu Live CD and I can then easily create, open, rename or delete any folders or files with special characters.


Almost anything (only the / character is not allowed) will be allowed in the filename after booting to Linux or Ubuntu. Using this method, you can delete or rename any Windows folders/files located in your hard drive.