Microsoft KB Archive/931702
Article ID: 931702
Article Last Modified on 3/20/2007
- Windows Vista Business
- Windows Vista Enterprise
- Windows Vista Home Basic
- Windows Vista Home Premium
- Windows Vista Ultimate
- Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit edition
- Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit edition
- Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit edition
- Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit edition
- Windows Vista Starter
When you use Windows Explorer to try to remove the
drive:\$WINDOWS.OLD folder from a computer that has been upgraded from an earlier version of Windows to Windows Vista, Windows Explorer crashes. In this scenario, you receive the following error message:
Note The $WINDOWS.OLD folder is a hidden system folder. Sometimes, this folder has a name other than $WINDOWS.OLD. For example, this folder may be named $WINDOWS.~Q. For information about how to view this folder, see the "More Information" section.
This issue occurs if at least one of the files that Windows Vista tries to delete from the $WINDOWS.OLD folder is corrupted.
To resolve this issue, use one of the following methods to remove the $WINDOWS.OLD folder.
Important Make sure that you back up any important data that is located in the $WINDOWS.OLD folder before you follow these steps.
Method 1: Use the Disk Cleanup tool
The Disk Cleanup tool (Cleanmgr.exe) is included with Windows Vista. You can use this tool to remove the $WINDOWS.OLD folder together with its contents. To do this, follow these steps:
- Click Start, and then click Computer.
- Right-click the hard disk from which you want to remove the $WINDOWS.OLD folder, and then click Properties.
- Click the General tab, and then click Disk Cleanup.
- Click Files from all users on this computer.
- In the File to delete list, click to select the File discarded by Windows upgrade check box.
Note Click to clear other check boxes, depending on the other files that you want to remove.
- Click OK, and then click Delete Files to confirm that you want to permanently remove the $WINDOWS.OLD folder together with its subfolders and files.
Method 2: Use the RD command
You can use the RD (Remove Directory) command-line command to remove the $WINDOWS.OLD folder together with its contents. To do this, follow these steps:
- Click Start, type cmd in the Start Search box, right-click cmd.exe in the Programs list, and then click Run as administrator.
- Type cd\, and then press ENTER to change to the root directory of the current drive. Generally, this is drive C.
drive:, and then press ENTER to change to the drive from which you want to remove the $WINDOWS.OLD folder. For example, if the $WINDOWS.OLD folder is on drive D, type d:, and then press ENTER.
Note If the command prompt is already at the correct drive, skip this step.
- Type rd $windows.old /s, and then press ENTER to remove the $WINDOWS.OLD folder together with its subfolders.
- When you are prompted to confirm the removal of the $WINDOWS.OLD folder, type y, and then press ENTER.
For more information about how to use the RD command, type rd /? at a command prompt, and then press ENTER. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
120716 How to remove files with reserved names in Windows
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
When you upgrade an earlier version of Windows to Windows Vista, the Windows Vista Setup program moves the files and the folders from the original Windows installation to a $WINDOWS.OLD folder. You can access the data in the $WINDOWS.OLD folder after the Windows Vista Setup program is finished. For more information about how the Setup program works, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
How to view the $WINDOWS.OLD folder
- Click Start, type folder options in the Start Search box, and then click Folder Options in the Programs list.
If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.
- Click the View tab, click Show hidden files and folders, and then click to clear the following two check boxes:
Hide extensions for known file types
Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)
- Click Yes to confirm that you want to display operating system files, and then click OK.
Keywords: kbpending kbbug kbdeployment kberrmsg kbfilesystems kbexpertisebeginner kbtshoot kbprb KB931702