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How to know if files are safe to delete?


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#1
Jjman

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A while ago, I got a bad virus(I mean bad, really bad), which essentially killed my laptop in one fell swoop. I eventually took it to geeksquad at BestBuy, and they fixed it up for me. However, but fixed it up, I mean they gave up on it, and just backed up my files before reinstalling the operating system. When they did so, however, for some odd reason I am unaware of, the Windows folder was changed to "WINDOWS2", and the WINDOWS folder removed. I kept it like that, as it didnt cause any problems. Recently, however, I did another OS reinstall after I made a stupid mistake (I wont go into detail), which installed the OS "new". However, it did not remove the WINDOWS2 folder, with all the files in it. What I want to know, is is it safe to remove this folder that is sucking up a good 3gigs of my Hard drive, or is there some way I can check its safe to remove? Suggestions?

I appreciate any Comments/Suggestions.

Thanks.
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#2
hfcg

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Hello, and welcome to Geeks To Go.
I would not recommend deleting these files.
The name, and size, suggest that it may contain important windows files.
In order to answer your question I will need to know which operating system you are using.
I would also like to know the name of all the files as well.
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#3
Jjman

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I may not have stated my point extremely clearly in my previous post. I have two WINDOWS folders in my C Drive. One is named C:\WINDOWS, and was put there when I last reinstalled my OS(Now Windows XP Media Center Edition). The other (XP Home Edition), was the OS on the machine before Media Center, but for unknown reasons had no WINDOWS folder, instead one named WINDOWS2 (Renamed by the GeekSquad I would assume.), in C:\WINDOWS2. These folders are exact duplicates of eachother, as far as I know, with the exception of possibly as few files. Inside each are all the Windows files: System folder, fonts, System32, Screensaver files, ect... I am *almost* sure the WINDOWS2 Folder is not being used now, I just dont want to delete it without confirmation from something or someone.

On your post:

Yes, I know they contain important files, the question is, are any files in WINDOWS2 still in use? Is it safe to get rid of them?
OS: Currently XP Media Center, Previously XP Home Edition.
I couldnt tell you all the names of the files, as I said, theres about 3 gb of them.
Among them, however, are many folders with blue names starting with "$NtUninstall", in both folders.
Cursors Folder, Fonts Folder, system Folder, System32 Folder...
And So on. I hope I got my point across this time.
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#4
hfcg

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Geek squad made back ups of your windows folder.
I really do not want to tell you to delete them, But the worst that could happen is you reinstall again.
I would make back ups of any thing you can not lose!
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#5
happyrock

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the $NtUninstall files are the uninstaller files for all the xp updates....they are ok to delete...the downside is you will not be able to uninstall them (the updates) easily anymore...its ok if everything is running smooth though...saves a ton of space

Edited by happyrck, 23 January 2008 - 05:44 PM.

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#6
Jjman

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I get what you all are saying, (And thanks for telling me what the NT folders do, I never knew that.), but I will try once more to make my point explicitly clear.

Here is a screenshot of the two folders, to show you, they are exactly the same. Im pretty sure "WINDOWS" is being used by Windows, but I want to know if the exact duplicates in "WINDOWS2", from the old OS, are being used at all, or if they are safe to delete.

Large Image Warning


Once more,
Two duplicate folders
One is being used
Can the other be removed?
Is there a way to find out if the files in WINDOWS2 are being used?

Edited by Jjman, 23 January 2008 - 08:41 PM.

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#7
krmooo

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sounds like they made a new folder with the new files called windows 2. the plain ole windows folder that contains the 1st install is your old system files. this is because the folder default name is windows and the setup part will automatically put your new files in that folder. its a avoid confusion thing.your using 1 drive it seems other you might want to move the original folder to another drive. as long aas no system conflicts are popping up... as paul macartney sang... "let it be" :)
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#8
Jjman

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Alright, I just want to make this really clear to myself before I go and do something stupid. Youre saying, Windows is the default install folder, so all the files in use are there, and windows2 I should keep but can move off my system. I know before the last OS install Windows2 was being used, because there was no Windows folder. Only Windows2. SO the Windows folder showed up during the installation. (Meaning WIndows2 is the old one.)
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#9
krmooo

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windows 2 is the install geeks guys did and windows is the one you just did

Edited by krmooo, 24 January 2008 - 05:55 AM.

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#10
happyrock

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not sure if this will help but...
I have 2 separate installs of xp on my system...same drive 2 partitions..1 OS on each partition..
my folders do not look like yours
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#11
The Skeptic

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krmoo is correct. When you sent the computer for repair the guys at the shop performed a parallel installation of XP in a folder they named "windows2". After they finished they deleted the original installation named "windows" and left "windows2" as the folder in which the operating system is installed.

Now you did the same thing. You performed another parallel installation and named it "windows". Now you have two XP installations and you want to remove one, "windows2" and be left with "windows" only.

There is no problem in removing "windows2". Boot to "windows". Open windows explorer, open "windows2" and search for the data you want to save. Copy the files and paste them in the right place in "windows". When finished you can delete the entire "windows2" folder. If you have the data saved already then you can simply delete "windows2".

You will also have to modify the boot.ini file to delete the entries related to "windows2".
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#12
Jjman

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Thanks for the very clear reply Skeptic. Im going to get on removing it later on today. :)
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