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Delete strange folders in Windows 7

Posted on 2011-03-12
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I need to free up space i n my hard drive.  I found 5 folders in the root directory that takes up over 2gb of space.

What are those files and can I delete them ?

My Windows is Windows 7 Proffessional
StrangeFolders.jpg
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Question by:rayluvs
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12 Comments
 
LVL 19

Accepted Solution

by:
Raheman M. Abdul earned 144 total points
ID: 35117684
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 285 total points
ID: 35117693
Restart and see if the folders are still there. If so, you can certainly delete the 3 folders with numbers for names. It is also likely you can delete the other two as well. I have not seen them, do not have them and do not know what they are. But neither have I seen them on any Windows 7 machine.

Delete, restart, check for normal operation. Wait a day, and then empty your recycle bin. If you wish to speed up the process, copy the files to a DVD and delete them. ... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 19

Assisted Solution

by:Raheman M. Abdul
Raheman M. Abdul earned 144 total points
ID: 35117723
These two folders are leftover folders created by Windows during the upgrade process, but unfortunately they don’t get deleted at the end of the setup process. You’ll only see them if you’ve got the option to show hidden files enabled under Organize –> Folder and Search Options.

The good news is that you can definitely get rid of them

The easiest way to remove them is to just run Disk Cleanup (type it into the start menu search box), and then click the button to “Clean up system files”, which will re-launch Disk Cleanup as administrator.
Simple delete wont work because they are system protected files.

Follow the above link for the steps.
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 35117834
marahman3001:

    I followed the link and freed up space, however the "$INPLACE.~TR"  and
    "$WINDOWS.!Q", but not the rest of the Folders:
 
    9d82fa13672d6c7855166ec7d5d8
    74ddbf38534e478736de6013a3
    5957ca3a70ad28f4ec6e

    Can I delete them directly?

thinkpads_user:

   Your recommendation of "restart" and "waiut a day" is after I run the Disk Cleanup?
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LVL 95

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 285 total points
ID: 35117842
When you delete files that you do not know, I either back them up, or delete them (go to Trash) and wait a day to make sure nothing goes wrong. I like to be certain, that's all. ... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 35117929
So thinkpads_user, your are not sure if I can delete these file, you're recommending if I do delete them to wait a few days?
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LVL 95

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 285 total points
ID: 35117970
I am suggesting you (a) delete the files and keep them in Trash for a day or two, or (b) copy them onto a DVD, delete them, and empty the trash. I would delete the folders. You just want to make sure you have them somewhere should you need them. I do not think you will need them. ... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 35117980
understood.

I'll delete them and restart the computer
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 35118176
Ok... I restarted and all seems with no problem.

Just to make sure I understood correctly regarding the link:

     1.  Delete only the contents of "C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download"
     2.  All other folders in "C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\" leave it alone, don't delete

That's what I did, it's ok?

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LVL 95

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 285 total points
ID: 35118236
Yes, you should be fine. ... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:bz43
bz43 earned 71 total points
ID: 35119047
The directories with numbers and letters are temporary folders created by Installers. Windows chooses the partition with most free space to extract the installers and run them from there.

To delete those directories first take ownership (http://www.blogsdna.com/2159/how-to-take-ownership-grant-permissions-to-access-files-folder-in-windows-7.htm), then change the permissions and finally delete the folders.

If the folders contain .vdm files  then they were created by Microsoft Security Essentials.  But, you probably won't be able to see inside the folder until you take ownership.  See:
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itprogeneral/thread/eeff1c32-d85c-4dd7-8636-fe6cd29ab6e9
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Author Closing Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 35185908
Thanx
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