windows 8.1 refresh

Is 8.1 refresh basically a new windows 8.0 installation plus migration of data?  All programs have to be reinstalled but did they leave the old program files sitting there on C but not for use on the new load of the OS.  The C is almost full after the refresh.  What can I delete that are no longer in use?   I really regret performing the refresh.  Do they still have window restore?  That was the original plan and now I'm basically starting from scratch.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Windows 8.1 Refresh keeps data, keeps some settings, and keeps original Windows 8 programs and apps, but NOT software you installed after.  So you must reinstall software and set it up. It is a bit easier than a fresh install and the result works well.

If you have the Windows 8.1 DVD you can try a Windows Repair Install which (if it works) will keep data and programs. If it works, it is the fastest way to repair things.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The C is almost full after the refresh  <-- Refresh creates a Windows.old folder. Run Disk Cleanup (Admin Tools) and when it comes up after checking, click on the "Clean up System Files" button. That re-launches Disk Cleanup and again when it comes up, select most of the selections and for sure, prior Windows installation files.

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snoopaloopAuthor Commented:
Do they wipe c:\program files\application or just render the application useless?  Are windows restore points still an option.  How do you access it?
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
it wipes c:\program files and c:\program files (x86)

Are windows restore points still an option older restore points are also gone.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The software, as I noted, is gone (not left there at all). but I have reinstalled my software and set it up after a refresh in 3 or 4 hours. So the whole thing is an evening's work.
snoopaloopAuthor Commented:
Sorry, I meant to say is windows restore point an alternative had I not done a refresh?  Where is it located?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Windows restore points are in Action Center, Recovery. Look there and Restore points can be accessed there.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
In Windows 8, if you run Disk Cleanup and when it comes up, click on Clean up System Files, and let it run again, then scroll though the list. Windows.old (prior Windows install) WILL show up. I am quite sure about this. Check it for deletion. It should show about 12 GB as the size.

I have done this once (over a year ago) and it worked. I have done it several times on Windows 10.

Be sure you see what I am referencing and select it for deletion. It should work and save you the space.
snoopaloopAuthor Commented:
How long does the system clean up take?  It's been two hours and it' still last sliver of progress bar to completion.
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
it runs at a low priority so it takes a while.. remember how big your windows.old folder was.. you can check its size any time
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Also, while I much prefer Disk Cleanup to remove Windows.old, it can be removed manually.
snoopaloopAuthor Commented:
yeah, I gave up waiting after 4 hours and X out.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@snoopaloop - Thanks for the update and I was happy to help.
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