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Removing windows.old breaks Windows

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Hey guys, I am currently running the latest version of Windows 10 on my PC. After the installation of the latest "creators" update Windows created a windows.old folder. I decided to delete the folder through ccleaner and ended up breaking my OS.


Windows 10 will not boot up and put me into system recovery mode. Trying to recover windows from this point on is impossible. It will always fail regardless of what way I try to recover the OS. Booting into safe made is impossible and so is every other mode.


I am at my wit's end. The only solution I can see working now is completely reinstalling Windows with the help of a CD.


This is a big warning to anyone that is tempted to try doing the same. I have found another forum post here that is almost exactly a year old describing the same problem


EDIT1: while writing this post I actually managed to recover from a previous Windows 10 version (I think as an image?).


What I did was running a few commands in the command prompt:


- bootrec.exe/rebuildbcd

- bootrec.exe/fixmbr

- bootrec.exe/fixboot


followed by chkdsk commands for all my partitions (in this case c: d: and e:):


- chkdsk/r c:

- chkdsk/r e:

- chkdsk/r d:


Then I simply tried to recover with a previous image and this time it worked. In any case this is still quite the issue and needs some attention I presume.


EDIT2: Forgot to mention my specs:


Running Windows 10 creators update on an SSD

i5-4670k on a MSI Z87-G45 motherboard

GTX 1070

8 Gigs of RAM

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glad you got it back up - eventually.


for future reference, try removing windows.old via cleanmgr from an elevated command prompt.


also, when trying to get WIn10 to enter recovery mode when the damn thing won't start in the first place (nice catch-22 that) if you let Windows boot then hold in the power button till it shuts down and repeat that 2 or 3 times then Windows will automatically go into repair mode for you.

Backup now & backup often.
It's your digital life - protect it with a backup.
Three things are certain; Birth, Death and loss of data. You control the last.

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Hey guys,


just to signal than i had the same issue than g0ggy ...


To fix it, i used a bootable usb key, reinstall my system partition, and remove my Windows.old by using cleanmgr as mta said.


This is a huge issue... i hope than you will fix it soon ! :)

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