Question windows.old automatically deleted files

Feb 12, 2019
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I've been having issues with my computer. I refreshed it, but it just entered a boot loop. I refreshed it again, and was able to get access to it, but it appeared to start automatically deleting windows.old files. I'm down quite a bit of things that I downloaded over the years. Now I can't get in to the computer at all, it just says operating system not found. Any idea what the hell happened and if my things are still there?
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
Windows.old should relate only to old Windows update files that are no longer required, opposed to any data.

Please post your full system spec. You might want to consider creating bootable media and booting into the recovery environment to repair your OS.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/software-download/windows10

That assumes you're not dealing with a failing drive etc.

Do you not have a backup routine? If not, learn from this and implement one.
 
Feb 12, 2019
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That's extremely strange, then. After I refreshed, the windows.old folder contained all the programs that used to be in Program Files and then started deleting them all of a sudden. Currently I'm backing up everything that was on C: and not in Program Files, as everything outside of the old Program Files seems to be fine. I'll get you my system specs then.
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
Unless you 'refreshed' rolled you back to an older OS build, in which case Windows.old might contain newer OS builds (although 'older' in the sense they're not the build you're using now).
Shouldn't impact files etc though... Programs maybe.

Realistically, if you want to 'refresh', perform a clean OS install. Back up your data, then create bootable media. Disconnect secondary drives, boot from your USB, format the drive and follow the prompts.
http://www.tomshardware.com/faq/id-3567655/clean-installation-windows.html

"Refresh" is not 'clean', and can still have leftover issues.
 
Feb 12, 2019
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It's definitely the weirdest issue I've run into. I'm thinking it might be a build issue, as when I first refreshed it I ran into a boot loop issue that seemed to be an issue with a certain build. I definitely should have backed everything up immediately after the build instead of attempting to move the Program Files back. (which was weird in the first place).

Ah, well, I saved everything on the drive except what was in Program Files, so this might just be an excuse to get rid of all the random things piling up. It's looking like a clean install is the way to go. Thank you for the help, I appreciate it.
 

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