Windows_old folder in Vista


Nov 16, 2007
I installed Vista a couple of days ago and saw they I only have 21 GB left on my 69 GB RAID 0 setup that Vista is installed on. I know about the windows_old folder. Can I just delete this folder to get rid of my old windows xp setup? Or, alternatively, can I create a dual boot setup with this folder or did I have to do that earlier? It's odd that it didn't completely reformat my HDD like the XP install used to. Will this slow down my computer or is it possible to reinstall Vista with a reformat?
Also, this is not the topic of the thread, but I read in a thread on this website that people were not recommending a RAID 0 setup. Is this true, I'd assume it's not since your still getting increased access times.
I can still reinstall, as I haven't installed all the drivers yet.
I read it's best to install all drivers before connecting to the internet because windows will automatically start looking for them. When I installed the mobo drivers, it kept asking me to allow it to make the changes. Is there a way I can turn this off? Also, are there any good beginners guides for Windows Vista. I had 2 great guides on how to make XP speed up when it came out. Or are they similar and I can go into the registry and make similar changes?
Thanks and sorry for sooo many questions.
(1) The Windows_old folder contains the data from your old installation. If you don't need anything in there, you can delete it. Or better yet: Back it up to an external drive before you nuke it.

(2) Vista didn't reformat the entire drive because if it did you would have none of your old data.

(3) People often don't recommend Raid 0 because the failure of any one hard drive renders *all* your data useless, not just what was on the dead drive. I'll tell you up front, though: Personally, I'm not a particularly big fan of Raid setups for home usage. Just seems like overkill to save a second or two in load times. Even moreso now that we have standalone 7200 RPM HDD's sustained transfer rates at or even exceeding 100 MB/s and as well as competitive seek times. On the positive side - Yes, a Raid array is still generally faster than that. On the negative side, drivers can be a PITA - especially on Vista since people/makers don't seem to have figured out how to do that cleanly and reliably yet. So installation often seems to be a crap shoot. I guess if you were an online competitive sort, and a couple seconds faster load time can make the difference between you arriving dead, or you getting the free frag on someone else who hasn't completed loading....

(4) Regarding connecting to the Internet: You are correct. It's better to leave the computer's LAN cable unplugged until *after* you have installed all of your local drivers (Chipset, etc). Why? Because Vista will automatically begin downloading and installing it's own updates just as soon as it completes setting up the network and registering itself. Running multiple software installations at once can cause/allow corruption.

(5) The pop up is called "User Access Control", and you can turn it off in your preferences.

(6) You can get guides from, or your favorite bookstore.

(7) For fastest performance turn off the side bar, and turn off the Aero Glass effects (or select XP appearance in the settings menu).


Jul 31, 2006
Ok Im chiming in here. Where do I delete the windows old folder? I cant find it, nor can I find a settings menu.
This sucks, its like learning windows all over again although Ive used 95, 98, 98se, 2000, ME, and XP extensively.
MB - You can skip an *awful* lot of digging around in your computer looking for things if you use the Search function in the Start menu. Unlike XP, this is REALLY useful - and *very* fast once Vista finishes indexing your HDD. I've gotten into the habit of just typing the name so much that I'm forgetting paths...

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