Windows is full of surprises for me, which is surprising in and of itself given that I’ve been supporting it for getting up on 30 years now.

One of the most consistent surprises for me is the network troubleshooter which resolves more problems for me than I imagined a Windows tool would, but that’s a subject for a different post.

Recently I took and old laptop that I had no installation media for and I was trying to see how clean I could make it, by getting rid of stuff, using the registry, and uninstalling apps. It’s a game I play from time to time when I find old computers.

In this case, there were two folders on the hard drive that I wasn’t able to delete despite having admin access to the computer. I’d exhausted most options I knew of trying to delete them, even booting off a live Linux flash drive, but no joy.

Finally, back in Windows I opened up the properties of drive C: and went to the disk cleanup option. There was an option there for cleaning up system files, and one of the options there was old Windows installations.

I got an unexpected 17 GB back on that hard drive! What a pleasant surprise.