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Got a machine with a "clean install" that wasn't so clean due to an install-time oversight. It now shows two different Windows system folders. Having invested hours updating before realizing this hard drive is pain to understand, is it safe to remove the extra "Windows XP" folder and kill the potentially conflicting Documents and Settings entries where the two sets of users merge?

The issue is a bit more complicated since I threw in not one, but two Hard drives with prior stuff, and apparently the main one is the secondary, so all my programs install to D:\ So, should I just leave all of this alone? I would still prefer that to reinstalling, as that is not a PC under my roof.

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It is still to hard to tell completly with your explaination.

Do a full backup of the system, then you can Delete at will.

There are 2 windows system folders in XP one called system, and one called system32. there can be multiple users in docs and settings.

I think mabey you are indicating that there are some Interleaved folders? repeats that are not in the correct places.

Should you leave it that way? well I am not there, so I cant see it all. But In my opinion, No, you should get all user data off and e-mail data bases and trash it, and re-install.

WHY? A) Because you know it is a bit messy. B) You know that an OS can have problems. C) You know that it is likly to have a problem again. D) so You will never know that the mess and intermix isnt causing the problem. . . It can be a problem to mix up differentaly updated systems, and systems that had other changes to it.

If you want to be DONE with this, so the next problem is not attributed TO this, then some day your going to want to re-install.

The only thing you do have now, you have not lost anything that might be important, so that it a partly good reason for leaving it as is.

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Ended up leaving it as it was. Accepting answer –  Vlueboy Aug 16 '12 at 0:17

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