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Updating to Windows 8 Pro on my PC consumed an additional 20 Gb or so and I'd like them back. How do I recover the space used by the installer / updater?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Use Disk Cleanup with the Clean up system files option.

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Awesome! looks like exactly what I need. – Paul Gregoire Nov 4 '12 at 19:26
Does that get rid of Windows.old? – Akash Nov 4 '12 at 20:48
@Akash That is what is meant by 'Previous Windows installations' This is the recommended method as it avoids problems with permissions which arise if you try to delete it in Explorer. – David Marshall Nov 4 '12 at 21:41

You should find a Windows.old folder in your C drive

Copy any stuff you need and delete it

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Yes, I do have a Windows.old but it is only about 7 Gb; I also wonder if its "safe" to just delete the entire directory. – Paul Gregoire Nov 4 '12 at 19:14
Yes, it is safe, except that you will obviously lose the data in there. Windows does not need that data. You might – Akash Nov 4 '12 at 19:15
And I would use something like Windirstat to see exactly where the extra disk space is being used – Akash Nov 4 '12 at 19:15
WinDirStat miscounts hard links so you will have no idea where the disk space goes. – Joey Nov 4 '12 at 19:16
@Joey are hardlinks actually used by Windows if the user hasnt explicitly made them somewhere? – Akash Nov 4 '12 at 19:17

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