Windows 10 Install Files Already Appearing

Windows 10 Files

UPDATE: Check out my “Live Blog” post to see how the installation is going for me before you subject yourself to it.

With the launch Windows 10 just a few hours away, Microsoft has already begun rolling out the update to a select number of computers in preparation for the launch.

This initial batch is likely an effort by Microsoft to lighten the load on its update servers. That’s good since it should result in a smoother upgrade experience for us, the customers (as opposed to the experience of Microsoft’s servers crashing halfway through the roll-out).

You’ll know if you’ve received the installation files for Windows 10 when they appear on your C:\ drive under the $Windows.~BT folder.

Keep in mind, just because you have a $Windows.~BT folder, it is not a guarantee you have received the Windows 10 upgrade files. That folder might be there from a previous update or installation. You’ll have to check to see if the Windows 10 source files are in the directory.

But first, can you even see the $Windows.~BT folder?

Windows 10 Install Files: What $Windows~.BT Folder?

To see the $Windows.~BT folder, you may need to go into Windows Explorer and follow these steps:

  • Select the View tab
  • Select the Options icon (all the way to the right)
  • Select the View tab from the window that appears
  • Select Show Hidden Files, Folders, and Drives then tap or click OK

If you have one, it should now appear on the root of your Windows(C:) drive. Next, browse to C:\$Windows.~BT\Source and see if you have a file called install.esd. It should be about 2.7GB in size (for Windows Pro devices, at least) and have a file date of July 28th. Just make sure you DO NOT ALTER the contents of the folder (unless you want to risk screwing something up). 

If you have the install.esd file, congratulations, you’ll be getting Windows 10 on your Surface very soon. If you don’t have the files remember that, Microsoft will roll out the Windows 10 update in waves, so don’t panic if you’ve yet to receive the files. They’ll show up soon.

My Surface Pro 2 got its files already but we are still waiting for our other devices to get it – we have several.

So, relax and don’t panic if you suddenly notice that your network slows waayyy down and  your Surface seems sluggish. It is probably in the midst of the download.


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