• ProvTool.exe creating temp folders

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    Hi All,

    Win 10 1803 had a scheduled task set that runs a provtool.exe command after 5mins activity after someone logs on. It’s filed under scheduled tasks Microsoft\Windows\Management\Provisioning. It didn’t seem to cause any issues. However, I have a number of machines on 1809, with the same task, and every time it runs it creates 18 empty folders in the Windows\Temp directory all witha prefix of ‘tw-‘. Has anyone any idea why this happens and how to stop it? Disabling the task certainly stops it, but is it OK to do that? I have no idea what the purpose of the task is and can’t find any doc on it. The command it runs is: %windir%\system32\ProvTool.exe /turn 5 /source LogonIdleTask


    Viewing 6 reply threads
    • #1996180

      In ‘normal’ English, ‘provisioning’ means to configure a device using a template based on what role the device is going to be used for. For example, the difference between a laptop with a built-in SIM card for on-the-road workers versus a laptop that’s going to be used solely within an office environment and which has no need for cellular connectivity.

      (Unfortunately Microsoft often stretches the ‘normal’ meanings of words or just makes them up. ‘Flighting’, anybody?)

      Have a look at this post on TenForums for a script to automate the cleaning of these folders. I can confirm that it works very well.

      There’s actually two tasks under this heading and I’ve been testing disabling them as an alternative to cleaning up the detritus afterwards. So far I have been unable to determine any adverse effects from disabling them.

      For example, using AutoHotkey, I’ve added the following to the Scheduled Tasks section of my Win 10 Configurator script:

      RunWait,schtasks /Change /TN "Microsoft\Windows\Management\Provisioning\Cellular" /Disable,,hide
      RunWait,schtasks /Change /TN "Microsoft\Windows\Management\Provisioning\Logon" /Disable,,hide

      Hope this helps…

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1996362

      Hey Y’all,

      Well that was an eye opener! I found 1,368 tw- files in C:WindowsTemp. Not to mention a multitude of other .log files, ex: clicktorun.

      I also discovered that I didn’t have access to that folder, well I did since I was running an admin account and just had to click Continue but others running User level accounts won’t.

      I also found out that trying to delete these files all at once (selecting them all then delete) got stuck at 99%.
      So a little PowerShell to the rescue:

      $TempPath = "C:WindowsTemp*.*"
      $GIArgs = @{Path    = "$TempPath" 
                  Include = @("aria-debug*.log","tw-*.*",
      $RIArgs = @{Force = $True
                  EA    = "SilentlyContinue"
      Get-ChildItem @GIArgs | Remove-Item @RIArgs

      This code (I named the file Clear-SelectedTempFiles.ps1), run as administrator, will clear out the files listed in the Include array above. You can add more files by adding a pattern to the list.

      HTH 😎

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!


      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1996370

      Very elegant and useful PowerShell script, RG. I particularly like the ability to add further file patterns. Thank you.


    • #1996543

      Thanks for the feedback, and yes – a useful couple of scripts too.

      But what I’d really like to know is why the h*** is this happening in the first place, when the same task caused no problems on 1803. And why is it there in the first place if it doesn’t actually do anything useful? But I guess we all just have to write it off as another of those ‘Microsoft things’ that you never get a sensible answer to…

      I’m going to disable the task in my golden image.

    • #1996554

      I’d really like to know is why the h*** is this happening in the first place, when the same task caused no problems on 1803

      I run 1809 and I have the same tw-.. empty files (36 files). As the files are empty I care leaving them.

    • #1996561

      Yes – that’s part of my point. 1809 does it, but 1803 had exactly the same task running WITHOUT producing all the empty folders in the Temp dir. So why? What have they mucked up? What is the task trying to achieve?

      [Moderator Edit] putting hashes in place of letters is not refraining from swearing. Please follow The Lounge rules.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by Paul T.
    • #2003372

      Don’t know if coincidental or not but in 1803 builds on Microsoft Surface tablets, have also been seeing tons of the following file created repeatedly to the point of filling all free space.  This is in addition to the aria* and the tw* file types.


      Seen a couple of in-between solutions related to the “Surface” app but updating to 1903 resolves the issue AND removed the files from the same win\temp folder.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
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