Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Can't delete Windows folder

minirhyderminirhyder NYCRegistered User regular
edited May 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
I've recently gotten an SSD and installed Windows on that.
I want to delete the Windows installation on my old drive without formatting is since I have quite a few programs I have installed that I'd like to keep.
But. Windows won't let me delete the Windows folder because of permissions.

This is what happens when I try:

permissions1.png

I've attempted to take ownership of the folder (i.e., changed the owner from trustedinstalled to me, the user I log into) but it still won't let me do it.
Help me free up some space!

Posts

  • Khade97Khade97 Registered User regular
    Is the folder called "Windows" or "Windows.old"? If it is .old from an upgrade I believe you can get rid of it via Disk Cleanup.

    If is is just "Windows", when you took ownership did you make sure to take ownership of all child objects too? It may be worth throwing the following into command prompt and seeing what that says;

    1) 'cacls C:\Windows /T /e /g Administrators:f'
    2) 'rmdir /S C:/Windows'

    Disclaimer - these assume you are trying to delete c:/Windows, modify the file path as appropriate. Although unlikely, if this somehow breaks a Windows install on another partition don't blame me ;)

  • minirhyderminirhyder NYCRegistered User regular
    It's just a Windows folder on a different physical drive. So I don't think I can mess anything up by deleting it?
    And yeah, the permissions are for folders, subfolders, and files.

  • Khade97Khade97 Registered User regular
    Can you boot into safe mode and delete it from the cmd prompt (run as administrator)

  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    Are the programs you want to keep installed on the Windows install that you're trying to delete? Because if so, they won't work, were you to be successful.

    h1DI1.jpg
    All my fuckin life I lived a normal fuckin life
  • minirhyderminirhyder NYCRegistered User regular
    Are the programs you want to keep installed on the Windows install that you're trying to delete? Because if so, they won't work, were you to be successful.

    Some of them are...why wouldn't they work? Do I need to keep the entire Windows folder there to keep them working or specific files? I don't want to keep the entire 20gig install on it for no reason.

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    minirhyder wrote: »
    Are the programs you want to keep installed on the Windows install that you're trying to delete? Because if so, they won't work, were you to be successful.

    Some of them are...why wouldn't they work? Do I need to keep the entire Windows folder there to keep them working or specific files? I don't want to keep the entire 20gig install on it for no reason.

    Short answer, because they're "integrated" with the old OS install. The registry. Any DLLs. Etc. When you install a piece of software, it's not just installed in C:\Whatever and works as its own entity. There are files all over your hard drive that the program points to, and vice versa. This is one of the reasons why "Uninstall" exists, rather than just deleting a program's directory. Basically, any software that was installed on the old operating system will not work when you boot to the new operating system on your SSD.*

    What I would do is just copy all the important data from your old drive to the SSD, like documents, photos, music, saved games, etc, and then format the old drive. It's bloated right now with stuff you're not going to use on your new OS.

    *There are exceptions to this, such as Steam. You can just move the steamapps folder anywhere, run a new Steam.exe, and it will do the rest. But in this case, Steam is re-installing a lot of stuff for you when you move it.

    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • minirhyderminirhyder NYCRegistered User regular
    I've been running loads of programs from the old Windows drive without any issues..(non-Steam games, SPSS Statistics, Fraps) which is why it didn't strike me as a problem thus far.

    But I guess it does seem like less of a headache overall to just format it.

  • EsseeEssee The pinkest of hair. Victoria, BCRegistered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Plenty of programs and games can be moved around freely, so you only have to worry about stuff that actually cares about the registry and/or uses absolute paths (hardcoded C:\Game\runthegame.exe) as opposed to relative ones (run the exe from this folder under whatever folder the main program is under). (Edit: Oh, probably also stuff with heavier DRM, where they check files they place on your disk, but I don't really own titles that have draconian DRM, so yeah.) I would say something like 80+% of my stuff doesn't care where it's installed at all. Especially MMOs. But since your computer won't play nice with letting you remove the old content, yeah, formatting might be the least headache for you since the Windows install is eating up space. If you can't find a way to remove it, anyway.

    Essee on
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    Moving something around on the same hard-drive is a lot different than trying to run software that was installed on another drive and on another OS. Almost nothing in your Program Files directory is likely going to work. Fraps is one thing, but see what happens when you try to open Word.

    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    You can give MoveFile a try.
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897556

    edit:Hmm looking more closely at the screenshot it looks like it's still coming up as a permission issue so that may not work.
    Plan B. Download Ubuntu, burn it to a disc. Boot to that and nuke it from there.

    Tofystedeth on
    steam_sig.png
  • godmodegodmode Nooo-ooo-ooo... That ain't dancin', SallyRegistered User regular
    I'm having the same exact problem! And have been since Christmas.

    I just gave up and have been working around the old Windows files :P I know that doesn't help, I'm just in here to look for a solution as well. Also get the permission problem.

  • TheBigEasyTheBigEasy Registered User regular
    Also, IT in my company told me once, that if you try and format the partition of the old install, your current install might stop to work as well. In my case I had an old XP install on one partition and my main drive had Windows 7 on it. I wanted to format the old XP partition - but couldn't because of some rights issues. I went to our IT department, where I was told that if I succeed in deleting the old XP install, my Win7 would stop to work. The only way was a complete reinstall of everything.

    I don't know if what I was told was bullshit - but if not, this might be the same problem for you (although I don't know if the same problem presents itself if both installs are Win7).

    I deleted everything my comp let me delete and my system still works. That might be an option for you as well, or if you don't mind a complete reinstall of everything, do that.

  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    TheBigEasy wrote: »
    Also, IT in my company told me once, that if you try and format the partition of the old install, your current install might stop to work as well. In my case I had an old XP install on one partition and my main drive had Windows 7 on it. I wanted to format the old XP partition - but couldn't because of some rights issues. I went to our IT department, where I was told that if I succeed in deleting the old XP install, my Win7 would stop to work. The only way was a complete reinstall of everything.

    I don't know if what I was told was bullshit - but if not, this might be the same problem for you (although I don't know if the same problem presents itself if both installs are Win7).

    I deleted everything my comp let me delete and my system still works. That might be an option for you as well, or if you don't mind a complete reinstall of everything, do that.

    The reason is that when you install Windows with another Windows install on an attached disk, it leaves the Master Boot Record on the original disk, if you format the old disk, it won't know where to look to see which OSes it can boot to. Usually to avoid this you'd detach any drives that aren't the OS drive the install. To fix the issue, I think you can just do a repair install with the other drive removed and the Windows install disc will locate the one you actually want to boot to and set it up that way.
    edit: But simply deleting the old XP install wouldn't break anything in your Win7 install.

    Tofystedeth on
    steam_sig.png
  • notmetalenoughnotmetalenough Registered User
    Get a Linux distro (Ubuntu Live-CD probably, I'm a bit out of touch in this area).

    Rename the windows folder (don't delete it).

    Reboot, try running your programs.

    If everything works, it's safe to delete it, otherwise, your best option is backing up your data, leaving the programs that play nice and starting over with the ones that don't... OR living with having an extra windows folder... OR formatting and starting completely fresh (with all your data backed up).

    Honestly, for all the trouble any partial solution is, I usually pick the backup -> format -> start over route.

    Samael the Radiant Faced-- Official Naming, Going Nuclear, Click on the Quest, Make She Run and Guild Measurements [strike]Officer[/strike] - Clawshrimp & Co, Draenor-US
  • minirhyderminirhyder NYCRegistered User regular
    The reason I've been putting off backing up and reformatting is because there's like...100 gigs worth of stuff to back up. And this is a slow ass spindle drive, I'd probably have to leave it for an entire 24 hour period before it's done moving everything around.

    I might try your method, @notmetalenough, just for curiosity's sake.

Sign In or Register to comment.