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Windows 7: Undeletable Folder

01 Nov 2010   #1

Win 7 Ultimate, 32 bit
Undeletable Folder

Hi all.

Recently I did a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate (not an upgrade). It's a hard drive that had already had Win 7 Ultimate on it, but I had run into some snafus, so I just re-installed fresh.

As you probably already know, Windows 7 detects previous Windows installations and puts it into a folder called "Windows.old". After my new installation was done, this Windows.old folder was pretty big, around 25 gigabytes.

From some searching I did, I found out about using Disk Cleanup, and you put a checkmark in the box for Previous Windows installations, and then let the program run its course.

It worked.....basically.....sort of.

The Windows.old folder is still there, and now it's only 1.94 kb in size; much smaller that the previous 25GB!!!

But if I try to delete it, I get a pop-up message on-screen that says:

"Could not find this item.
This is no longer located in C:\. Verify the item's location and try again."

There are two buttons to click: "Try Again" and "Cancel".

If I click "Try Again", it just keeps popping back up.

Isn't this a strange message to be getting, though? How is it that it says "could not find this item"?!?! Sure it can! I just clicked on it and tried to delete it, and yes, sure enough, it is in "C"!!

I tried deleting it in Safe Mode, but I still get that same popup message I described above.

If I navigate my way through this Windows.old folder, what's eventually in there is something leftover from SecuROM. Inside of it are two files with strange characters for names:


Whether I try to delete these individual files, or any of the folders that contain them, I get error messages telling me it's not located there anymore.

Not located there anymore?!?! Even though I'm looking right at it?!?!

Anyone know how to get rid of this pesky, stubborn folder (file)? Any help or info is appreciated.


P.S. I tried renaming the SecuROM files, but it won't let me do that either.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

01 Nov 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc

Use disk clean up and check include system files.

Windows.old Folder - Delete
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2010   #3

windows 7 ultimate 64bit

My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 Nov 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit

You could always reg.edit it out but be carefull.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2010   #5

MSDN Home Premium

I wonder if 'File Assassin' (from MalWareBytes) could get rid of them ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2010   #6

W7 Professional x64

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2010   #7


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by KremmenUK View Post
I wonder if 'File Assassin' (from MalWareBytes) could get rid of them ?

FileASSASSIN: Malwarebytes
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LiquidSnak View Post
I've had to try similar steps to manually remove the Windows/old folder and unfortunately, even after taking 110% control of the files in question they will not budge.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by richc46 View Post
Use disk clean up and check include system files.
Best option out there, although, having manually deleted some files already it may give error messages if it's expecting the size of the folder to be larger than it actually now is....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2010   #8

W7 64 Bit

Go to System Protection, uncheck System Restore. Reboot, go back to the file, right click it and delete. If not, then start in safe mode, and delete it. Then renable system restore (if you use it).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2010   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

or maybe even the unlocker works as well. Google search them
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2010   #10


have you tried deleting the files from a linux live cd?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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