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Windows 7: Can't delete (files on) partition.

21 Sep 2009   #1

Windows Vista
Can't delete (files on) partition.

Hey! Well, a few days ago I had a dualboot of Windows 7 and Windows XP. Later I just only wanted to have Windows 7. So I downloaded Vista Boot Manager and deleted Windows XP on the list, so now its only booting from Windows 7. But all those files of Windows XP are still left on the partition. And I have no access to delete them, not even in a save boot. Unlocker helped me a while, but I'm now stuck with 3 folders which I can't delete. I've got now 50 GB left on my HDD, and the partition of Windows XP was 200 GB, so I think you can realize I want those GB back! =P

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2009   #2


Why "can't" you delete them? What's the error message? If it's "access denied", you may have to simply take ownership of those folders so that you can override the previous installation's NTFS security descriptors.

By the way, "Unlocker" is potentially unsafe. Whatever the question, there are better answers than "Unlocker".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2009   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Retail)

For an easy way to take ownership or drives, folders, or files, you can use a free app that adds a "take ownership" item to the explorer right click context menu. See screenshot below:

Attached Thumbnails
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2009   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

Check in Disk Management and see which partition is showing as "System".

Please post a screenshot of Disk Management main window.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2009   #5

Take Ownership

You do not have access to these files from your current OS. The previous poster noting this as the issue is correct, but it is not necessary to use a third party app to do so.

First, certain files cannot be deleted even if you do take ownership of them as they are in use by the current OS, ie, boot manager.

Properly apply 'administators' as the owners of the folders and all subfolders (not the root), boot to safe mode, and then you can delete them. Make sure you are seeing all hidden files and folders on that drive.

Use care not to delete the wrong ones.

If on re-boot (after safe mode), your system does not boot, insert your W7 Disk and run boot repair.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can't delete (files on) partition.

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