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Windows 7: Impossible to delete leftover folders

04 Feb 2014   #1
Onahole

Western Australia
 
 
Impossible to delete leftover folders

I recently did a lossless re-install of Windows 7 on my machine, which placed my old data onto a folder called "Windows.Old", allowing me to totally restore everything. However, doing this generated a few folders that I can't seem to do anything with. I was able to remove most of them through the use of the Delete Invalid File application, but not even that is able to clear the last two folders:

My old Users folder, and my old ProgramData folder.

No matter what I do, these files are totally locked. I was able to move them to the desktop, but beyond that, they are being stubborn. Every time I try to delete them normally, I get the following message:



This is after I get a popup to allow administrative rights on the aforementioned folder. No matter what I do, this message will always pop up and bar me from deleting the folders.

Here's a list of all the things I've tried:

Changing file ownership.
Deleting individual files within the folders.
Disabling User Account Control notifications.
Fiddling with administrative details.
Deleting the folders through the use of Delete Invalid File.
Moving the folders to new locations.

None of these work. I can't remove the files at all. They're stuck, sitting on my desktop, taunting me as they use up my already tightly constrained HDD space.


How do I get rid of these pesky old files?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
04 Feb 2014   #2
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Try Unlocker:
Download Unlocker 1.9.2 - FileHippo.com

edit: No need to use the Direct Download link on FileHippo's website. They abandoned that. Just use the green rectangle shown in the screenshot below.
Impossible to delete leftover folders-direct.png

Just be sure to uncheck the other junk it offers to install:



Once installed...
...right click on the folder of interest
...select Unlocker from the context menu
Deal with the User Account Control - if needed.

Once Unlocker opens...
If nothing is locking the folder(s)...
...select Delete from the drop down menu in the lower left part of the window
...then click on the button named OK.

If something is locking the folder(s)...
...select Delete from the drop down menu in the lower left part of the window
...then click on the button named Unlock All.

Be careful. Unlocker is powerful and dangerous. You might want to uninstall it after using it.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2014   #3
Sir George

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Onahole View Post
I recently did a lossless re-install of Windows 7 on my machine, which placed my old data onto a folder called "Windows.Old", allowing me to totally restore everything. However, doing this generated a few folders that I can't seem to do anything with. I was able to remove most of them through the use of the Delete Invalid File application, but not even that is able to clear the last two folders:

My old Users folder, and my old ProgramData folder.

No matter what I do, these files are totally locked. I was able to move them to the desktop, but beyond that, they are being stubborn. Every time I try to delete them normally, I get the following message:



This is after I get a popup to allow administrative rights on the aforementioned folder. No matter what I do, this message will always pop up and bar me from deleting the folders.

Here's a list of all the things I've tried:

Changing file ownership.
Deleting individual files within the folders.
Disabling User Account Control notifications.
Fiddling with administrative details.
Deleting the folders through the use of Delete Invalid File.
Moving the folders to new locations.

None of these work. I can't remove the files at all. They're stuck, sitting on my desktop, taunting me as they use up my already tightly constrained HDD space.


How do I get rid of these pesky old files?
I have found that "MoveOnBoot" is good at removing stubborn files/folders;

EMCO MoveOnBoot Trusted Freeware download and reviews - SnapFiles.com

HTH
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

19 Feb 2014   #4
PSCO2007

Windows 7 Professional X64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by UsernameIssues View Post
Try Unlocker:
Download Unlocker 1.9.2 - FileHippo.com

Attachment 304816

Just be sure to uncheck the other junk it offers to install:



Once installed...
...right click on the folder of interest
...select Unlocker from the context menu
Deal with the User Account Control - if needed.

Once Unlocker opens...
If nothing is locking the folder(s)...
...select Delete from the drop down menu in the lower left part of the window
...then click on the button named OK.

If something is locking the folder(s)...
...select Delete from the drop down menu in the lower left part of the window
...then click on the button named Unlock All.

Be careful. Unlocker is powerful and dangerous. You might want to uninstall it after using it.
Can't believe it - it worked!!

I had this program on my computer when I had XP and I thought it wasn't compatible with Win 7.

Thanks a ton!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2014   #5
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

You are welcome.

You know how powerful/dangerous it is...
...so be careful :-)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2014   #6
PSCO2007

Windows 7 Professional X64
 
 

Just curious - why do you call this program dangerous?

If you make a mistake and delete a file by mistake, all you have to do is restore it from recycle bin.

Unless, of course, you have selected "automatically delete" option, which is foolish.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2014   #7
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Let's say that you decide to delete the folder named Public (C:\Users\Public) using Unlocker. You can indeed restore that folder and its content from the recycle bin, but the NTFS permissions and folder/file attributes on the Public folder will not be the same as before. The original settings are important to security. It is not as easy as it sounds to "restore" some things from the recycle bin.

Some "tin foil hat" privacy users try to delete stuff that they should not. Unlocker can help with, but the result can be an unstable system. Once Unlocker breaks a program's handle to a file or folder, there is no way that I know of to recreate that handle after restoring the file or folder from the recycle bin. Usually the program(s) will recreate what it needs after a reboot - assuming that the computer will boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2014   #8
PSCO2007

Windows 7 Professional X64
 
 

Okay, thanks.
The only files I would use Unlocker for would be video files,so I guess I would be safe.

Thanks for all your help!

Have a good one!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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