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Windows 7: Trying to delete legacy Windows Vista folders

07 Feb 2015   #1
Physicsboy99

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 
Trying to delete legacy Windows Vista folders

Hi all - installed a new hard drive and installed Win7 as a new install (3+ years ago). Previously ran Vista on the C: drive. New Win7 drive partition/volume is M: - system set to dual boot, although I haven't booted to Vista in +3 years. I'd like to recover the space on my C: drive where Vista was installed but Win7 doesn't let me - says I don't have permissions. I'm an Admin in Win7.

Do I need to activate the disabled Admin account and use that? Why can't I just delete the folders/files - why is this so hard .

Thanks!!!
Steve


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
07 Feb 2015   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Have a look at this:

Dual Boot - Delete a OS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2015   #3
Physicsboy99

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Hi - Thanks - those instructions are if I want to just blow away the entire partition, which I don't. I could easily go into Disk Management and delete the partition and reformat - I have data on the partition I want to save. All I want to do is remove all the legacy Vista OS folders (Windows, Program Files, Program Files (x86), etc.). I'm an Admin and have given myself explicit perms to the C: drive - even run the TAKEOWN command - still get access denied when trying to delete through the UI or RD from the CLI.

I'm stumped.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

07 Feb 2015   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You can't have your cake and eat it too. If you delete the partition, everything is gone including your data. I suggest you save your data first and then remove or reformat the partition.

There is no difference between this
Quote:
I want to just blow away the entire partition,
and this
Quote:
go into Disk Management and delete the partition and reformat
Your data from that partition will be lost in both cases.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2015   #5
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Permission problem.
Windows 7 or Vista will not let you format the drive if you are booted into the drive. Windows is protecting itself and will not give permission to do such a thing.

As whs has recommended; back up your 3 year old data to a external hard drive and just do the tutorial whs has posted.

By whs:
Dual Boot - Delete a OS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2015   #6
Physicsboy99

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

I'm sorry there's confusion on this - I really do appreciate people reading and replying as a means to helping me move forward. WHS mis-quoted me below - I didn't say I wanted to blow away the partition, I said "those instructions are if I want to just blow away the entire partition, which I don't" - and that's the point - I don't - I want to save the partition (it works just fine) and only remove the folders containing the old version of Vista (which again, I haven't loaded for 3+ years).

Layback - you also misunderstood - I made it clear I'm not booting into the old Vista drive (C - I'm booting into the Win7 drive (M. In fact, under Disk Management, the M: drive is the primary boot partition. I've given myself perms to the C: drive folders (again, I'm an Admin) and have even taken full ownership (properties showed "TrustedInstaller" as the owner - I took ownership with my Admin account under Win7.

STILL won't let me delete the folders - Access is Denied. Like I said, I'm stumped. I've even gone in under DOS, run the Attrib cmd to remove any read-only or archive bits, run the TAKEOWN cmd to ensure I owned the files/folders, etc.

So while this seems like a very simple, remedial, parochial thing to want to do, I guess I'll just backup the files I want and dump the partition, reformat, and move the files back. Maybe this is the catalyst to load Win10 Tech Preview.

Thanks all - I do appreciate the help!
Steve
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2015   #7
gregrocker

 

Hi Steve -

It's never correct to just remove the old OS folder, or even install Win7 from an existing OS partition in the first place which is why you're stuck with it on the M drive letter when Win7 is booted which almost no one would want. The correct way to do this is always to delete the OS partition so the partition table is cleared. The only reason you'd not be able to do this is if you have files on the partition you can't back up, and this is never wise to begin with since your hard drive could die at any minute.

But if you want that, then we can help you delete the Windows and any other folders on Vista partition.

First we need to see screenshot of Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image so we can see how its configured and make sure you have a workable configuration going forward.

Removing the old OS piecemeal is very hard to do unless you do it from a boot disk, so if you have the Win7 disk you can access the Vista files to delete them without being blocked by permissioning problems following Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console is from the booted Win7 installation media or System Repair Disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2015   #8
markaz

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I wanted to do the exact same thing in 2010 and ran into the same issue. I simply accessed the partition that Vista was on > saved everything I wanted to save to an external drive > deleted the partition with Vista on it > created a new partition (a smaller one) and put everything I'd saved back on the new partition. Problem solved.

Not sure why it's so important to save the partition when all you're wanting to save are specific contents on that partition. Just passing along how I solved the "problem".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2015   #9
Physicsboy99

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Hi again - thanks again to everyone who's replied and tried to help!

I figured it out - was missing a critical step in the "take ownership" process. Right-click the drive - Properties - Security - Advanced. Click the Owner tab, select my Admin-level account - click the box "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" - click OK and OK a second time to confirm you want to do this. THEN, and this is the step I was missing, go back one level under Advanced Security, click the Permissions tab, select my account again, then make sure the box "Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this object" is selected. This was the missing link.

Once all ownership and permissions were set this way I could delete all traces of Vista on the C: partition without having to re-partition or reformat the drive. All the data I wanted to preserve is there, the systems boots correctly into the Win7 M: drive partition and all is well.

Note: I DID backup all my data, create a system restore point and even created a recovery CD - just in case.

Thanks all - hope this helps someone else trying to do the same thing!
Steve
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2015   #10
gregrocker

 

Did you even see my post which explains why this is the wrong approach, but that if you feel you must do it then it can easily be done from the Win7 disk without any permissioning problems?

If so you can still post back a screenshot of Disk Management requested since in about half of the cases these are wrong, and I suspect in this case it is likely wrong.

The reason this is the top tech forums in history is because we do things correctly here, not patched with dodgy workarounds that leave OS code in the partition table or boot code hanging out on the drive to cause further problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Trying to delete legacy Windows Vista folders




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