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Windows 7: Cannot delete old windows files

23 Nov 2012   #1
terrymold

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1
 
 
Cannot delete old windows files

Recently I had a spot of bother with my Win7 installation, and before re-installing it I made a copy of the windows folder, calling it windows.old.

Now that windows 7 is working OK again, I want to delete everything in this windows.old folder which is about 10Gb in size.

But it just won't let me do that. I get all sorts of messages generally about not having permission etc.

I've changed permissions, owners and even went into Safe mode, but nothing seems to work. There must surely be a solution to this problem, and I'm hoping someone here just might know?

Thanks in advance


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Nov 2012   #2
boohbah

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7600
 
 

have you tried deleting the content in the folder.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2012   #3
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Hello Terry,

You might see if one of the options in the tutorial below will allow you to delete the Windows.old folder.

Windows.old Folder - Delete
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Nov 2012   #4
terrymold

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1
 
 

Hi boohbah
Yes! I have tried almost every option I can think of, but obviously not the right one yet.

Hi Brink
I was actually trying your link when I got the email notification. For a minute or so, I really thought the first option was going to work, but it sort of re-started itself without the System files option.
So I'm now going to try the second option.

Terry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2012   #5
terrymold

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1
 
 

Hi again

This security on Windows 7 is really mind boggling. I tried Brinks solutions and as I mentioned, Option 1 didn't work at all. I then tried Option 2 - rmdir /S c:\windows.old and also with the elevated command prompt - rd /S /Q %SystemDrive%\windows.old - that went through the process but every command received an "Access Denied" result.
So then I tried Option 3 and guess what? Exactly the same! The windows.old folder is still sitting there, probably laughing at me?

All I need now is someone to come up with something, perhaps like a "windows.old virus", that will stop me from pulling any more hair out.

Terry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2012   #6
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Odd that Option Three at boot didn't work.

You might see if using the free program Unlocker may allow you to delete it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2012   #7
terrymold

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1
 
 

Hi again Brink

I have downloaded and installedUnlocker, and while it appeared (like all previous tries!) to be deleting files etc, it finished with no files deleted?

So I don't know what else to try. Maybe I'll do a bit of googling again.

Terry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2012   #8
gregrocker

 

Since you've gotten to the point you're at I would use Unlocker.

The correct way to uninstall an OS is always to delete its partition in Disk Mgmt, or during an install or reinstall. There are myriad unintended consequences even beyond what you're experiencing to try any other way.

You may have to Mark Partition as Inactive - Windows 7 Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2012   #9
terrymold

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1
 
 

Hi gregrocker

I've already used Unlocker as mentioned in my last post, and I forgot to mention that this windows.old folder is in the Win 7 System partition.

Terry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2012   #10
terrymold

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1
 
 

Hi once more

I have just used Disk Cleanup (from How do I remove the Windows.old folder?) and it actually worked.

But what a Saga, eh?

So I'll put my wig back on and have an early night. And many thanks to everyone who posted solutions. It doesn't matter that some didn't work because what really matters is that everyone tried to help someone else.

Terry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Cannot delete old windows files




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