windows.old on w7

  sunnystaines 16:53 26 Oct 2011

when I originally updated to w7 I deleted these files. recently had to reinstall w7 now cannot remember/find these files to delete. searching using w7 shows no result, also using cleanup in mycomputer doies not find them.

need some tips to help me remember

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:18 26 Oct 2011

updated to w7

windows.old was your previous system XP?

as you have reinstalled there was nothing to update so the windows old does not exist.

  sunnystaines 18:25 26 Oct 2011

my original w7 instal was an update from vista [ages ago]and i deleted windows old ok.

recently after problems had to reinstal w7 over w7. since then any scans etc get bogged down for ages scanning windows,old

I have found the following now via windows explorer

windows.old....unable to delete folder as it needs system permision and windows.old000 .........when i try to delete this one i get numerous warnings that windows may not start if i delete these files so pressed skipped on most of it. are these two folders ok to delete and how do i get system permission please.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:32 26 Oct 2011

Step 1: Get access to the built-in administrator account, which you can do by following these steps:

a. Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools

b. On the left panel, go to Local Users and Groups > Users; you should now see a list of users on your computer

c. Right-click the Administrator account which shows up in the list and go to Properties

d. Uncheck 'Account is Disabled' and confirm by pressing OK

Step 2: Log on to your newly-enabled administrator account

Step 3: Now we begin setting-up the security settings that will allow you to delete that folder that was (perhaps) once owned by SYSTEM:

I'll make an assumption that you want to delete a folder and all its sub-folders along

a. Right-click the folder

b. Go to the Security tab on the top

c. Click the Advanced button that's at the bottom

Step 4: The first part of setting-up the security settings is to set the owner of the folder:

a. Go to the Owner tab on the top b. Click the Edit button that's at the bottom

c. There should be a list of accounts to pick from to change ownership to, this is located under the label 'Change owner to:'

d. The entry 'Administrator (YOURCOMPUTERNAME\Administrator)' should be there; if not then we have to add it into the list:

  • Click the 'Other users or groups...' button that's at the bottom

  • Under the label 'Enter the object name to select (examples):', there should be a text field that you can type in; type in 'Administrator' (without the quotes of course)

  • Click the 'Check Names' button that's on the right; 'Administrator (YOURCOMPUTERNAME\Administrator)' should now be there by itself; well if not, then you have to delete the line which does not represent the administrator account you're in right now

  • Confirm by pressing OK; it'll now appear on the list of accounts you can select from

e. Now select 'Administrator (YOURCOMPUTERNAME\Administrator)' from that list

f. Check 'Replace owner on subcontainers and objects' to propagate our change

g. Press OK to confirm; a message should now pop-up, indicating that you have to re-open Properties. Do so by pressing on all the OK buttons you see

Step 5: Now that we've set the owner of the folder, we're still not done. There's one key step left which is to remove inheritable permissions:

a. Repeat step 3 to get to re-open Properties and get to 'Advanced Security Settings'

b. Go to the Permissions tab on the top

c. Click the 'Change Permissions' button that's at the bottom

d. At the bottom, there should be 2 checkboxes:

  • 'Include inheritable permissions from this object's parent': Un-check this; when you do so, you'll get a warning about parent settings not being able to propagate. Select 'Add'

  • 'Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this object': Check-this

e. Confirm by pressing OK. Windows will warn you again this time; hit OK

f. Confirm again by pressing OK; now you should arrive at Properties again

Now you should not have any warnings about SYSTEM not giving you permission while trying to perform actions on that folder.

All the checkboxes for changing permissions on accounts (Properties > Security > Edit) should now be enabled.

  sunnystaines 20:32 26 Oct 2011

fruitbat thank you for detailed reply, i will try tomorrow when i am clear of painkillers dont want to mess up.

i will post back afterwards

  sunnystaines 08:02 27 Oct 2011

fruitbat had trouble following the instructions i have w7 ultimate 32 bit.

the directions did not match my layout, did best i could to keep on track with the instructions

got as far as "?'Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this object" which i did

seemed to go through the motions then got access denied

the box in permissions called special permissions will not tick which i think may be the problem.

can you offer any other help please.

  robin_x 11:28 27 Oct 2011

W7 permissions have a mind of their own at times.

Try Unlocker or MoveOnBoot (allows delete too)

In really stubborn cases I reboot to a Linux Live CD and do it from there. (eg Ubuntu)

  sunnystaines 16:15 27 Oct 2011


I will download and try unlocker and report back thankyou

  sunnystaines 18:17 27 Oct 2011


is unlocker normaly very slow? its been working on a folder for about 90 mins still only a third done but making progress, using high cpu usage.

just hope i do not get access denied at the end of a long wait.

  robin_x 18:30 27 Oct 2011

I normally use it on single files or app folders of a few MB. Of course it is more or less instant then.

I suppose windows.old is pretty big.

I wouldn't have a clue how long it may take. Give it another hour?

  sunnystaines 22:04 27 Oct 2011

still working away about three quarters done

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