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TristanD79

Deleting redundant Windows files from a drive - help appreciated

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Posted · Original PosterOP

So recently I moved my operating system to a new drive, but I want to delete the old windows folders on the original drive. Unfortunately even though I am the administrator it won't allow me to do so.

 

Any advice on how to do so would much be appreciated!

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Just re-Format it, in Disk Management


Did you test boot it, before you built in into the case?

WHY NOT...?!

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, Eighjan said:

Just re-Format it, in Disk Management

Would reformatting remove everything on that disk?

 

The reason i ask is because there is some data I don't want to lose on there

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1 minute ago, TristanD79 said:

Would reformatting remove everything on that disk?

 

The reason i ask is because there is some data I don't want to lose on there

Transfer that off, first, re-format & then transfer back... only way I'm aware of as I don't do that specific task too often.


Did you test boot it, before you built in into the case?

WHY NOT...?!

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, Eighjan said:

Transfer that off, first, re-format & then transfer back... only way I'm aware of as I don't do that specific task too often.

Sadly transferring it off isn't an option as the old drive is 1TB HDD and the new one a 240 GB SSD

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15 minutes ago, TristanD79 said:

So recently I moved my operating system to a new drive, but I want to delete the old windows folders on the original drive. Unfortunately even though I am the administrator it won't allow me to do so.

 

Any advice on how to do so would much be appreciated!

If you want to delete just the old windows folders, from within windows, you're going to have a bad time.

 

Either

a) Reformat the drive using the OS installer

or

b) boot a rescue disk command line tool (eg Windows own tools, or a Linux rescue disc/flash drive that can write to NTFS)

 

Trying to delete a previous windows installation you didn't upgrade from is not supported by the disk cleanup tool which is the way you'd do it if it was on the same drive.

 

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9 minutes ago, TristanD79 said:

Sadly transferring it off isn't an option as the old drive is 1TB HDD and the new one a 240 GB SSD

Ohh... ideally a 3rd/'rent-a-drive' would be useful - unless you have a DVD burner.


Did you test boot it, before you built in into the case?

WHY NOT...?!

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Just boot onto Linux through a live usb flashdrive. No install required. It will let you edit files on the drive if you mount it. From there you can delete the entire Windows folder, pagefile, hiberfile, etc etc.


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what error are you getting when trying to delete?, you might need to "take ownership" of all the files on that drive to be able to delete them properly

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1 minute ago, TristanD79 said:

Here is a screen shot of it.

340b02c46bb6e50e965028f9682b358b.png

ok, so first thing to try is to right click on the drive and select properties, then click on the security tab and click on the advanced button. Next click on the button at the bottom that says change permissions, then beside owner click on the change link and type in your username and click ok, finally check the checkbox to "replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object" then click ok, it will go through and make you the owner of all the files on the drive so that you can delete them

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Posted · Original PosterOP
9 minutes ago, truescot said:

ok, so first thing to try is to right click on the drive and select properties, then click on the security tab and click on the advanced button. Next click on the button at the bottom that says change permissions, then beside owner click on the change link and type in your username and click ok, finally check the checkbox to "replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object" then click ok, it will go through and make you the owner of all the files on the drive so that you can delete them

This doesn't seem very safe lol

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4 minutes ago, TristanD79 said:

This doesn't seem very safe lol

it is 100% safe, if you do not have the operating system or program files on that disk anyway there is nothing that can go wrong.  It is an operation i have carried out litterally 10's of thousands of times in my 25 years in IT operations ;), or if by safe you mean that anyone who has got your hard drive has access to your files, then yea, the only way around that is to encrypt your drive 😛

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Windows security settings are a pain in the ass... if truescot's tip does work or not (wouldn't be surprised either way), i would strongly advice you to get an external drive big enough to backup your data. 1st for transfers like this one and 2nd, more important: to have a BACKUP. If your drive fails, chances are good you loose all your data! Just think about it: how bad would it be to loose the data on that drive? If it's not worth to buy a backup drive, it also should be ok to format the drive...

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Thankfully I have now sorted it, got an extra drive and temporarily transferred stuff, then reformatted. Overall was the simplest solution

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