Need help deleting a folder at "C:\Program" on my Windows machine.
April 28, 2012 2:54 PM   Subscribe

Need help deleting a folder at "C:\Program" on my Windows machine.

There is a folder on my machine at c:\Program. When I log in, I get this error. I can't delete or rename the folder, as I get either a lack of privileges error or an "in use" error (I'm a full admin on this machine). I've tried deleting/renaming via the UI and via the command line, with the same results from each. This seems to be a fairly common issue, but I can't find any solution. Any ideas?
posted by JPowers to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Sometimes software that you install don't take your Windows locale in to consideration during the installation so instead of using c:\Program Files they try to use c:\Program which, as it doesn't exist on your Windows copy, so it gets created. If that's the case here, you should really let it me because that's where some software are installed.

I have a similar problem on my Swedish version of Windows 7. All software should be installed to c:\Program but some software have been hard coded to use c:\Program Files.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:11 PM on April 28, 2012

Sorry about the typos.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:11 PM on April 28, 2012

What version of Windows are you using? I'd try deleting/renaming it from a command prompt that you run as administrator (in Win7, open your start menu, put 'prompt' in the search box, find 'Command Prompt' then right click it an Run as Administrator).

If you're sure it's deletable (i.e., doesn't contain anything you actually want or use), as a last resort, you might try booting a linux system-on-a-disc (or usb drive), mounting your hard drive, and deleting the folder from there (the linux system won't have the permissions issues windows sometimes has).
posted by axiom at 3:21 PM on April 28, 2012

If you really are determined to do this, likely it would be easier if you boot your system into "safe mode".
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:28 PM on April 28, 2012

I created the folder manually.

I just got the folder to delete by running a command line that used the RD command instead of the DEL command (which failed). I also did kill some processes before running this command, with the help of handle.exe (which helped me identify which processes to stop).
posted by JPowers at 3:30 PM on April 28, 2012

Glad you fixed it.

The blunt-instrument approach to this kind of thing, should you ever need it in future, is to boot a Linux live CD and do your deleting or renaming with that. The NTFS implementation baked into current Linux distros pays no attention whatsoever to NTFS permissions, and the live CD will never have any of the files in use as you try to delete them.
posted by flabdablet at 6:40 AM on April 29, 2012

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