How to delete windows.old in Win7?
May 29, 2012 9:13 AM   Subscribe

How do I delete windows.old in Win7 when I am administrator and windows still won't let me?

I goofed when I first installed Win7. I thought it didn't complete the install, so I installed again. This gave me a windows.old folder, which is unused.

But I can't delete it. When I try to delete the unused windows.old directory under Win7, the OS tells me I must be logged in as me as Administrator and I **AM ** logged in as me as Administrator. '

I've tried editing the permissions, but nothing I have tried has allowed me to remove this directory.

Can I use command line-fu? Boot under Linux?

How do I delete it?

All help appreciated. Thank you.

posted by gnossos to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Try Iobit Unlocker.
posted by caclwmr4 at 9:16 AM on May 29, 2012

Response by poster: caclwmr4,

Thank you for the suggestion of Iobit Unlocker. Seems like a great program.

I ran it on windows.old. Unlocker says it is unlocked.

But, when I try to delete windows.old, I still get the same messages about not having access.

Worth a try. Thanks
posted by gnossos at 9:37 AM on May 29, 2012

Sometimes you have to reboot after unlocking and performing the delete, and the delete is actually done during the reboot. It creates a system file telling Windows to delete the file or folder during the reboot (this is standard Windows practice for certain system files). But Unlocker should have told you that and to reboot. Hmm. Try rebooting anyway.
posted by caclwmr4 at 9:46 AM on May 29, 2012

Best answer: To delete the Windows.old folder from an earlier installation of Windows, follow these steps:
Click Start, type disk cleanup in the Start Search text box, and then click Disk Cleanup.
In the Disk Cleanup Options dialog box, click Files from all users on this computer.
In the User Account Control dialog box, click Continue.
Click to select the Previous Windows installation(s) check box, and then click OK.

posted by mge at 9:49 AM on May 29, 2012

In Unlocker, select Windows.old, then next to the "Unlock" button is the down arrow. Click that arrow, choose "Unlock and Delete", and it will do that. If it needs to reboot to finish that, it will tell you.
posted by caclwmr4 at 9:53 AM on May 29, 2012

Response by poster: I used the disk cleanup approach and it worked fine. The file was gone when I restarted, so I couldn't check to see if Unlocker had unlocked it.

Thank you all for your help.

It is much appreciated.
posted by gnossos at 10:44 AM on May 29, 2012

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