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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Deleting the Undeletable?

    I am using Win 7, SP1. I have an external USB drive for back-ups and images. On the drive there are a number of folders with weird names, such as, 42adab13af360142537320, taking up a lot of space. It seems that these are "system folders" (not sure about that name) made by ancient back-ups when I was using XP. These folders, and several levels of sub-folders, are all Read Only. I have tried un-checking the Read Only attribute, but it is immediately restored. I have administrator rights, but that doesn't cut it. How can I get rid of this old stuff?

    Thanks for enlightenment,

    David

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Generally in Win 7 you can Right Click and Take Ownership of files. I do not know If this will work on an Ext HD. Is there something else on the HD you need to save? If you do not have the Take Ownership command How To Geek shows how to add it.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger chowur's Avatar
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    You can try this;http://lockhunter.com/index.htm
    If the above doesn't work.Try this first;http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...lume-ntfs.html
    Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. -Albert Einsten

  4. #4
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    Firstly thank you both for the replies. I don't have a Take Ownership option so I ran the registry hack. That seems to run okay, but there's still no Take Ownership option. Bummer. So.......

    I tried Lockhunter. Ran it. Pointed it at the locked folder. First it said the folder wasn't locked, but when I tried the Delete option I got a pop-up saying the folder could not be deleted. These suckers are bullet-proof!

    Went to the other link you suggested Chowur. Going back to the Command Prompt and DOS commands! Hmmm, haven't done that in more years than I care to remember.

    I did once upon a time make a BartsPE boot-disk. That came with a file manager, maybe that would do, but it does seem like a long-winded way of cleaning out trash.

    There are a lot of files & folders on the drive that I need, including all the recent back-ups. If I copied the whole disk to another drive would I be able to simply format the USB drive?

    David

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    That might be the easiest solution. Temporarily copy all the stuff you need to keep to your HD, format the Ext HD, then copy things back. I don't know if the format will work either, but it's worth a try and it might take less time than trying other alternatives.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  6. #6
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    You must remember that starting with Vista and continuing with Win7 you are member of the administrators group but that does not confer the same rights as the built-in Administrator account.

    See How to take ownership of a file or folder.

    Joe

  7. #7
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhinoceros View Post
    On the drive there are a number of folders with weird names, such as, 42adab13af360142537320, taking up a lot of space. It seems that these are "system folders" (not sure about that name) made by ancient back-ups when I was using XP.
    They are in fact a couple of the temporary folders produced during the XP Windows Update process, and because of incompetent programming they have not been deleted automatically, as 99% of these directories are.

    I usually use Unlocker to delete them, but I've not ever tried it in Windows 7. You need to be quite patient with it because it can take a minute or two, and appears to be doing nothing!
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the help, I seem to have a can of worms here. I had the bright idea of borrowing an XP machine thinking that the simpler OS, and one that created the folders, would allow me to simply delete them. Curiously in XP the folders are not marked "Read Only," but delete? No way! At the moment I'm copying the folders I need to keep, 250Gb takes a while at USB 2 speeds, maybe I should have opened the machine and plugged the naked drive into a bay.

    Have also been reading about ownership and permissions. This for instance is from the MS site:

    "By default, the owner is the entity that created the object. The owner can always change permissions on an object, even when the owner is denied all access to the object."

    So the owner owns, but may not even have permission to access an object?!? And:

    "Ownership can be taken by:

    "An administrator. By default, the Administrators group is given the Take ownership of files or other objects user right."

    I AM the administrator, not one of the administrators, I'm it! By default I should have the Take ownership user right. But it doesn't work out that way. I wonder if there might be something in the air that they're breathing in Redmond? They're awfully close to Mt. Rainier, leaking gasses perhaps? It just convinces me that I should have stuck with XP.

    I'm new to Win 7, but I started computing with a Z80 machine, soldered together pin by pin from a kit. The Z80 processor ran at several cycles a minute, started out with 16K of RAM, later bumped up to a massive 64K, with a compact-tape drive for loading and saving programs, that was an extra. So I really resent anyone in Redmond, or anywhere else, telling me what I can and cannot do to my machine. Would I buy a car if I was told that the hood was locked, and I wasn't going to get the key to open it? Only the manufacturer could do that. I don't think so. If I pull the spark-plug wires off and replace them in the wrong order wrecking the engine whose problem is that? If I do something stupid and trash the OS is anyone in Redmond going to lose a night's sleep? Have I made mistakes? Of course, but "anyone who never made a mistake never made anything," as my father used to say.

    I've read that Win 7 is "the most secure" version ever. So what? I have never had a virus, never had any malware, I run several different scans at frequent intervals, all come up clean. it's just a matter of common sense. Don't respond to e-mails from Nigerian bankers, don't open attachments from unknown senders, and if you want to browse ify Websites use a sandbox. How about a version of Windows for grown-ups? "U screw it, U fix it!" They could print it in large letters on the box.

    Well the files are still copying, so back to reading the undying words of wisdom from Redmond. Will post if the format works.

    David

  9. #9
    3 Star Lounger
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    Hey! The format worked! Back to reading, got to get to the bottom of this ownership business.

    Thanks for the help,

    David

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    Maybe this little program "takeownership" will help it gives an option in the right click dropdown to takeownership without having to go into permissions etc.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Glad the format worked. Now you can use the Ext HD the way you want to use it.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  12. #12
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    Well thanks again for all the help, but since delving into this I have discovered all manner of complications regarding ownership and simply being "permitted" to use my machine the way I want. For instance, when following up the Takeownership suggestion (which didn't work for me) I went to the HowToGeek site. These are just two of the responses:

    "Have you tried activating the hidden account named "Administrator" and performing what you need to do under that account?"

    "AND then you also have to give yourself Complete Permissions with Files, Objects, Registry Entries, etc., etc.... so System Setup after the initial O/S installation can take a Day or Two."

    So I only think I am the Administrator, the real Administrator is hidden away somewhere, watching, in control. Is he called Hal by any chance? And no one is worrying about Big Brother? I have to do all this!?! To use my own computer?!? And they call this is progress? Today I've run into an unrelated problem to do with Eudora. Won't trouble you here, will start a new thread.

    David

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