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Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by Unrealevil, Sep 3, 2008.

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  1. Unrealevil

    Unrealevil Thread Starter

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    I have amassed hundreds of files that I cannot delete. Generally, the ones that have been on my computer for a long time, I am able to move around, but not to the Recycle Bin and I can't delete them permanently. I've read through hundreds of Google results telling me that I need to turn off or turn on User Account Control, or go into the properties of the file and take ownership of it. Sometimes those techniques (and many others, for example, a forced delete through Command Prompt) work, but only on a few files. Sometimes the problem goes away with a reboot. Sometimes it's as simple as moving it to another directory before deleting it. Sometimes it goes away with time or a whole lot of messing with it. But in the end, I go through enough files each week that I'm left with an inordinate amount that refuse to be deleted.

    I originally had UAC off. I figured that there was no point in having it off, so I ended up turning it back on. There has been no difference. Files could not be deleted beforehand, and still, I am unable to delete them now. The same errors come up either way. The only difference is that when UAC is on, there is an extra step before the error where it asks me to continue, as is UAC's purpose.

    Going to Properties --> Security and then changing ownership and giving myself full control does nothing. I don't see why it should when I'm the sole user of the computer. Still, I keep trying it and I admit that there are times where I don't have full control for some reason, but even when I change it, there is no difference.

    Trying to take it out with any number of commands in Command Prompt ends up giving me the Command Prompt version of "You need permission to perform this action."

    When I go to the Recycle Bin properties and change it so that it will "Remove files immediately when deleted," changes the error message when I then try to delete one of the files or folders. Now it says, "The action can't be completed because the file is open in another program. Close the file and try again." So when it needs to be moved (to another drive or to the Recycle Bin), it's a lack of permission... that makes a tiny bit of sense. But when it needs to be deleted, it's being used? Not that I pretend to understand this level of computers, but that makes the least sense. That said, once in a while I'll find that a .exe running which I can then stop and delete. But apart from that, .dlls and just regular files like text... I'm not running or using them.

    I listed the things I've tried that have worked on some of the files but there have been many more things that I've tried over the past few months, most of which I can't even remember. I have no idea what to do. At first, I didn't really care and I just put it in a folder on my desktop because a few application extensions take up less than a MB. But, well... six months later... I'm getting into GBs. To me, that's still not worth reformatting or clearing everything, but if anyone has anything for me to try...
     
  2. ShadowProwler420

    ShadowProwler420

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    Did you run the Command Prompt as Administrator?

    Another thing you could try is to highlight all the files you are trying to delete, then hold the Shift key and hit Delete. This will permanently delete the files (basically the same thing as the option you tried using within the Recycle Bin's properties but will totally bypass the Recycle Bin).

    Another question: Have you tried using Safe Mode to delete the files? That should circumvent the whole "The action can't be completed because the file is open in another program. Close the file and try again." issue.
     
  3. Doodaman

    Doodaman

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    I've had the same issue at times. What I've done is log out as the regular user, then log back in as the Administrator. After I've logged in as administrator, I go in to the properties of the folder/file I'm, having trouble with, go to the Security tab, edit the permissions, and this has solved my problems. Can't explain why this has happened, but my solution has worked.
     
  4. Unrealevil

    Unrealevil Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the replies.

    Yes.

    I tried that just now, same effect as when I changed it through the Recycle Bin.

    Tried that as well. But any program that might be using it is uninstalled and removed from the computer anyway, so it seems to me that a normal boot shouldn't be using it.

    With the exception of ASP.NET Machine Account, I'm the only user on the computer and I'm the administrator.
     
  5. Doodaman

    Doodaman

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    Vista has sort of a "hidden" administrator account. If you can't access it, you'll need to open a command prompt in administrator mode by right-clicking and choosing "Run as administrator". Then in the command prompt anter the following command: net user administrator /active:yes

    By default, the account has no password, I'd suggest adding one for security reasons. If you now go to Switch user, you should see the "Administrator" user icon. Log in, then perform the permissions changes.
     
  6. Unrealevil

    Unrealevil Thread Starter

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    Well that worked on a few files, but none of the major ones unfortunately.
     
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