09 August 2007

Delete Vista Files without format from Hard Disc

If you are running Microsoft Windows XP and installed Windows Vista dual boot with XP, under the same partition uninstall Windows Vista, you can remove the bootloader of Vista with VistaBootPro. But how do you remove the files? If you try to do it from XP, you will get some nasty "Access Denied" errors.
That's because the installer applies some nasty security permissions on them. They are not being used by anyone, it's just the ownership permission restrictions that do not allow you to delete them.

To take ownership of a folder and delete the files follow these steps:

You have to go in Safe Mode. Restart your computer, and press F8 in the old pre-Windows Vista bootloader, or while waiting for the Windows XP logo to show up. (There where a cursor blinks). Select Safe Mode in the list of options that shows up.

Login as Administrator. Go to Start -> My Computer -> Tools -> Folder Options -> View -> Show Hidden Files and Folders -> OK. This is to show some hidden files the installer places in the directory it installs Vista in. These include, but are not limited to "Program Data, Pagefile, Documents and Settings (hidden)."

Select all the folders you wish to delete (your Windows Vista Folder). Right click, properties. Go to Security Tab (yes to the popup that shows up) and click on Advanced. Go to Owner and select In the Name list Administrator or the Administrators group, make sure "Replace owner on subcontainers and files" is ticked, and then click OK. Wait once finished.

Right click, properties, security and advanced again.
Make sure Administrator or the Administrators group has full permissions. Check "Replace permission entries on all child objects with entries shown here that apply to child objects." Hit OK. Wait again.

Now, the last step! Go to Advanced again. Go to the Administrator or the Administrators group and hit "Full Control" under Allow. Make sure "Replace permission entries on all child objects with entries shown here that apply to child objects." OK, and wait.
The Administrator or the Administrators group now owns the file.

If you followed everything right, you should have full and unlimited access on Windows Vistas's files. Hit the Del button!

Rem: HijackThis can't handle files with ownership security permissions (a possible kind of Virus based on a file with user permissions ownership will be a possible problem >see flash.ocx access denied attrib +r**) also using wininit after reboot to delete these files when Windows start (if files are not in use) wont work.

UXTheme.dll and other files with "limitations" will replace any "patched" Windows files (StyleXP by TGTSoft, Stardock WindowBlinds,...*) if you install a Service Pack for Windows XP or Vista. There are no UXTheme Multi-Patcher for the last service pack out now, but here a solution to do it by self:

1. Download a patched, hex edited uxtheme.dll for your Windows Version.
2. use this small batch file script to replace protected system
which are in use by Windows.
3. Follow the instruction in the readme.txt


Anonymous said...

Awesome guide, really helped, I have been struggling with Vista while working on Win7, Vista was only wasting my disk space, but this really worked, big thanks :)

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