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I just noticed a few directories in C:\ with long, random hex values. Each of these contains an update directory.

When I click on the update directory, I get an access denied message, even though my account has admin privileges (XP Home).

Two questions: How can I delete these folders, and how is it possible to restrict a folder this way?

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possible duplicate of superuser.com/questions/76810/cant-delete-file-named- –  Sathya Apr 18 '10 at 2:00
2  
I don't think it's the same issue - no update involved, this is something that's putting its update data into the root of the drive, and somehow protecting it. –  chris Apr 18 '10 at 2:38
    
the answers on the duplicate will solve your "how can i delete" question. –  quack quixote Apr 18 '10 at 11:27

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

If the directory is named something like "9470bb12eb8a4f344765a27236478e41c5" or something like that I believe those are reminiscent of Service Pack installations are are supposed to be automatically deleted. If they weren't automatically deleted (as probably in your case) they can be safely deleted. Have you installed a Service Pack recently?

To delete these folders, first take ownership of the folder and then you can just delete it.

What do you mean by "how is it possible to restrict a folder this way"? You mean to... duplicate the "access denied" effect? To do that I think you can just take ownership of a folder and remove permissions for the user you want to deny access to...

UPDATE: To take ownership in XP Home, start in safe mode and log in as admin to get access to the security tab... and then right click folder->properties->security tab->advanced->owner tab, then select your user, "replace owner on subcontainers and objects", etc and then you can delete. You might have tried this already... in that case I wouldn't know much else to help you :)

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The problem is that I can't take ownership, so I can't delete it. –  chris Apr 18 '10 at 14:26
    
@chris: updated my answer. –  Vervious Apr 18 '10 at 15:27
    
I didn't even know that booting in safe mode would allow me to log in as administrator. –  chris Apr 18 '10 at 19:13
    
Does it work though? :) –  Vervious Apr 18 '10 at 19:22

No need to reboot into safe mode. You can create a .cmd file containing something like this:

rd /s /q c:\377ad8fdb1afb8272c62e0512c35ac02
rd /s /q c:\841d0ba8aaed90d14716f24cee
rd /s /q c:\b831f40803565731cb

Save it as c:\cleanit.cmd.

Then run command at (currenttime+1minute) c:\cleanit.cmd. So if it is 19:42 then run at 19:43 c:\cleanit.cmd.

You may need to start the command prompt as administrator to run the at command.

Your cmd file will run with SYSTEM security token and will have permissions to remove that mess Microsoft is leaving on your drive.

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The Windows System account is the ultimate authority in Windows, not administrators. It can lock you out, and will do so while it's running certain updates from those directories. It is supposed to unlock and delete these directories after updates are done.

To fix this, reboot the computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt. Run chkdsk /f. Then run rd /q /s [directory name]. (It's easier to copy and paste the directory name, right click, mark, highlight the name, right click copy, you get the idea).

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