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Tl;dr: Can't delete inaccessible (because system file and without owner) C:\$Extend\$UsnJrnl:$J.

I'm trying to shrink my system partition under Win Vista. It's all fine, except that in front of the last 300MB of the volume sits a single file, that cannot be moved by defrag or other means from its position. It's called C:\$Extend\$UsnJrnl:$J, and my assumtion is, that it is left from a previous installation of Vista, when I re-set up the system.

Now, googling for this kind of files brings interesting results, but no solution to my problem:

  • Files left on the disk can become ownerless in a new setup of Windows and inaccessible (even for administrators). To be able to access them again, I found the tip to use takeown to re-assign them to the Admin group (or anyone else). Works like a charm for normal files, but not for the C:\$Extend stuff.

  • The C:\$Extend folder is a system folder of the NTFS file system, where the journal is stored (especially in a file called $UsnJrnl:$J:$Data, whose name is surprisingly close to mine, but not identical).

  • You can delete the journal with fsutil usn deletejournal /D C:, however, this doesn't work from within the booted system (as I found out trying, error: "Access denied"). Also, I'm not quite sure of the side effects.

  • You can't move the NTFS own files with standard defrag tools. The same holds, by the way, for not accessible files.

Every bit of knowledge out there is targeted to either not accessible files or the $Extend NTFS stuff, but noone addresses my problem involving both, an inaccessible system file.

Question: How can I remove this file, or at least how can I move it on the disk?

By the way: I use defraggler for defragmenting, but used the Vista own, too (the engine underneath should be identical, as far as I know).

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Okay. Don't hang me for this. Download an Ubuntu or Sysrescue live disk, boot it up (from pendrive or disc) and delete it. You should put that disc for later (Ubuntu 10.04 for example) because it can act like a Swiss knife. Its a handy utility for every superuser/admin.

Moving on the disk. Hmm. Maybe if you move it somewhere temporarily (of course with the live disc) and copy it back, it'll be written to the end of the data > not the end. I guess. (But did you try Acronis Disk Director suite ?)

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I had Knoppix in mind for this, too, and I'd do this, if it was just any file, but since it may or may not be an NTFS owned file, I'm a bit cautious and like to evaluate other options, too. –  Boldewyn May 19 '10 at 20:08
    
Just do a system restore point in Windows, reboot, MOVE the folder, start Win. if its ok, no harm done. –  Shiki May 19 '10 at 20:27
    
One more thing... after burning the Ubuntu DVD, just use GParted (System>Administration>Partition Editor) and resize it within Ubuntu. –  Hello71 Jul 19 '11 at 0:39
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