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When I used to be a kid instead of formatting I used to delete everything in my hard-disk.

When try to delete all the files from my Windows installed hard-drive some system files remains un-deleted. Even after installing another fresh copy of Windows (without formatting the drive) the files remain there un-deleted and when I try to manually delete them the system says "access denied" (don't remember the error message).

How can I delete these system Files ?

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You are very inquisitive today, @Subanki! – JNK Aug 31 '10 at 19:08
@JNK yup i am my professor says "never leave behind any doubts" – subanki Aug 31 '10 at 19:10
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Although formatting the hard drive before an installation of a new Operating System is best and I highly recommend it, you can delete files that windows doesn't want deleted by taking ownership of the file and then deleting it. This is how you take ownership of a file:

  • Right click the file, select properties, and then the security tab.

  • Select then Advanced at the bottom of the window and then the tab owner.

  • Select Edit and then select the user you want to give permission to (either yourself or administrators)

  • Select Apply and then ok. Select ok and everything else so that all dialog boxes are closed.

  • Bring up the properties of the file again, and then select edit.

  • Select either the Users group or the Adminstrators group according to what you selected earlier.

  • Click the box below "Allow" and next to "Full Control"

You can then delete the files necessary.

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I recommend booting from a different disk (CD/DVD or external drive) then you can access the internal hard drive and do as you see fit without windows complaining that files are in use or locked.

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