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You need permission to perform this action error message

Posted on 2011-02-22
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I recently installed Windows 7 Enterprise over Windows 7 Pro. The process left the old system in a folder called Windows.old. Since I need nothing from the old system, I wanted to delete the Windows.old folder. When I try to, i get the message, "You need permission to perform this action. You require permission from <computer_name>\Administrator to make changes to this folder." I've tried adjusting UAC (which should have nothing to do with it. I've tried the "net user administrator /active:yes" command line method (even though I am the local administrator). And, I've tried taking ownership of the folder. Nothing has worked. Is there anything else I can try?
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Question by:jimboadm
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by:Toxacon
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Try to delete it from command prompt... If it doesn't help, then start to recovery mode command prompt and try to delete it from there.
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by:xavixsb
xavixsb earned 100 total points
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This folder is owner by the user of the other Windows.

Take as owner with the new user.

Look at rhis
http://www.blogsdna.com/2159/how-to-take-ownership-grant-permissions-to-access-files-folder-in-windows-7.htm
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by:jimboadm
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Thanks for your prompt responses.

Xavixsb:
I'm not sure what you mean by "user of the other Windows". Regardless, I already did what was described in the link you provided, but to no avail. Is there something else you had in mind?

Toxacon:
I tried deleting from the folder from the command prompt (something I actually hadn't tried before), but it didn't work. I've never had to "start to recovery mode command prompt". Can you provide instructions for doing that?

Thanks again
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jimboadm earned 0 total points
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I figured it out!

The solution was to go to Properties > Security tab > Advanced > PERMISSIONS TAB > Change Permissions and check "Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this object".

Xavixsb's comment about "user of the other Windows", even though it didn't provide THE answer (there was no other user), it did get me thinking about how the Windows.old folder was configured in the previous system. It would have contained some folders and files that had their own unique permissions. These explicit permissions wouldn't have been changed by the ownership change. Checking "Replace all child object permissions..." forced these to inherit the permissions from the parent folder.

Anyway... Even though you didn't provide everything I needed, since you helped, Xavixsb, you'll get some points.
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by:xavixsb
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I try to explain my comment best.

I understand that you have a windows installation folder and you install another windows in other folder.
The first installation folder is own by his user and you can't delete with the user of the new windows install. That is why I say that you have to be the owner of this folder before you can delete it,

I hope I have explained better.
And sorry for my English
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by:jimboadm
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Xavixsb:

Thanks for your explanation. As I indicated in the details of my question, I already had taken ownership of the folder. So your instruction to "Take as owner with the new user", as well as the link you provided, didn't offeran actual solution. None-the-less, because your point about "user of the other Windows" started me thinking about how permissions were distributed in the original system, which led me to the solution, I decided to give you some points.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jimboadm
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Although a comment by Xavixsb provided a clue - more of a different way of thinking about the problem, actually - I was the one that came up with the answer.
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