SOLVED Deleting all content/Formatting C Drive..?


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Recently had to re-install my x64 Windows 7 Ultimate & have opted to install on my small (60GB SSD) I Drive.
There's about 30GB of file/folders left on the C Drive that can't be deleted, even when I try & format I get a 'Windows was unable to complete the format' message.

How do I go about deleting all content/formatting the C drive..?

Thanks.
 
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Shintaro

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Have a look at the Article HERE.
When you run the install from your Windows 7 DVD, you will eventually get to the partition tables screen. If you delete the partitions then re-create them and then format the partition, anything on the SSD will be erased.
Is that what you want?
 
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Have a look at the Article HERE.
When you run the install from your Windows 7 DVD, you will eventually get to the partition tables screen. If you delete the partitions then re-create them and then format the partition, anything on the SSD will be erased.
Is that what you want?
Thanks for the reply, doesn't help though.. the OS is already installed, I just need a way to format (or preferably delete) all content from the C drive.
 

Shintaro

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FIRST what are the directories?

If you are very sure that you want to remove a directory, because there is no undelete with this command.

Open a command prompt as Administrator.
1/ Click on the start menu.
2/ Type in cmd.exe
3/ Right click on cmd.exe and select "Run as Administrator"

If the directory was called "Junk" and you wanted to remove it and all sub directories, in the command prompt type:
Code:
rmdir c:\Junk /s /q
It will not prompt you.
 
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FIRST what are the directories?

If you are very sure that you want to remove a directory, because there is no undelete with this command.

Open a command prompt as Administrator.
1/ Click on the start menu.
2/ Type in cmd.exe
3/ Right click on cmd.exe and select "Run as Administrator"

If the directory was called "Junk" and you wanted to remove it and all sub directories, in the command prompt type:
Code:
rmdir c:\Junk /s /q
It will not prompt you.

Your method does sound promising, unfortunately it doesn't work for me.

'SYSTEM VOLUME INFORMATION - Access is denied' (& I am running cmd as administrator)
 
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TrainableMan

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You can not and should not delete System Volume Information!!! It is a protected system file and is required.

In Windows (file) Explorer (not Internet Explorer) you should go to Organize > File and Folder Options > View Tab and check the box beside "Hide protected operating system files (recommended)". There is a reason these files are protected: because deleting them can damage your OS and your computer will stop working properly.
 
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You can not and should not delete System Volume Information!!! It is a protected system file and is required.

In Windows (file) Explorer (not Internet Explorer) you should go to Organize > File and Folder Options > View Tab and check the box beside "Hide protected operating system files (recommended)". There is a reason these files are protected: because deleting them can damage your OS and your computer will stop working properly.
The box you mention is already checked.. bit confused what this has to do with my problem & how it helps though?
 

TrainableMan

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I'm not sure you have a problem. If the folder you are trying to delete is System Volume Information then you shouldn't delete it. System Volume Information is a required system folder and it should not even be visible in Windows Explorer (when that box is checked).
 

clifford_cooley

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Thanks for the reply, doesn't help though.. the OS is already installed, I just need a way to format (or preferably delete) all content from the C drive.
If you delete everything on C, you will not have an OS. Deleting C would be deleting your OS, and it would need to be re-installed. Following the instruction provided by @Shintaro to re-install will ensure everything is deleted that is not part of the install. If you are not willing to re-install, you may need to do as @TrainableMan suggested and ignore whatever issue you think you have.
 
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Please READ! my first post.. I've reinstalled the OS on my I drive
I need to delete the what is left of the previous installation on the C drive (various folders that can't be deleted)
 
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Shintaro

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Ok, lets define some terms.
Format = remove ALL files. For example Format c:\ = remove EVERYTHING from C: Drive hence leaving it with NOTHING on it.
Delete = Delete a file, delete a directory.

The System Volume Information folder has amongst other things System restore points.

Are you saying that the size of that directory is persistent across installs?
 

TrainableMan

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FYI: Drive letters can be assigned to any partition but the most common use of C: would be the drive where the OS is installed which is now your SSD. So what you call "C:" may not be what we expect.

So are you actually looking to delete files from your SSD where your OS is installed now or are you looking to delete files from the old hard drive that was C: and used to hold your OS?

To make things even clearer, please open Windows Explorer to the drive where you wish to delete, and expand the root so we can see the folders. Then tell us by name which folders you wish to delete. Because as I explained above, there is a folder on each drive called SYSTEM VOLUME INFORMATION, but you can not delete it, it is required and system protected and that is why you would get "Access is denied" for that folder.
 
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FYI: Drive letters can be assigned to any partition but the most common use of C: would be the drive where the OS is installed which is now your SSD. So what you call "C:" may not be what we expect.

So are you actually looking to delete files from your SSD where your OS is installed now or are you looking to delete files from the old hard drive that was C: and used to hold your OS?

To make things even clearer, please open Windows Explorer to the drive where you wish to delete, and expand the root so we can see the folders. Then tell us by name which folders you wish to delete. Because as I explained above, there is a folder on each drive called SYSTEM VOLUME INFORMATION, but you can not delete it, it is required and system protected and that is why you would get "Access is denied" for that folder.
Thanks for taking the time to explain..
I want to delete various folders from the old hard drive that was C:
 

TrainableMan

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I was really hoping for am actual list of folders because there are some folders that are needed for the drive to work properly and you shouldn't delete, such as the folder "SYSTEM VOLUME INFORMATION" which you apparently tried to delete and received the message "Access is denied". Another you shouldn't delete would be $Recycle.Bin.

But if you are careful, there are a couple tools you might install to try and delete files / folders ...

The first is a program called Unlocker. Install Unlocker (do not install RegistryBooster), then open Windows Explorer and locate a folder you cannot delete on the old hard drive. Right-click on the folder and choose Unlocker from the context menu. In the window that opens choose Unlock All and then in the action choose Delete. It will try to Delete and if unable will offer to delete it on next reboot. If needed to complete the delete, restart your computer.

The second is the Take Ownership script. For Take Ownership to work you must be logged on as an Administrator. Install Take Ownership, then open Windows Explorer and locate a folder you cannot delete on the old hard drive. Right-click on the folder and choose Take Ownership from the context menu. Once the script finishes and you have ownership, try deleting the folder.

WARNING: Take Ownership is an extremely powerful script and can be used to take ownership of vital system files that if moved or deleted could ruin your OS installation and prevent your computer from working.
 
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I was really hoping for am actual list of folders because there are some folders that are needed for the drive to work properly and you shouldn't delete, such as the folder "SYSTEM VOLUME INFORMATION" which you apparently tried to delete and received the message "Access is denied". Another you shouldn't delete would be $Recycle.Bin.

But if you are careful, there are a couple tools you might install to try and delete files / folders ...

The first is a program called Unlocker. Install Unlocker (do not install RegistryBooster), then open Windows Explorer and locate a folder you cannot delete on the old hard drive. Right-click on the folder and choose Unlocker from the context menu. In the window that opens choose Unlock All and then in the action choose Delete. It will try to Delete and if unable will offer to delete it on next reboot. If needed to complete the delete, restart your computer.

The second is the Take Ownership script. For Take Ownership to work you must be logged on as an Administrator. Install Take Ownership, then open Windows Explorer and locate a folder you cannot delete on the old hard drive. Right-click on the folder and choose Take Ownership from the context menu. Once the script finishes and you have ownership, try deleting the folder.

WARNING: Take Ownership is an extremely powerful script and can be used to take ownership of vital system files that if moved or deleted could ruin your OS installation and prevent your computer from working.
Just tried Unlocker & it's worked great, freeing up quite a few GB of storage.. many thanks for your help.
Another quick question if I may.. my boot drive is now :I (New Volume) can (should) I rename it to :C & rename the old C drive to I & if yes how do I go about it?

Thanks.
 
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TrainableMan

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You would likely run into issues if you change Drive letters now.

The problem is that many programs, including the OS, store information such as where your data is located, where they were installed from, lots of things really. Most of that information would be in the registry but older programs used .ini files and I'm sure some programs store the drive information other locations as well. You would have to edit all of those places to the new drive letter. Just to get an idea of how much work it would be, you could open the registry (regedit.exe), select Computer at the top of the list (so the search starts at the beginning), and Edit > Find, search for "I:" (no quotes) and then keep hitting F3 to Find Next. After 10 or 20 finds I believe you will see it would be a large task and could risk your computer stability if you make a typo or miss an important one.
 
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TrainableMan

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I'm not saying it can't be done. I personally have moved all references to a drive letter in the past, but mine was the CD-Rom drive letter and so I expect the amount of changes was significantly less. But if you do want to move it it is best you do it now before you install more and more software. And if it were me, I would probably just move it to Drive D: (assuming that is available) rather than reversing C: and I:
 

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