My wife’s Windows Vista PC was giving her lots of trouble over the past several weeks, with applications crashing, FireFox not saving cookies, general slowness, etc. With all my digging and Googling I couldn’t figure out the cause of the problems, so I decided to wipe the disk clean and do a fresh install. But instead of using the same disk drive, I bought a new 250 GB Western Digital SATA drive and was planning to use this new drive as the primary disk and the old drive as the 2nd (slave) disk. That way, my wife’s data files will still be available and I don’t need to worry about backing them up, reloading them, etc.
Fortunately, her HP Desktop PC came with the Vista OS install files loaded in a small partition on the original drive and I was able to use an HP program to burn a Windows Vista Install DVD (which will only work on her HP machine). Having the Vista Install DVD on hand, I plugged in her new SATA drive as the primary disk and switched the old drive as the secondary disk. I then reloaded the Vista OS onto the new primary disk, and went though all the Windows Online updates, etc. So, everything worked out just fine.
To make room on the 2nd disk, I decided to remove the old Vista OS files found in the “/Windows” folder (since my wife won’t be needing them). However, the files in the “/Windows” folder are not deleteable! After some Googling, I found a procedure for changing the ownership of all those files from the “TrustedInstaller” to my wife’s login account (using a DOS window and DOS commands), and also changed the permissions for those files. That did help me in deleting most of the “/Windows” files, all except two files found in the “C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash” folder, specifically the files named Flash9e.ocx and FlashUtil9e.exe. I tried absolutely everything to get rid of these files, but the Vista OS kept replying “Access Denied”.
Ultimately, I found a program called Unlocker which allowed me to unlock and delete those files. This freeware utility worked great, and was easy to use. So, if you’re in the same predicament I suggest you check out this fine utility.