How to Delete an Old Windows Installation Folder from Windows 7

After recently upgrading my computer with an SSD, I needed to clean up my old system hard drive. I thought “Oh, all I have to do is open windows explorer as administrator and surely I’ll be able to just delete the old Windows folder from my old HDD.” As you can imagine, I was wrong – of course Microsoft had to make this semi-common task into a cryptic puzzle.

Here are the steps that worked for me, but be careful! This will wipe out permissions within the Windows directory you’re about to delete, so be sure you’re ready to trash it!

Take ownership of the windows directory:

  1. Go: Properties -> Security -> Advanced -> Owner -> Edit
  2. Select your username from the “Change owner to” list
  3. Select the checkbox to “Replace owner on subcontainer and objects”
  4. Click Apply, dismiss the warning, and then hit OK
  5. Click OK again, in the Advanced Security Settings dialog

Ensure your username is in the list of users for this folder

  1. Go: Properties -> Security -> Edit
  2. If your username isn’t in the list of users, click Add
  3. Enter your username and click “Check Names”
  4. When your username is found and displayed in the text box, click OK
  5. Click OK to close the Permissions dialog

Give yourself write permission to the folder and all its contents

  1. Now back in the Properties dialog, go: Advanced -> Change Permissions
  2. Select your username and click Edit
  3. Select the “Full Control – Allow” checkbox
  4. Ensure that “Apply to” is set to “This folder, subfolders and files”
  5. Select the “Apply these permissions to objects and/or containers within this container only” and click OK
  6. Select the “Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this object” and click OK
  7. Click OK on the confirmation dialog that comes up
  8. Click OK to several times to close out the dialogs completely

Now, you’ll be able to delete the folder without any permissions troubles! Yay!

Windows 7 Hard Disk Thrashing

I was having a hard time understanding why my computer hard disk would thrash so much, typically on start-up. Looking at the Windows Resource Monitor tool, it seemed that all kinds of files were being accessed. I figured there wasn’t much I could do about it and that it must just be a byproduct of SuperFetch or CrashPlan or Avast and that I would just have to live with it.

However, I recently discovered a likely contributor to the churn and wanted to share.

There’s a post in this discussion saying that “both the Windows Defender and Defragmenter programs […] are activated by default and should be disabled.” Normally I’d be skeptical of disabling standard Windows features, but since I already use and prefer Avast anti-virus and like to manually initiate defragmentation on my own using MyDefrag, I figured it was worth trying the suggestion. Here are the steps I took:

To disable Windows Defender:

  1. Open Windows Defender
  2. Click Tools
  3. Click Options
  4. Select “Real Time Protection”
  5. Uncheck “Turn on Real Time Protection (recommended)”
  6. Click on the Save button
  7. Close Windows Defender

To disable automatic defragmentation:

  1. Open Disk Defragmenter
  2. Click “Configure schedule”
  3. Uncheck “Run on a schedule (recommended)”

This certainly gave me a smoother boot-up and generally less hard drive churn. I suspect that there might have been a poor interaction between Windows Defender and Avast or CrashPlan. Perhaps uninstalling Avast while leaving Windows Defender on would have helped as well.

Fallout 3 Crash/Freeze Fix

I just installed Fallout 3 on my computer via Steam, and I was really surprised to discover the game would consistently crash when trying to enter doors or even while walking around out in the open. After some not-so-fruitful searching, I finally came across a fix in the Steam forums that worked for me. All I had to do was tweak my fallout.ini file slightly. Apparently there’s a threading bug.

File should be located in your “My Games” folder under “Fallout3”. The necessary modifications are:

  • Set this: bUseThreadedAI=1
  • Add this: iNumHWThreads=2

There were several other suggested solutions online that weren’t applicable since my machine and software is all pretty up-to-date, including but not limited to: upgrading your codecs, re-downloading the steam game files, audio and video drivers, etc.

Upgrade your Android Voice Recognition Software

I have the HTC Incredible and have used the stock voice recognition service as well as Vlingo. I originally thought Vlingo must be better than stock since you had to pay for it but boy was I wrong. As soon as I started using the stock recognition software I was blown away by its accuracy and speed. I immediately uninstalled Vlingo and have been using the Google version since with great success.

Today I discovered that my Incredible didn’t support Google Actions, so after a little research I figured out that I needed to install two additional Google apps. I thought I already had them but in fact they’re incremental to the stock apps and really improve the functionality of voice search and search in general. Search the app market for Voice Search and Google Search. These enable you to use Voice Actions. Woohoo!

Wifi Tether the HTC Incredible

It took a lot of searching to figure out how to get an HTC Incredible with Froyo (2.2) to support wireless tethering, I finally came across the steps that work.


To enable wireless tethering you’ll need to root your device, which is really quite safe and painless. As I understand it, you can always un-root the device if you want to for some reason.

Windows users will need to first install a special USB driver by following these steps.

Next you’ll need to root the device using unrevoked3. This takes just a few minutes and is pretty much as simple as pie.

I would strongly recommend making a backup of the entire phone (making a “nandroid backup”) using something like the app ROM Manager.

At this point, you’ll be able to have some fun backing up and uninstalling the bloatware stock apps that you never use, like verizon navigator etc.

Wifi Tether

Now you’ll set up the wifi tethering app.

First, you’ll need to follow a special step to enable the app to work on this device with the stock kernel. It boils down to downloading a file and putting it in a special directory on the SD card.

Next, download the wifi tethering app directly from the web site, since it doesn’t seem to be available in the android market. Just go to the link and scan the QR code to conveniently download the apk.


Now you’re all set up – just open the app and click the icon to start tethering. Obviously you should enable wifi encryption and change the password for security. Happy tethering!

Need for Speed Carbon won’t start on Windows 7 using EA Download Manager

I bought Need for Speed Carbon Collectors Edition via the Electronic Arts Download Manager (EADM) and was pretty excited to install & play the game since Need for Speed Most Wanted was so much fun. Well, after installing (and even after updating to the 1.4 version) the game simply wouldn’t start – I’d try to open the program and literally nothing would happen… wow, that’s a poor customer experience.

I spent an abnormal amount of time scouring Google for the technical cause & fix, and I still couldn’t find any answers – the “compatibility mode for windows 98 / me” wasn’t helping at all. Finally, I looked at the published system requirements within the game info in the EA Download Manager and strangely enough it says: ”OS: Windows XP SP2 (32-bit edition only). I’m running Windows 7 64-bit edition, so I figured I’d give the compatibility mode setting a try using Win XP SP2 as the choice.

The short of it is that it works – the game works perfectly now. Just go into your program files / electronic arts / nfs carbon directory and edit the properties on nfsc_link.exe and nfsc_launcher.exe to enable compatibility mode for Win XP SP2.

C’mon, EA. Seriously.