Windows xp to 7 help

captain howdy

Jun 17, 2011
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Nashville TN
Ok I just upgraded to windows 7 from xp and have a 2 problems. 1 when I boot I get a screen asking me to either boot to windows 7 or install windows xp. Seems the xp setup files are still there and I need to remove then and I only have 1 partition.
2 I can't delete the windows. Old file. Says I I need admin permission and I am the admin. Also disk clean up wont run. Please help. And thank you

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Captain Howdy from Forum? "Well, HOWDY!" :)K

Try getting to SafeMode (tap F8 on startup to access the Windows Startup Menu, then keyboard arrow to Safe Mode, press Enter). If you get in, use Administrator if the username is available, or your current admin username. Open Computer ("My Computer" if it's the XP system), and when you locate the Windows.old folder, right-click to Properties, then looking for Security tab across top row. Security tab should have Advanced button which leads to Ownership tab, where you could find your current username to take full ownership rights on the folder. After applying this change & closing properties, you should have full permission to delete Windows.old ...

Disk Cleanup is a Start / Accessories / System Tools menu item, and if you are in XP, try running it from SafeMode. If you're on the Win7 side, you could try right-clicking its start menu shortcut "Disk Cleanup" and using "Run as Administrator" ...

PM me here or forums to get in contact for more help if needed. If you're the Captain Howdy I know already, I'm glad to assist! My HHR is in the shop for major body work. ):K

Transmission from R2D2
Personally when I ever replace an older version of Windows with Windows 7, I make my login info the same so I can access the .Old file, and I format the hard drive so the older OS (in your case XP) is not still present and active.
Agreed, that's generally the best approach :)K

Ghosts of past operating systems tend to haunt in the weirdest ways.

I'm diving into some DIY training on virtualization of old PCs, Windows XP & all as-is, to run within the new PCs as guest OS, kind of a whole new world of possibility being able to "visit the old computer" within the new...

Transmission from R2D2
You mean like Oracle Virtualbox or Microsoft Virtual PC ? It's neat stuff, that's for sure.
Oh and to clarify my last post, obviously you can't format the hard drive *and* access the .old folder, I meant either or. I only get the multiboot selection screen ("haunting") when I install an OS on a different hard drive (I have a few hard drives in my computer).
Exactly like that! I'm a little excited about the topic, I admit. So many clients finding it more feasible & valuable to invest in new hardware, except businesses dependent upon old proprietary software they can't install freshly on a new PC. But since virtualization support in the hardware level is common on new machines, to virtualize an existing Windows XP installation to a portable image, kit & caboodle with all the company software & user prefs, run that in a window: no longer tied to old box hardware, nifty!

In some ways virtual computing with obsolete software is a way to make multi-boot itself a thing of the past. Who wants to reboot unnecessarily anymore? This coming from a guy who was a big fan of dual booting from Win98 on up, and one of my standard XP machines still has a batch file to swap boot.ini to reboot to the other instance of XP (shared %programfiles%, separate %windir% within same partition, messy fun).

One of my clients' governing companies wants him to buy watered-down workstations at a high internal price (certified within their scope of support) to keep from advancing their software to 64-bit compliance, etc. He couldn't help feeling like "it's a traaaap!" We moved him to Win7 Pro & new laptop within same budget that blows away the dinky workstation he would have purchased through the company, and that was my first foray into VPC: native Windows XP Mode. He saw what I meant when we put it into practice running his certified software that corporate tech support said wouldn't run, and it was suddenly like the lights just went on. :)K

The transparency features keep getting better, too, so the legacy apps can pass through to menu shortcuts & windows as if they were routinely installed within Win7 (or MacOSX). Brave new old world where software can almost continue to run like it's in a museum with the new computer host being a more efficient vehicle to get you there...

I'm still a noob with the stuff, putting it into practice & deciding which transport works best for my clients: VBox, VPC, VMWare. But the doors are wide open, I feel like I at least have a foot in the door working for a few years with emulation & remote control tech (LogMeIn, VNC), and things like Sandboxie, so I'm treating this like the next step. Attending a VMWare lunch & learn last summer piqued my interest. Just never enough time lately to play & really get fluent. :)K

Downtime Transmission from R2D2
First of all, all that typed from mobile, kudos!

Last time I messed with the boot.ini I had to do a fresh install, I think that was back with vista though so it was for the best when I formatted for xp. But when 2010 rolled around I picked up the more-expensive Professional for XP mode.

I never really used it, I thought I could use it with the XP version of a Bluetooth stack that let me tether to my then Palm phone, of course it didn't work.

But I would hate for a company who knows more than me to stick me with x86 architecture when everything these days is x64. It reminds me of my school's computers- generic HP towers with Athlon IIs in some, DDR2 RAM, an almost ten-year-old graphics card (back when ATI manufactured their own cards and weren't owned by AMD) for those that have AutoCAD on them... All on Windows XP Pro, probably Windows Server 2003 running the show.... And these computers are new, I mean as of a year or two ago. They even have Vista COAs... It makes me wonder if the school district was stiffed or just saving money. Though it would be sad to think that that's what companies such as HP are offering to Education as an entity, that's probably how it went and still goes today.

Anyway, these days I tend to use virtualbox for testing say, the latest from Canonical or a Chromium OS build.

I'm actually working on getting Chromium OS (open-source version of the proprietary Chrome OS) going on my laptop, it's perfect for my science fair project as it doesn't have random processes running at random intervals in the background- an unfortunately uncontrollable variable.

By the way, mind if I ask what exactly you do out there in the real world? Seems like when it comes to technology, the sky's the limit for occupations.
jimmyco2008 said:
First of all, all that typed from mobile, kudos!

Last time I messed with the boot.ini I had to do a fresh install, I think that was back with vista though so it was for the best when I formatted for xp... [truncated]

By the way, mind if I ask what exactly you do out there in the real world? Seems like when it comes to technology, the sky's the limit for occupations.

Ha! Thanks for that. I type a lot and don't doubt I say probably close to nothing. I'm sure you see where I have literally shredded my R2D2's physical keyboard as a result if my compulsive typing! :)K

I left retail in early 2008, transitioning directly to full-time self-employment and won't plug my business here, to observe forum rules & also because my biz website is so hideously dated & more of a domain placeholder, but you'll easily find me if you seek. I'm a "soccer dad" with boys graduating preschool & 1st grade in a couple weeks, and I'm looking forward to this fall when I can actually count on a steady 5-day work week for nearly the first time since I started my business in 2004.

It will certainly be interesting to see what direction I can grow my biz when the boys are on the same schedule & same grade school, where I'm the primary kid chauffeur in our family. So I'm thankful for the flexibility, but I do more evening/weekend catch-up hours to complete projects than I prefer.

Namely I provide tech support & consulting support in my city & surrounding towns, but I reach international clients (and locally) using remote control software, primarily "LogMeIn." Otherwise I'm on-site with home & business users, and usually have up to a dozen computer repair projects at my home workshop on any given day. I cover hardware, software, and networking, and virtual computing somewhere between hardware/software seems to be coming up fast in my arsenal.

Speaking of boots:

Vista introduced the new WinPE front-end substitute for plain Windows Recovery Console we had so easily in XP. Along with that was the retail debut of BootCfg and BCDEdit instead of a boot.ini that could be easily manipulated in Notepad. My daily use biz PC is an HP mini 110-1020nr netbook (upgraded to 500GB HDD & 2GB RAM). The netbook was nearly last of breed WinXP before they started appearing with Win7 Starter Edition. Thankfully the strict netbook specifications have loosened up to allow more beefy super-portable machines, but mine was on the cusp of Win7 64-bit release when consumers were told to avoid Vista by more sources than Microsoft could anticipate. So it actually has a Vista/7 WinPE on boot before loading XP, and the HP System Recovery is actually handled by Roxio Back On Track (remember Adaptec's GoBack? That's from my Gateway days) shadowcopy of first boot restoration point. Spaghetti in other words, as it was installed by HP...

I'm the type of tech who doesn't generally mind holding a client's hand or listening to the whole story. I like to educate, I over-document, and tend to over-inform my clients if you compare me to the average IT pro. So that's my niche. It involves a lot of agility & creativity, but I have a visual arts background, so it works for me & keeps me busy. I try not to have a big tech ego, no bragging if I can help it, and I collaborate with a lot of sources to find solutions. I hope I'm doing something right if not advertising is keeping me this busy for 8+ years. It's a big world of technology with plenty of avenues for support and lots of opinions, absolutely. I think there's enough room for specialists and multi-purpose geeks alike.

By the way: We haven't heard back from Captain Howdy (this thread's OP) yet. I was excited to close the gap between Chevy HHR forum's Captain Howdy, if they're in fact the same person, since he has helped me on the other site, I hoped to point him in the right direction, reciprocally speaking.
I think there are enough "I know everything" ITs out there, and even enough "I know everything and I'm pretending to know what I'm doing" people haha. Windows PE definitely revolutionized the way ITs deployed Vista across networks, good tool, bad OS. But back on the clientele topic, it seems like most people get irritated after explaining techy things to people, because let's face it, most people *don't* understand computers, and most people never will, even if we try to drill it into their heads. Of course it's this sort of attitude that probably negatively contributes to the whole "computers are bad (because I don't understand them)" notion out there, especially among the older generations. Also too are the call centers in India, the masses think of those guys as ITs. And now I can't get out of italics. I can't hit enter either. How ironic. Anyway, I certainly wish you the best of luck with your entrepreneurship, tech startups, especially ones that offer computer repair, tend to grow sluggishly.
jimmyco2008 said:
I think there are enough "I know everything" ITs out there, and even enough "I know everything and I'm pretending to know what I'm doing" people haha ... [Truncated] ... Anyway, I certainly wish you the best of luck with your entrepreneurship, tech startups, especially ones that offer computer repair, tend to grow sluggishly.

Return key is overrated. I like punctuation! (And parentheses) ... see what i did there? Watch out for another lengthy paragraph:

Yes, knowing my non-techni-user & my techni-colleague (as well as my knows-enough-to-be-dangerous-user) is a big part of the biz. See a need and meet it accordingly, and if proactively rather than reactively, all the better. Overall I haven't been upset with slow growth because I was just looking at first for a way to support family in two ways: income (well, duh) and availability. So I haven't neglected expanding the services I offer for technical support, but I haven't concentrated up to this point on hiring, managing, relocating out of my home workshop, etc. I've had a repair shop briefly on our main business loop in town, have consulted with a lot of owners, and I always take criticism & advice when given, not afraid to learn a better way or anything fresh. The IT ego obstacle isn't as bad as it used to be, most clients judge on merit & personality of their support guy, getting the job done & treating people well along the way. I'm not pressuring myself to make this biz explode so far, but there are a few avenues I can take it "to the next level" coming up soon. At a time when people I work for & work near have been so worried about their own employment, I am so grateful to have made my leap to "independent" occupation ahead of the turmoil in our job market, and I don't discount that. To have a job, do it well, and enjoy my family time as much as possible (and hopefully pay the bills when they come), it's been exactly what we needed even if not yet everything we want. I personally think it's nice to *not* know everything. Keeps life interesting!

Captain Howdy, we totally hijacked your thread! You still out there?
I don't think he is, most people solve their problem and leave the thread forever, perhaps only to stumble upon it when flipping through their "my threads" page here on

But well said, that whole paragraph was full of "truer words were never spoken" ideologies. I can only hope that I will be able to avoid the "real world" so to speak, of employment. It's frustrating to hear that a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science doesn't guarantee a McDonald's-less future. I wouldn't mind always learning new things, like with Linux, it never seems to end with Linux! Unfortunately, many ITs out there make any techie look bad by creating this stereotype that anyone who is fluent in computers is either full of themselves and feels as though a common person should be honored to have such an intelligent professional fixing their computer, or is socially-awkward, introverted, and into Sci-Fi. Not that there's anything wrong with Sci-Fi lol......

So I have to ask, do you work with Windows only or do you do a bit with Linux? I have Ubuntu stickers en route that you put over the Windows key logo, very innovative, very convenient. And where do you see Windows in five, ten years? I've been really thinking about it and it seems like the only thing keeping Linux down in the 1% user base and Windows up top is the vast program selection- Adobe CS, Photoshop, any decent game, iTunes, you get the idea.

Hopefully one day we can all unite to make our hardware and software work on one operating system, I can't think of a better future for personal computers.
jimmyco2008 said:
Hopefully one day we can all unite to make our hardware and software work on one operating system, I can't think of a better future for personal computers., I think that would be: SkyNet! :)K

Win8 proposes to nearly unify the mobile device & personal computer platforms. I expect a split reception if their new offering when Microsoft releases it: Win8 for home users & touchscreen entertainment computing vs. Win7Pro for business workstations, a la Win9x vs WinNT, but we'll see. The increased awareness of device niches should tell us where operating systems will end up. Take a look at Apple's insistence that touch-interface be limited to portable devices and NOT reliable for workstations/laptops. Then there's the huge application, literally, of infrared touchscreen and RF-ID features built into the latest Microsoft Surface products, Samsung comes to mind from recent demos. Linux has come a long way with the GUIs available, but you're spot on regarding lack of application & software vendor support. They're not Sega yet, by any means, but Linux is not top of mind to anyone but techies. Considering it's the OS used in most networking device firmware, it's still surprising how many people are unaware of Linux saturation in the market already (or in their homes for that matter).

Maybe I'm more Sarah Connor than I'd like to admit, but I don't mind if not all my technology devices talk to each other or are *unaware* of each other... Looping back to virtualization, I can see liaison/hosting systems bringing unified software availability long before a convergence of operating systems themselves. Linux could become that, too...

Speaking of unfondness toward touch dependent interfaces, why am I still tapping a virtual onscreen keyboard days after repairing my R2-D2's slider keypad?? It's begun, apparently I've adjusted, assimilation, I'm slipping to the darkside... oh for knobs, wheels, and non-momentary switch buttons. Bah!
Haha well I meant unified as in everyone uses it for everything, not so much the computers and servers are themselves more unified than by LAN.

It is surprising to read comments on posts where Linux is flamed for "not doing anything useful" when compared to Windows, but ignorance is bliss in a Windowed world where everything works and is easy to understand.

I was a little disappointed with 8 to be honest, having used both the Consumer and Developer previews I have found each to be, frankly, a pain in the a** to navigate, it's all in the Start menu and search bar within the Start menu. I miss hitting the start key, then "Dev" space "ma", then enter to bring up Device Manager, I kind of miss PowerShell lol, but in the end I forsee a Rise of the -Machines- Linux, preferably not in Terminator style.....

I mean look at Ubuntu, solid, easy to use, free, secure, and soon it'll have Steam and its array of GAMES backing it up. At that point a miniscule difference in device support would be the only visible difference between Linux and Windows.

EDIT: "Machines" is supposed to be crossed out!