How to Edit/Delete A System File in Windows Vista

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There are few security features in Windows Vista like User Account Control that are meant to be there to better protect computer from any malicious attempts that might want to sneak up into our computer system. They can turn out pretty nasty though especially when you are denied to overwrite files like a system file even though you are the administrator. What annoy you more is when there is no definitive solution on how to disable the overwrite protection.

The following are couple of solutions that I found around the internet that might work on your Windows Vista.

a) CMD Command

First you need to take ownership of the file. Simply write “CMD” on your start menu search box and type in the following command (example):

takeown /f C:\Windows\System32\wmploc.dll

This command will effectively give you ownership of the file. Don’t forget to specify your target file to suit your needs.

At this point you still have no rights to delete it. Now you need to run the “cacls” command to give yourself full control rights to the file:

cacls C:\Windows\System32\wmploc.dll /G eches:F

Note: Be sure to replace username eches with your username.

After confirming the changes by typing in “y” for yes and hitting enter button, you should be able to delete the file. If it doesn’t work, you may want to try the next method that doesn’t require your CMD command.

b) Security Tab

This solution might seem a bit complicated but it helps you much better if you work on multiple files.

1) Right click on a folder or a file and click on the properties. Select Security Tab.

2) Click the Advanced button at the bottom half.

3) Click on the Owner tab and click Edit button (you will be asked for permision if UAC is at default)

4) Change ownership to your account by clicking Apply button and then OK. This action will effectively switch file/folder to your account as owner.

5) Now go back to Security tab in step 1, select edit. You need to select your account (the one you just used to take ownership) and set so that you have full rights on modify, read & execute, read and write.

6) You are done! At this point you should be able to edit (rename)/delete file/folder. It may still ask for permission, but you now have the needed permissions.

If it doesn’t work too, you may need to reboot into Safe Mode and try it again. As far as I’m concerned, the first method (CMD command) doesn’t work, but the second method works like a charm on my computer.

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About The Author

The author is the founder of eches.net. He was brought up and is currently living in a small town at the northernmost of Malaysia.