Cannot delete folder, going insane


zaarin_2003

Member
Local time
10:42 AM
Posts
14
OS
Windows 11
Hi,

I recently installed a new SSD (SSD1) and installed a fresh install of Windows 11 onto it. I boot from SSD1 into Windows 11. Everything is working great in that respect. I kept my old SSD (SSD2) inside the PC too, which has Windows 10 installed on it still. In fact, it's pretty much as I left it - I could boot into it if I wanted (I don't). Windows 11 detects it fine, allowing me to copy across music and other files.

However

I would like to delete the old Windows 10 and Program Files folders from my old SSD2. I do not need or want boot from it any more and would like to only keep my Music and Pictures folder on it. It doesn't need Windows 10, or Windows on it anymore at all. I try to delete them from having booted into SSD1 Windows 11.

Every time I try to delete these two folders (having booted into Windows 11 on SSD1), and others which also used to be important, I get the following error; 'Folder Access Denied - youll need to provide administrator permission to delete this folder'. Clearly it's set as important, understandably. I am one of only two users on my PC and have an administrator account. The other is my wife with a normal user account (not admin). I can click the Continue button with the shield icon to provide admin permission... but I get another error. 'Folder Access Denied - you require permission from i9-999\Zaarin to make changes to this folder.

Zaarin is me. That's my user account. So I'm kind of concerned I don't seem to have full control of my own computer.

All I can click is try again or cancel. Any ideas? I'm going insane.

I've clicked and looked at the Security settings for this folder (see attached picture) and it looks like I and other administrators have full control, but I'm not too sure what I'm looking at. Special Permissions maybe? They all seem to be selected. I am not sure.

(PS: I realise I could probably, although I haven't tried, move the data I want to my other drive, format SSD2, and then put it back again, but that's not the point. What is going on with my permissions???)
 
Windows Build/Version
Windows 11 - 23H2 - 22631.3085

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Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i9 9900
    Motherboard
    Z390 Gigabyte Aorus Elite
    Memory
    32 Gb DDR4
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    nVidia 1070
    Sound Card
    Realtek
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    Samsung 4k
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    4k
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    Intel Optane 905p
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    600w
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Have you tried giving yourself permissions (I9-9900\Zaarin), not the admin group? Try this:
Code:
takeown /s %computername% /u %username% /f "G:\Windows" /r /d y
icacls "G:\Windows" /inheritance:r /grant:r %username%:(OI)(CI)F /t /l /q /c
Other options would be to reset permissions or to use a dedicated software for removal.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5 3600 & No fTPM (07/19)
    Motherboard
    MSI B450 TOMAHAWK 7C02v1E & IFX TPM (07/19)
    Memory
    4x 8GB ADATA XPG GAMMIX D10 DDR4 3200MHz CL16
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    MSI Radeon RX 580 ARMOR 8G OC @48FPS (08/19)
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    Lian Li PC-7NB & 3x Noctua NF-S12A FLX@700rpm (11/16)
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    Headphones: Sennheiser RS170 (09/10)
    Phone: Samsung Galaxy Xcover 7 (02/24)
1) If you want to delete system folders, you'll have to do it after logging in to the other drive (log into W11, then delete the folders in the W10 installation). Frankly, I've never tried doing that, but I think it should work. If not, try taking ownership of those folders while still in W11 and see if that helps.

2) Even easier - if you don't need Windows on the old drive, copy the folders you want to keep to another drive, format the old drive, then copy the folders back. It will make a nice storage drive. You can even use it as the destination location for disk imaging (which I'm sure you are doing, right? :-))
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    W10, W11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    2 HP Desktops, 1 Dell Desktop, 2 Dell XPS Laptops, 1 HP Laptop
The problem is that what was "Administrators" on the old installation is a different set of users than the Administrators on your new installation. You need to grant yourself access to the files on the old SSD via NTFS file permissions because the new administrators don't have access to the files on the old drive.

You can take ownership of all files on that other SSD and grant permission to yourself by running the commands below.

NOTES:

1) Be careful - The installation of Windows on that SSD will likely no longer run correctly because you are grabbing ownership of everything and taking it away from "system".

2) In the commands below I assume that the drive in question is D:. Change as needed for your situation. If you only need access to certain folders and don't want to mess with the installation of Windows, specify those folders in place of D:\*.* so that you are not affecting the entire drive.

3) Make sure you are logged on with an admin account when yu run these commands.

C:\windows\system32\takeown /f "D:\*.*" /r /d y icacls "D:\*.*" /T /grant %username%:F

EDIT: I went back and re-read your post. Since you no longer need to boot from the old drive, you should be okay to run the above commands on the entire drive. Simply substitute the correct drive letter in place of the "D" in both commands.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro 23H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home Built
    CPU
    Intel i7-11700K
    Motherboard
    ASUS Prime Z590-A
    Memory
    128GB Crucial Ballistix 3200MHz DRAM
    Graphics Card(s)
    No GPU - CPU graphics only (for now)
    Sound Card
    Realtek (on motherboard)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP Envy 32
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1 x 1TB NVMe Gen 4 x 4 SSD
    1 x 2TB NVMe Gen 3 x 4 SSD
    2 x 512GB 2.5" SSDs
    2 x 8TB HD
    PSU
    Corsair HX850i
    Case
    Corsair iCue 5000X RGB
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black cooler + 10 case fans
    Keyboard
    CODE backlit mechanical keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1 Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Additional options installed:
    WiFi 6E PCIe adapter
    ASUS ThunderboltEX 4 PCIe adapter
  • Operating System
    Win11 Pro 23H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkBook 13x Gen 2
    CPU
    Intel i7-1255U
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC3306-CG codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3-inch IPS Display
    Screen Resolution
    WQXGA (2560 x 1600)
    Hard Drives
    2 TB 4 x 4 NVMe SSD
    PSU
    USB-C / Thunderbolt 4 Power / Charging
    Mouse
    Buttonless Glass Precision Touchpad
    Keyboard
    Backlit, spill resistant keyboard
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    WiFi 6e / Bluetooth 5.1 / Facial Recognition / Fingerprint Sensor / ToF (Time of Flight) Human Presence Sensor
I'm thinking out loud here --

1. Move the files you want to keep to the new SSD temporarily (or an external drive or another PC)
2. Completely erase and reformat the old SSD
3. Move the 'keeper' files back

?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    11 if on this site
2) Even easier - if you don't need Windows on the old drive, copy the folders you want to keep to another drive, format the old drive, then copy the folders back.
Ditto - it seems the most logical solution to what the user wants to do.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11, Windows 10, Linux Fedora Cinnamon
To gain more space on the #2 drive, after copying what needs saving go to Disk Management and delete the partitions. Downside is Windows won't be able to delete the small partitions, I boot a Linux LiveUSB or GPARTED LiveCD to manage partitions when Windows can't. Then I create New Volume and format.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro RTM
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 3400
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 11th Gen. 2.40GHz
    Memory
    12GB
    Hard Drives
    256GB SSD NVMe
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro RTM x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 5890
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 10th Gen. 2.90GHz
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Onboard, no VGA, using a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter
    Monitor(s) Displays
    24" Dell
    Hard Drives
    512GB SSD NVMe, 2TB WDC HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender/Microsoft Security
You've got several variations of the same theme here, and they all will do what you want to do. Copy your W10 Music and Pics folders to somewhere else (a new folder on your Disk1 would be easiest, perhaps), and then use W11 Disk Management on Disk2. What disk management can't do, you can easily do with the Free edition of MiniTool Partition Wizard. Good luck, but you won't need it.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    11 Pro 23H2 22631.3447
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M920S SFF
    CPU
    i7-9700 @ 3.00GHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3132
    Memory
    32GBDDR4 @ 2666MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD 630 Graphics onboard
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG E2442
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 x Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 500GB NVMe SSD, 1 x WD_BLACK SN770
    250GB NVMe SSD (OS and programs), 1 x WD_BLACK SN770
    500GB NVMe SSD (Data)
    Case
    Lenovo SFF
    Keyboard
    Cherry Stream TKL JK-8600US-2 Wired
    Mouse
    LogiTech M510 wireless
    Internet Speed
    Fast (for fixed wireless!)
    Browser
    Chrome, sometimes Firefox
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes Premium & Defender (working together beautifully!)
  • Operating System
    11 Pro 23H2 22631.3447
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M920S SFF
    CPU
    i5-8400 @ 2.80GHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3132
    Memory
    32GB DDR4 @ 2600MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel HD 630 Graphics onboard
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG FULL HD (1920x1080@59Hz)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    1 x Samsung 970 EVO PLUS NVMe; 1 x Samsung 980 NVMe SSD
    Case
    Lenovo Think Centre SFF
    Mouse
    LogiTech M510 wireless
    Keyboard
    Cherry Stream TKL JK-8600US-2 Wired
    Internet Speed
    Fast (for fixed wireless!)
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes Premium and MS Defender, beautiful together
I'm thinking out loud here --

1. Move the files you want to keep to the new SSD temporarily (or an external drive or another PC)
2. Completely erase and reformat the old SSD
3. Move the 'keeper' files back

?
The OP acknowledged that they already know that this could be done in the original post but noted that this is not the point.

Just to expand on my previous post, because I realize I may not have made the point 100% clear...

Suppose that on the old installation of Windows you had a user named "Administrator". One the new Windows installation you also have a user named "Administrator". Bear in mind that these are two entirely different users. Further, the groups that they belong to (the Administrators group, for example), are two entirely different groups because they came from different systems.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro 23H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Home Built
    CPU
    Intel i7-11700K
    Motherboard
    ASUS Prime Z590-A
    Memory
    128GB Crucial Ballistix 3200MHz DRAM
    Graphics Card(s)
    No GPU - CPU graphics only (for now)
    Sound Card
    Realtek (on motherboard)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP Envy 32
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1 x 1TB NVMe Gen 4 x 4 SSD
    1 x 2TB NVMe Gen 3 x 4 SSD
    2 x 512GB 2.5" SSDs
    2 x 8TB HD
    PSU
    Corsair HX850i
    Case
    Corsair iCue 5000X RGB
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15 chromax.black cooler + 10 case fans
    Keyboard
    CODE backlit mechanical keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1 Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Additional options installed:
    WiFi 6E PCIe adapter
    ASUS ThunderboltEX 4 PCIe adapter
  • Operating System
    Win11 Pro 23H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkBook 13x Gen 2
    CPU
    Intel i7-1255U
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC3306-CG codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3-inch IPS Display
    Screen Resolution
    WQXGA (2560 x 1600)
    Hard Drives
    2 TB 4 x 4 NVMe SSD
    PSU
    USB-C / Thunderbolt 4 Power / Charging
    Mouse
    Buttonless Glass Precision Touchpad
    Keyboard
    Backlit, spill resistant keyboard
    Internet Speed
    1Gb Up / 1Gb Down
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    WiFi 6e / Bluetooth 5.1 / Facial Recognition / Fingerprint Sensor / ToF (Time of Flight) Human Presence Sensor
Actually, @hsehestedt, he had some doubts about whether that could be done, so I think it's good that he has a lot of encouragement here to the effect that it can be done, and easily.
I realise I could probably, although I haven't tried, move the data I want to my other drive, format SSD2, and then put it back again
But I do understand and appreciate your efforts to update his misconceptions about permissions and ownership.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    11 Pro 23H2 22631.3447
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M920S SFF
    CPU
    i7-9700 @ 3.00GHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3132
    Memory
    32GBDDR4 @ 2666MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD 630 Graphics onboard
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG E2442
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 x Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 500GB NVMe SSD, 1 x WD_BLACK SN770
    250GB NVMe SSD (OS and programs), 1 x WD_BLACK SN770
    500GB NVMe SSD (Data)
    Case
    Lenovo SFF
    Keyboard
    Cherry Stream TKL JK-8600US-2 Wired
    Mouse
    LogiTech M510 wireless
    Internet Speed
    Fast (for fixed wireless!)
    Browser
    Chrome, sometimes Firefox
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes Premium & Defender (working together beautifully!)
  • Operating System
    11 Pro 23H2 22631.3447
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M920S SFF
    CPU
    i5-8400 @ 2.80GHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3132
    Memory
    32GB DDR4 @ 2600MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel HD 630 Graphics onboard
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG FULL HD (1920x1080@59Hz)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    1 x Samsung 970 EVO PLUS NVMe; 1 x Samsung 980 NVMe SSD
    Case
    Lenovo Think Centre SFF
    Mouse
    LogiTech M510 wireless
    Keyboard
    Cherry Stream TKL JK-8600US-2 Wired
    Internet Speed
    Fast (for fixed wireless!)
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes Premium and MS Defender, beautiful together
The OP acknowledged that they already know that this could be done in the original post but noted that this is not the point.

Both in my Mac years (29) and my PC years (8 and counting) I've watched myself and others waste GOBS of everyone's time trying to dial down to exactly how to fix a very specific problem.

Recently I committed this 'crime' by asking y'all to help me get my Pictures folder back where it belonged. This fine crew offered all sorts of sideways solutions that all kinda sorta worked but also didn't achieve the ultimate goal. Once I faced I had to do a reinstall and murder OneDrive ASAP, I saved many man (and womam) hours.

Most companies that offer PC support say the words "Backup and reinstall" so fast it's scary. There's a reason for this. Just because you fixed one part of the system doesn't mean there isn't other stuff lurking. It's very drastic and painful when it's your main PC but if this is just an SSD it's really a waste of time to 'get to the bottom of it' where a wipe and restore will stop the 'insane' now.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    11 if on this site
I'm kind of concerned I don't seem to have full control of my own computer
@The Pool Man

Agreed. There's not much point to fighting the way Windows installations work at considerable length, when a simple reinstallation will take care of the battle for you.

@zaarin_2003

You definitely do not have full control of your own computer. So long as you're running Windows, MS can do just about anything it wants to your computer, without so much as a "by your leave." The evidence is clear in every feature update of Windows that breaks millions of computers worldwide. Your best defense is a regularly scheduled and faithfully executed imaging plan, so that if anything goes wrong (temporarily, we always hope), you can recover. Back up, back up, and back up.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    11 Pro 23H2 22631.3447
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M920S SFF
    CPU
    i7-9700 @ 3.00GHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3132
    Memory
    32GBDDR4 @ 2666MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD 630 Graphics onboard
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG E2442
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 x Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 500GB NVMe SSD, 1 x WD_BLACK SN770
    250GB NVMe SSD (OS and programs), 1 x WD_BLACK SN770
    500GB NVMe SSD (Data)
    Case
    Lenovo SFF
    Keyboard
    Cherry Stream TKL JK-8600US-2 Wired
    Mouse
    LogiTech M510 wireless
    Internet Speed
    Fast (for fixed wireless!)
    Browser
    Chrome, sometimes Firefox
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes Premium & Defender (working together beautifully!)
  • Operating System
    11 Pro 23H2 22631.3447
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M920S SFF
    CPU
    i5-8400 @ 2.80GHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3132
    Memory
    32GB DDR4 @ 2600MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel HD 630 Graphics onboard
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG FULL HD (1920x1080@59Hz)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    1 x Samsung 970 EVO PLUS NVMe; 1 x Samsung 980 NVMe SSD
    Case
    Lenovo Think Centre SFF
    Mouse
    LogiTech M510 wireless
    Keyboard
    Cherry Stream TKL JK-8600US-2 Wired
    Internet Speed
    Fast (for fixed wireless!)
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes Premium and MS Defender, beautiful together
1) If you want to delete system folders, you'll have to do it after logging in to the other drive (log into W11, then delete the folders in the W10 installation). Frankly, I've never tried doing that, but I think it should work. If not, try taking ownership of those folders while still in W11 and see if that helps.

2) Even easier - if you don't need Windows on the old drive, copy the folders you want to keep to another drive, format the old drive, then copy the folders back. It will make a nice storage drive. You can even use it as the destination location for disk imaging (which I'm sure you are doing, right? :-))
2) is an option I thought of. I'm very tempted by it as it should fix the permissions issue AND also get it to where I want it to be anyway!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i9 9900
    Motherboard
    Z390 Gigabyte Aorus Elite
    Memory
    32 Gb DDR4
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia 1070
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 4k
    Screen Resolution
    4k
    Hard Drives
    Intel Optane 905p
    PSU
    600w
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender
The OP acknowledged that they already know that this could be done in the original post but noted that this is not the point.

Just to expand on my previous post, because I realize I may not have made the point 100% clear...

Suppose that on the old installation of Windows you had a user named "Administrator". One the new Windows installation you also have a user named "Administrator". Bear in mind that these are two entirely different users. Further, the groups that they belong to (the Administrators group, for example), are two entirely different groups because they came from different systems.
I see what you mean now! I thought 'Administrators' etc meant me, but it would have meant the users of that installation. The only issue is, I ran your first command (substituting G for D (I have no idea why Windows assigned G to my second SSD)). I got errors, (see attached)
 

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My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i9 9900
    Motherboard
    Z390 Gigabyte Aorus Elite
    Memory
    32 Gb DDR4
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia 1070
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 4k
    Screen Resolution
    4k
    Hard Drives
    Intel Optane 905p
    PSU
    600w
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender
If the Windows 10 drive was still connected when you installed Windows 11, make sure your computer isn't using the Windows 10 drive as the boot drive before doing anything with the drive. Try disabling it by removing the power from it and see if the computer still boots.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Canary Channel
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    PowerSpec B746
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-10700K
    Motherboard
    ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/ax
    Memory
    16GB (8GB PC4-19200 DDR4 SDRAM x2)
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 TI
    Sound Card
    Realtek Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung SAM0A87 Samsung SAM0D32
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    NVMe WDC WDS100T2B0C-00PXH0 1TB
    Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB
    PSU
    750 Watts (62.5A)
    Case
    PowerSpec/Lian Li ATX 205
    Keyboard
    Logitech K270
    Mouse
    Logitech M185
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge and Firefox
    Antivirus
    ESET Internet Security
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Canary Channel
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    PowerSpec G156
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-8400 CPU @ 2.80GHz
    Motherboard
    AsusTeK Prime B360M-S
    Memory
    16 MB DDR 4-2666
    Monitor(s) Displays
    23" Speptre HDMI 75Hz
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 EVO 500GB NVMe
    Mouse
    Logitek M185
    Keyboard
    Logitek K270
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge and Edge Canary
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
If the Windows 10 drive was still connected when you installed Windows 11, make sure your computer isn't using the Windows 10 drive as the boot drive before doing anything with the drive. Try disabling it by removing the power from it and see if the computer still boots.
It doesn't really matter. Windows has a great self-preservation model - it won't let you destroy the installation to which you are booted.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    W10, W11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    2 HP Desktops, 1 Dell Desktop, 2 Dell XPS Laptops, 1 HP Laptop
If the Windows 10 drive was still connected when you installed Windows 11, make sure your computer isn't using the Windows 10 drive as the boot drive before doing anything with the drive. Try disabling it by removing the power from it and see if the computer still boots.
@Winuser
Good advice. I always remove/disconnect any drives except the intended C:/Boot/System drive before installing the OS just to make sure I don't get undesired results.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro RTM
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 3400
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 11th Gen. 2.40GHz
    Memory
    12GB
    Hard Drives
    256GB SSD NVMe
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro RTM x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 5890
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 10th Gen. 2.90GHz
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Onboard, no VGA, using a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter
    Monitor(s) Displays
    24" Dell
    Hard Drives
    512GB SSD NVMe, 2TB WDC HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender/Microsoft Security
I always remove/disconnect any drives except the intended C:/Boot/System drive before installing the OS
Is there any reason why simply putting all drives except the intended target OFFLINE in Disk Management wouldn't work just as well as physically disconnecting or removing?
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    11 Pro 23H2 22631.3447
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M920S SFF
    CPU
    i7-9700 @ 3.00GHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3132
    Memory
    32GBDDR4 @ 2666MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD 630 Graphics onboard
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG E2442
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 x Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 500GB NVMe SSD, 1 x WD_BLACK SN770
    250GB NVMe SSD (OS and programs), 1 x WD_BLACK SN770
    500GB NVMe SSD (Data)
    Case
    Lenovo SFF
    Keyboard
    Cherry Stream TKL JK-8600US-2 Wired
    Mouse
    LogiTech M510 wireless
    Internet Speed
    Fast (for fixed wireless!)
    Browser
    Chrome, sometimes Firefox
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes Premium & Defender (working together beautifully!)
  • Operating System
    11 Pro 23H2 22631.3447
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M920S SFF
    CPU
    i5-8400 @ 2.80GHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3132
    Memory
    32GB DDR4 @ 2600MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel HD 630 Graphics onboard
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG FULL HD (1920x1080@59Hz)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    1 x Samsung 970 EVO PLUS NVMe; 1 x Samsung 980 NVMe SSD
    Case
    Lenovo Think Centre SFF
    Mouse
    LogiTech M510 wireless
    Keyboard
    Cherry Stream TKL JK-8600US-2 Wired
    Internet Speed
    Fast (for fixed wireless!)
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes Premium and MS Defender, beautiful together
Is there any reason why simply putting all drives except the intended target OFFLINE in Disk Management wouldn't work just as well as physically disconnecting or removing?
Since I can conveniently reach the inside or back of my computers it's quicker and at the same time does a power reset of the drives plus opportunity to blow out any dust which should be done periodically anyway.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win11 Pro RTM
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 3400
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 11th Gen. 2.40GHz
    Memory
    12GB
    Hard Drives
    256GB SSD NVMe
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro RTM x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Vostro 5890
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 10th Gen. 2.90GHz
    Memory
    16GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Onboard, no VGA, using a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter
    Monitor(s) Displays
    24" Dell
    Hard Drives
    512GB SSD NVMe, 2TB WDC HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender/Microsoft Security
@Berton
I appreciate that. (y) But when I'm running four internal disks in a SFF case, it takes a good while to open up the case and disconnect the drives that CAN be directly disconnected, and even longer to disconnect the NVMe that's connected to the mobo. It has to be physically pulled from the socket, and that of course involves undoing the holding screw. Time-consuming.

Using Disk Management to take the unneeded ones offline takes about five seconds, tops.

Life was simpler when we had only SATA disks to manage. But then, things moved much more slowly.

One significant adavantage to the SFF cases, though, is that there's VERY little accumulation of dust (since there are no case fans).
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    11 Pro 23H2 22631.3447
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M920S SFF
    CPU
    i7-9700 @ 3.00GHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3132
    Memory
    32GBDDR4 @ 2666MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD 630 Graphics onboard
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG E2442
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 x Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 500GB NVMe SSD, 1 x WD_BLACK SN770
    250GB NVMe SSD (OS and programs), 1 x WD_BLACK SN770
    500GB NVMe SSD (Data)
    Case
    Lenovo SFF
    Keyboard
    Cherry Stream TKL JK-8600US-2 Wired
    Mouse
    LogiTech M510 wireless
    Internet Speed
    Fast (for fixed wireless!)
    Browser
    Chrome, sometimes Firefox
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes Premium & Defender (working together beautifully!)
  • Operating System
    11 Pro 23H2 22631.3447
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M920S SFF
    CPU
    i5-8400 @ 2.80GHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo 3132
    Memory
    32GB DDR4 @ 2600MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel HD 630 Graphics onboard
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG FULL HD (1920x1080@59Hz)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    1 x Samsung 970 EVO PLUS NVMe; 1 x Samsung 980 NVMe SSD
    Case
    Lenovo Think Centre SFF
    Mouse
    LogiTech M510 wireless
    Keyboard
    Cherry Stream TKL JK-8600US-2 Wired
    Internet Speed
    Fast (for fixed wireless!)
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes Premium and MS Defender, beautiful together

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