How to delete Windows WpSystem from Debian?

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How to delete Windows WpSystem from Debian?

Postby MisterScoville » 2017-05-01 11:51

Hello there,

I'm currently trying to rescue some data from a former Windows 10 hard drive (externally connected and mounted on a Debian 8 system) and to clean it up. So I tar'ed and gzip'ed most of the stuff what I think may be of use later. Everything nice and smooth so far.

Some files have been left on the disk since then, and I'd like to tar and gzip and move them, too. The WpSystem folder is obviously not of use anymore but is behaving rebellious.

As of what I've learned so far regarding Un*ces, root is God, so... why can't I just rm -rf WpSystem?
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Re: How to delete Windows WpSystem from Debian?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2017-05-01 12:05

MisterScoville wrote:why can't I just rm -rf WpSystem?

The clue will be in the error message.

If there is none, use this to find the error code:
Code: Select all
echo $?

However, why not just load up a "live" ISO image, run `gparted` and then delete the Windows partitons from there and expand your GNU/Linux partition(s) to occupy the space redeemed?

No need to `rm -rf` anything then ;)
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Re: How to delete Windows WpSystem from Debian?

Postby MisterScoville » 2017-05-01 12:28

The thing is that I want to copy/move files and folders which might be of use later when restoring the Win 10 system. The ultimate goal is, of course, to erase any file system on the disk, put it back into the notebook, install Win10 again, reinstall the software needed... but then re-write the data rescued and use it again.

The question remains: Why can't I God-like act on an arbitrary file system mounted somehow when I am root? I am not sure if the translation is correct: "rm: Deletion of 'xyz" is not possible: no rights".
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Re: How to delete Windows WpSystem from Debian?

Postby phenest » 2017-05-01 12:35

MisterScoville wrote:As of what I've learned so far regarding Un*ces, root is God, so... why can't I just rm -rf WpSystem?

Probably because of FS permissions, in this case NTFS. It's possible the NTFS software in Debian can't do everything yet.

This is a question for a Windows forum.
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Re: How to delete Windows WpSystem from Debian?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2017-05-01 12:41

MisterScoville wrote:Why can't I God-like act on an arbitrary file system mounted somehow when I am root?

How *exactly* did you mount the Windows partition?

Please post the output of:
Code: Select all
findmnt
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Re: How to delete Windows WpSystem from Debian?

Postby phenest » 2017-05-01 12:50

MisterScoville wrote:The ultimate goal is, of course, to erase any file system on the disk, put it back into the notebook, install Win10 again

I know this doesn't answer your question but, if you can copy stuff from it, does it matter?
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Re: How to delete Windows WpSystem from Debian?

Postby MisterScoville » 2017-05-01 12:54

phenest wrote:
MisterScoville wrote:As of what I've learned so far regarding Un*ces, root is God, so... why can't I just rm -rf WpSystem?

Probably because of FS permissions, in this case NTFS. It's possible the NTFS software in Debian can't do everything yet.

This is a question for a Windows forum.

I am not so sure if this is a question for a Windows forum. Because there's this difference between the Microsoft Windows Administrator who can do almost everything, and the Unix root who is, at least according to rumours, able to do exactly everything. Why not removing an NTFS mounted folder/directory?
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Re: How to delete Windows WpSystem from Debian?

Postby phenest » 2017-05-01 12:57

Are you able to remove other stuff from it? Is it mounted read only?
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Re: How to delete Windows WpSystem from Debian?

Postby Dai_trying » 2017-05-01 13:11

MisterScoville wrote:The thing is that I want to copy/move files and folders which might be of use later when restoring the Win 10 system. The ultimate goal is, of course, to erase any file system on the disk, put it back into the notebook, install Win10 again, reinstall the software needed... but then re-write the data rescued and use it again.

You are able to read everything you need in order to do what you want, simply do that and copy everything you want and then just wipe the disk when finished and re-install, then you can put everything you copied back into your new installation. There is no need to move/delete directories when you intend to wipe the partition completely anyway.

As for the issue of not being able to move/delete, I would guess it is down to the method of mounting, I have a machine with a ntfs partition which I use to share some Llinux stuff with my Windows installation (Dual Boot) and it has to be mounted correctly in fstab with correct user permissions otherwise even root can't do much with it.
this might help how to mount ntfs with read and write access
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Re: How to delete Windows WpSystem from Debian?

Postby dasein » 2017-05-01 13:20

MisterScoville wrote:The question remains: Why can't I God-like act on an arbitrary file system mounted somehow when I am root? I am not sure if the translation is correct: "rm: Deletion of 'xyz" is not possible: no rights".

You are raising a classic philosophical/theological dilemma: is an all-powerful God capable of creating an object so massive that even she cannot move it?

As phenest already suggested, it's a permissions thing. In *nix there are multiple ways to restrict write access (which is required for delete), both at the file level and the device level. So in the *nix world, yes, a truly immutable object can exist.

In the context of *nix permissions, God can also alter immutability at a whim; for NTFS volumes, consult: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/NTFS-3G for more information.

Not surprisingly, you are not the first person on the planet to have run into this problem. You really should have run a simple Google search before posting this question.

Edit: Too slow. Oh well, wasted electrons, and all that.
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