I'll preface this with my build
and what my plans were. I had a 500 gig WD blue sata ssd which I've been using and it has been working great. However with the games I own migrating games were a little too frequent for my taste. It could fit 2-3 AAA games tops along with the software I normally use. So I bought and installed a shiny new 1tb NVMe SSD which is also by WD.
I already had the plans to give my sister my old ssd so unfortunately I couldn't just use my old ssd as boot and the new ssd for games. I had to clone it, simple right? The issue was that of the so many programs I've been recommended I picked the wrong one. Acronis True Image WD.
I picked this one because Jaystwocents recommended it in 2015 and I think he's a trustworthy source. So I installed it, used it, and it wouldn't even work. I kept getting the notification to "restart or the operation will be canceled" which I did, then nothing happens after restarting. Except for one thing
that I found after I successfully cloned the drive using Macrium Free Edition. Acronis got cloned to my NVMe too and made itself impossible to uninstall.
When attempting to uninstall I would get the "windows is configuring for uninstall" box and it would be open for a split second and immediately close. I waited for a couple of moments, refreshed the apps and features viewer and it was still there. Keep in mind through this entire process I'm restarting more than an artist with OCD. It's not uninstalling. I looked it up and found a source that says to use a specialized tool specifically to uninstall acronis, however that tool got deleted and I couldn't find it after googling. I did find an uninstall fixer by microsoft, this got Acronis out of the apps & features and it let me open the rightclick options for drives again so I thought it was gone. It's services were still up though. I'm going to cover what I did that you shouldn't do here.
I tried simply deleting the Acronis/true image folders. It kept saying "Files are in use by another program". That is just the start of the rabbit hole. I immediately opened task manager, and shut down anything acronis/true image. I looked in startup and services, found that acronis setup a bunch of stuff to turn on automatically. So the program didn't do what I intended, it wasn't letting me uninstall it, and it installed a bunch of startup services. I was thinking it's malware/spyware at this point.
(spoilers it's not).
I have over 20 years of amateur computer experience and being rambunctious af I'm comfortable doing things that have an inherent risk even if it's my first time doing them. It normally turns out well. I installed a couple more programs, shell explorer, process manager, and movefile. After googling lots of undeletable programs had bad permission settings. I was even getting access denied errors for trying to "take ownership" of the acronis folders or elevating permissions for my windows profile. This normally works.
From here I've been doing everything in safemode on the administrator account you have to enable through cmd.
So first I tried movefile, this uses a trick to sort of force delete a file, I tried movefile /program files (x86)/acronis "" and printed out that it will be moved on boot. After restarting it didn't work. With shellex, and process manager I found the undeletable .dll causing the issues. I tried force closing the handle (don't do this #corruptionboiz) to bypass the "can't delete because it's open in another program" thing. Which didn't even work. I even went into the registry to take out all the acronis/true image entries. As a tip to you guys if you ever have to go into the registry there's usually a better solution to what you're trying to do even if you think that's the only option left. I didn't damage anything on my computer, this is stuff I've done before, but you can easily fuck up your computer with one mistake in regedit. Here's where I started doing things right.
After googling how to delete undeletable programs I found gold. Just delete it through linux. It's so simple. Linux doesn't care about windows permissions. For those who got here through google in 2025 I'll detail what I did to delete a file that won't delete
. I downloaded the portable version of rufus. This program lets you install operating systems to USB drives. With that program I installed Linux Mint Cinnamon. It doesn't really matter what distro you used but that was the one I used. Then I changed the boot order in the bios so it prioritizes the USB drive. Wam Bam thank you mam and I'm in linux. After 4 hours of wtf am I doing, I finally deleted Acronis.
I don't think Acronis was a virus; I think I had a hardware configuration that was incompatible with it so it started behaving oddly. However I'm not going to recommend this program to anybody. If you're cloning WD drives just use macrium or the dedicated tool that WD makes just for this. TL;DR Don't use acronis, use macrium & don't use windows to bypass windows permissions to delete files, use linux