Help - undeletable folder [Resolved :) ]

Hi all, I need some help, please :-\

On my D: partition there is an undeletable folder. It was created by me, containing a special character - looking exactly like / (perhaps it even is a slash sign) - from the Windows Character Map. Now, I decided to change the folder’s name to something without this slash sign. Later, I discovered that the folder became impossible to delete. Here are the characteristics of the problem:

  • Error message when attempting to delete is [title] “Error Deleting File or Folder”, [message] “Cannot delete file: Cannot read from the source file or disk”.
  • Error message appears immediately when trying to move the folder to Recycle Bin, not with the ordinary delay.
  • The folder is not used by any process, I havn’t “introduced” it to any program.
  • Safe mode boot does not help.
  • When pasting other folders into this problem folder, it is automatically duplicated to a new folder with the exact name, even though you all know it’s impossible to have two identically named folders at the same place.
  • An “Error-Checking” for the partition did not help.

I’ve really run out of ideas on how to get rid of this folder. I have a feeling that it won’t even help to reinstall Windows, the problem seems to be more disc-related than system-related…

Many thanks for any ideas.

BTW, the disc uses the NTFS file system!


EDIT: I did some research on Microsoft Support, and it should be some kind of disc error, related to the use of special characters in the folder name. But this disturbes me: I have used this slash character before, without any problems. Besides, the problem should occur when going from FAT to NTFS, not when using NTFS exclusively. Microsoft don’t suggest how to solve it. Seems like formatting the partition will help, maybe it’s the only way… not a catastrophy; I have backed up the important stuff.

NP. You can delete that folder (eg: rd folder~1) from command line using the 8.3 naming (dir /x to see them)

You can use Delinvfile which has a nice GUI and another trick to delete file/folders…

My biggest THANKS, gibran! That little program made its job and the folder is gone, I even booted again to be sure.



Does that mean that Windows NT and NTFS are still using 8.3 filenames under the surface? I wouldn’t be surprised and so it seems using the dir parameter you mention, but I though it was over with NT/2k/XP.

From the website:

Note - the Short Filenames are the shortened version of Long Filenames that are created to fit the 8.3 format. That is, the name is only 8 characters and the extension is only 3 characters. The system maintains both in its directory structure.


Yes I know, I was good at DOS. Only that I heard that NTFS used true longname files, that only systems based on DOS/Win9X or FAT partitions had to comply with the 8.3. Stinking MS lies it seems. :smiley: Thanks.

Long names under Fat were obtained through a hack.

NTFS has native support for long fle names but retains 8.3 naming convention for compatibility reasons.
Many DOS apps can still be used with NTFS.

Yes I knew long filenames were not the real thing in FAT since Win9X (worst excuse for an OS ever) was basically DOS with a built-in GUI and stuff. Now with NTFS it seems things are the other way around if I got you right, the real thing is long filenames but 8.3 filenames are provided for backwards compatibility.

Thanks a lot for the info, I was just curious. :stuck_out_tongue:

BTW, I whish the good old DOS was still there. I have a feeling it would make it easier to deal with Windows related problems if one wasn’t forced to boot Windows… sure you can boot in safe mode with command prompt, but it’s not the same thing.

Perhaps Linux handels the names of files/folders in a better way?! 88)


It’s not the same thing because it’s not the same OS. DOS was a good OS for its time but it wasn’t multitask. Win9X was actually based on DOS, and so it wasn’t truly multitask, multitasking was fake. Win9X booting DOS was but disabling the GUI, because DOS was also booted in Win9X’s normal graphical mode since the whole thing was based on a DOS operating system all the time. That’s why most times a program stopped answering in Win9X the whole system stopped, you had to reboot it whole. In WinNT and its offspring (2000/XP), which are truly multitask, if a program stops answering the rest of the system needn’t be affected, most times you can kill the program and the system remains intact.

Advanced users can use WinNT/2k/XP’s and Vista’s command line if they need to.

Even Microsoft intended multitask OS/2 not Windows to replace DOS, Windows was just a ■■■■■■ GUI to please customers in the meantime, and Win9X’s concept wasn’t radically different from Win3.1 and previous versions. I’ts only that MS later broke its relationship with IBM and that’s why we had to bear with a DOS-based non-multitask Windows for so long, until WinNT/2k/XP finally came out as a decent really new OS.

Please correct me if I’m wrong. :stuck_out_tongue: