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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Stubborn empty directory will not go away

    No_1.JPG

    I am trying to delete the directory shown above; this was a download from Amazon of a free mp3 bundle of songs from the Who album "Tommy" done by the London Symphony Orchestra. I cannot open the directory; clicking on it does nothing, nor does selecting open from the file menu do anything. If I click on the directory in the right hand pane and choose File: Properties from the menu, I get this:

    No_2.JPG

    so it seems to be empty, but I still cannot delete it or open it.

    Anyone know what's going on here? Windows disk tools cannot find any file errors.

    Thanks,

    Buffaloed in Bardstown

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Barnbaby,

    Try booting into Safe Mode and then attempt to delete it from there.
    If that doesn't work at least you'll have eliminated the possibility that an application has the folder captive.

    You can also try Take Ownership and see if that will help.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  4. #3
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    The name appears very long. Try deleting it from an elevated command prompt. You can use the "/X" switch on the DIR command to find the "short name" for a file or folder.

    Joe

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    Barnbaby (2012-12-23)

  6. #4
    Bronze Lounger
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    Try deleting it with the Unlocker program. It worked for me when all else failed.

    Roy
    OS Dual Boot Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit & Windows 7 Pro With SP1 64 bit. (Intel Core i7 2600K Processor LGA1155-Asus P867 Pro Motherboard-GTX550 Ti DirectCU Graphics Card-Memory 8GB)

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    Barnbaby (2012-12-23)

  8. #5
    New Lounger
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    Roy,

    Unlocker doesn't find anything locking the parent directory. If I try to delete the directory using Unlocker, it says "directory moved to recycle bin!" but it doesn't move it; it's still there. If I right click on the child directory with the long name and choose Unlocker, it doesn't even open; nothing happens.

    If I try to rename the child directory, I get an error saying the name is not valid or too long, even if I am trying to rename it to a single letter.

    If I go up to the parent and try to delete it as well as the child, I first get a query from Windows saying the sub directory's name is too long for the recycle bin; would you like to permanently delete it?" When I select yes, I get an error saying the directory is not empty.

    Joe,
    I'm not sure what an "elevated" command prompt is. I did try safe mode as administrator, but got the same error messages using a command prompt or windows explorer.

    I also tried using an NTFS4DOS driver that would let me boot from a CD and access my NTFS HD at a command prompt, but a directory listing did not show the parent directory (London Symphony Orchestra) for some reason. I ran a check disk scan, but nothing wrong was found. When I restarted Windows, the London Symphony Orchestra directory was there along with the child with the extremely long name.

    What I cannot understand is how Windows created the directory in the first place, and now cannot delete, rename, or open it without an error saying it is not a "valid name". Why did Windows let Amazon's MP3 downloader create the directory in the first place if its "Invalid"?

  9. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    You might get a better look at it if you were to allow explorer to see hidden files and folder, extensions, and other attributes that are normally hidden.
    You also ought to take a closer look at that "free mp3 bundle of songs from Amazon" to ensure that there isn't anything else on your system that is
    preventing it's removal.

    Search your add/remove programs, and search the registry for anything relating to the above filename.
    Have a system image based backup in place prior to doing any registry edits/deletions.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
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  11. #7
    New Lounger
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    Guys,

    Thanks for all the help! I finally got rid of it. Turns out, I was using an older version of Unlocker; I checked the author's website, he mentioned the exact problem I was having as being something the newest version could handle. Sure enough, it did the trick.

    My explorer is set to show all files, hidden or system, and extensions. As for looking at the mp3 bundle, it was a one time freebee that's no longer available, maybe because of the problem I was having. I never got any mp3s in the download, I guess because of the goofy directory name that caused the problem. Strange that Amazon downloader did not report an issue, but I was not watching it at the time; my bad! Also, I did various checkdisk runs in Safe Mode and at the command line but found no errors.

    Seems like chkdsk should have found the invalid directory name, hmm?

    I wonder if newer versions of Windows would have had this problem? I don't think I'm going to go there to find out!

    Also, I use Revo Uninstaller, which I had used to remove the older version of Unlocker, but I did not look to see if there was a listing for the extremely long-named directory...I think I would have noticed it in the list though, due to its length, had it been there. I didn't think Revo would list a directory anyway, would it?

    I might check to see if the music is in the cloud, since Amazon now defaults to storage of your mp3s in the cloud as well as downloading to your computer (at your request).

    Anyway, thanks again for all the help. This has been a very good learning experience for me!

  12. #8
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    Nice detective work. Glad you got it resolved. Thanks for posting your solution.

    Joe

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    Barnbaby (2012-12-23)

  14. #9
    Lounger d1hartman's Avatar
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    I had a similar problem with a file that contained several \\ characters in the file name. I couldn't kill it no matter what. I finally made a bootable live linux CD and used that to boot the computer. I was able to get rid of the offending file using linux.

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    Barnbaby (2012-12-23)

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