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Windows 7: File deleted over a year ago still hasn't disappeared from explorer...

30 Mar 2013   #1
yrogerg77

Win 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 
File deleted over a year ago still hasn't disappeared from explorer...

So I can't remember exactly when this happened, but a while ago (1-2 years?) I was downloading some files and moving them around to different folders and/or erasing stuff when something happened... I can't recall exactly what, but something may have crashed (explorer perhaps?) and when my system recovered/rebooted there was a file still sitting in my downloads folder that I had already just erased. Explorer shows it as 0 bytes, so there is no actual data there, and every time I try to delete it again it just displays a message saying "Could not find this item: The file is no longer located in C:/Users/etc/Downloads/ Verify the item's location and try again" which of course is correct because the file hasn't existed on my HDD for over a year.

I can't understand why Windows still seems to think it is there though. Clearly, some tag somewhere in the registry or whatever didn't get deleted with the rest of the data, but I am not enough of a computer guru to solve this. I built the system myself, so I am familiar enough with the steps needed to accomplish that, but the only thing I can think of to correct this issue is to just reformat the drive and do a clean install of Win 7, which I haven't done yet obviously as it's kind of a headache but may have to do it soonish anyhow. Meantime I've simply been ignoring the "file" and it hasn't been a problem. Does anyone know if there is an easier fix for this? In case it happens again I won't have to be irritated by it until my next reformat.

PS. I saw an older post on this from mid-late 2011 (which may have been around the time this happened to me coincidentally), but it was unsolved and I decided it was so old that I'd create a new thread in case someone else has new information about it! Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
31 Mar 2013   #2
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

Welcome to Seven Forums yrogerg77. See if the suggestions in this post are any help

File can be seen only through the upload window in IE

Unfortunately, an update of IE fixed that issue, but the problem is similar. A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2013   #3
nilank

 

Something you should know first: How Windows Generates 8.3 File Names from Long File Names

OK, now you know what 8.3 names are.

- Launch command prompt
- Use the command dir /x to see 8.3 file names of those files. For instance, if that file is present inside C:\abc\xyz, then you need to type each of these commands and hit Enter:

Code:
c:
Code:
cd\
Code:
cd abc
Code:
cd xyz
Code:
dir /x
Once you get to know the 8.3 file name, now enter this command to delete the file:

Code:
del <8.3 file name>
Take care of the path you are in.

--OR--

Create a file with same name as that of the undeletable and then delete it and see if this works.

For example, if the problematic file is 'abc.exe', create a file called 'abc.exe' (use notepad - type out anything and save it as abc.exe) and delete the newly created file and see if the problematic 0 byte file is gone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

31 Mar 2013   #4
Jacee
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1
 
 

You could also try RecycleBinEx RecycleBinEx - Enhanced Windows Recycle Bin Manager
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Apr 2013   #5
yrogerg77

Win 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Thanks for the replies guys, sadly I had already tried the method of adding a file with the same name (in this case it happens to be "Mark" with no extension) and as soon as I send it to the recycle bin... both vanish, and a second later the "lost" one comes back. I hadn't tried the command prompt method yet, but I just did (ran as admin) and same thing, it says "could not find the file."

@A Guy - It seems most of those suggestions listed before the IE problem "fixed itself" were the same as what nilank spelled out in great detail in his reply. You also linked to a bunch of other programs... what would you suggest I try next?

@Jacee - Is this enhanced recycle bin going to help remove remnants of files deleted prior to it's installation? I really don't need any of the other functionality...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Apr 2013   #6
nilank

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by yrogerg77 View Post
@A Guy - It seems most of those suggestions listed before the IE problem "fixed itself" were the same as what nilank spelled out in great detail in his reply. You also linked to a bunch of other programs... what would you suggest I try next?
No. You're a bit mistaken. That's not same. I explained you how to delete those files using 8.3 filenames:

File deleted over a year ago still hasn't disappeared from explorer...-1.png

Those encircled are the 8.3 filenames and are different from normal filenames. You should use those 8.3 filenames to remove those files like this:

Code:
del <8.3 filename>
For example,

Use this:
Code:
C:\Wallpapers\> del WALLPA~1.JPG
Instead of this:
Code:
C:\Wallpapers\> del wallpaper10-1024x768.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Apr 2013   #7
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

Yes, that is different, and a method that is more complex.

Usually we are talking about a folder or file that can be seen on the desktop, etc. So one that only show through Explorer is harder. A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Apr 2013   #8
tom982

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by yrogerg77 View Post
So I can't remember exactly when this happened, but a while ago (1-2 years?) I was downloading some files and moving them around to different folders and/or erasing stuff when something happened... I can't recall exactly what, but something may have crashed (explorer perhaps?) and when my system recovered/rebooted there was a file still sitting in my downloads folder that I had already just erased. Explorer shows it as 0 bytes, so there is no actual data there, and every time I try to delete it again it just displays a message saying "Could not find this item: The file is no longer located in C:/Users/etc/Downloads/ Verify the item's location and try again" which of course is correct because the file hasn't existed on my HDD for over a year.

I can't understand why Windows still seems to think it is there though. Clearly, some tag somewhere in the registry or whatever didn't get deleted with the rest of the data, but I am not enough of a computer guru to solve this. I built the system myself, so I am familiar enough with the steps needed to accomplish that, but the only thing I can think of to correct this issue is to just reformat the drive and do a clean install of Win 7, which I haven't done yet obviously as it's kind of a headache but may have to do it soonish anyhow. Meantime I've simply been ignoring the "file" and it hasn't been a problem. Does anyone know if there is an easier fix for this? In case it happens again I won't have to be irritated by it until my next reformat.

PS. I saw an older post on this from mid-late 2011 (which may have been around the time this happened to me coincidentally), but it was unsolved and I decided it was so old that I'd create a new thread in case someone else has new information about it! Thanks!
Hello yrogerg77 and welcome to the forums

It sounds to me like you have some form of MFT corruption, possibly with an incorrect deletion bit set on a file when your computer crashed.

Before we turn to more powerful software I would first like to try a chkdsk scan:

Command Prompt

Warning: this fix is specific to the user in this thread. No one else should follow these instructions as it may cause more harm than good. If you are after assistance, please start a thread of your own.

  1. Click on the Start button and in the search box, type Command Prompt
  2. When you see Command Prompt on the list, right-click on it and select Run as administrator
  3. When command prompt opens, copy and paste the following commands into it, press enter after each

    chkdsk c: /r

  4. When that finishes, paste the log in your next post please:

    Check Disk (chkdsk) - Read Event Viewer Log


Tom
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2013   #9
yrogerg77

Win 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Hi Tom! Thanks for the reply... I tried your method, however the Chkdsk program refused to run (even as admin) saying that it could not "lock drive C because it is in use by another application." It then asked if I wanted it to run next system restart, so I said Y (yes) and then rebooted my system. It did not run (as far as I can tell, as there was no log from it running). Any suggestions how I can run Chkdsk on my active system drive?

@A Guy - I think my problem is pretty similar to a file being on the desktop... it's just another folder in Explorer like the Downloads folder is it not?

@nilank - My apologies, I did understand what you're talking about, however in this case the file is only 4 characters ("Mark") and as such its 8.3 filename is the same. Either way, that method did not seem to work for this issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2013   #10
tom982

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Hi yrogerg77,

That's odd, it would usually spend quite a while checking your disk on the next reboot and it's not something you could easily miss. Try doing it the other way:

Check your hard disk for errors

Tick both boxes please.

Tom
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 File deleted over a year ago still hasn't disappeared from explorer...




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