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Windows 7: Folder with invalid character does not open.

02 Feb 2014   #1
Brian J Hoskins

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Folder with invalid character does not open.

Hi all,

I have encountered an issue where a folder will not open under Windows 7. Selecting the folder does nothing, and right-selecting the folder does not bring up any context menu. I happen to know that there is media content inside the folder.

Closer inspection of the folder name gave me cause for concern about the ":" character and, sure enough, it turns out that this is an illegal character for an NTFS folder name. I am guessing this is why Windows does not want to open the folder for me, though I cannot explain how it allowed me to create it in the first place.

I can't rename the folder either - if I try that using 'F2' then it allows me to edit the name but as soon as I press enter Windows complains that it can't find the file specified.

Any ideas how I can recover this situation?




My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
02 Feb 2014   #2
Brian J Hoskins

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Even stranger:

I decided to mount this disk on my Linux system to see if I would have more luck there. Linux allowed me to rename the folder, removing the ":" character. I browsed completely away from the drive, back in, and yes - it was indeed renamed. Excellent. I dismounted the drive from Linux, connected it back to Windows 7, and then the folder was back with the ":" character in it again!!!
I dismounted, put it back on my Linux system, and sure enough the ":" character is back.

What is going on here?!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2014   #3
Sir George

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brian J Hoskins View Post
Even stranger:

I decided to mount this disk on my Linux system to see if I would have more luck there. Linux allowed me to rename the folder, removing the ":" character. I browsed completely away from the drive, back in, and yes - it was indeed renamed. Excellent. I dismounted the drive from Linux, connected it back to Windows 7, and then the folder was back with the ":" character in it again!!!
I dismounted, put it back on my Linux system, and sure enough the ":" character is back.

What is going on here?!
Maybe the problem is caused by an infection; virus or malware. Have you run any scans with products designed to check for infections? Have you installed any new software?

HTH
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

02 Feb 2014   #4
bootables

7 32bits
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2014   #5
Brian J Hoskins

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sir George View Post
Maybe the problem is caused by an infection; virus or malware. Have you run any scans with products designed to check for infections? Have you installed any new software?

HTH
Hmmm, I somehow doubt that but I will try it when I get home just to make certain. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2014   #6
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
 
 

Used to have this type of problem in dos days dealing with files from unix servers and such and used to use XtreeGold to sort things.

This purports to be the natural sucessor to the old program and may be worth a try

ZTreeWin

Not tested or tried so cannot give any guarantee
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2014   #7
Irene

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I admit that this is out of my comfort zone, but I just came across this in a search:
Script Remove Invalid Characters from File Names

P.S. I would always do a backup before attempting any changes which I was unsure about.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2014   #8
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
Something to try

Hi.

You could try renaming the folder using command prompt. (Start> Run then type cmd.exe) press Enter.

Use the cd command to change to the directory where the folder is located then try renaming it.

Here's an example showing a folder named test2 being renamed to test002 on my desktop.

Before:

Folder with invalid character does not open.-cmd.jpg

After:

Folder with invalid character does not open.-cmd2.jpg

As you can see - type:

ren foldername newfoldername

Press enter.

I've actually got no idea if the folder name containing the invalid character will be accepted for renaming but it's worth a try!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2014   #9
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
MFT

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brian J Hoskins View Post
Even stranger:

I decided to mount this disk on my Linux system to see if I would have more luck there. Linux allowed me to rename the folder, removing the ":" character. I browsed completely away from the drive, back in, and yes - it was indeed renamed. Excellent. I dismounted the drive from Linux, connected it back to Windows 7, and then the folder was back with the ":" character in it again!!!
I dismounted, put it back on my Linux system, and sure enough the ":" character is back.

What is going on here?!
I reckon that it's possible that the folder retained it's original name due to the entry in the MFT - it would still contain the original folder name for the folder in that location. I'm not sure that this is the case but the test would be to move the renamed folder to somewhere else in your windows partition using Linux.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2014   #10
Brian J Hoskins

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Thank you very much to everyone for your suggestions. Very much appreciated.

It will be a couple of days before I can try them all out and report back so I thought I'd at least send my thanks in the meantime.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Folder with invalid character does not open.




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