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Windows 7: Folder deletion problems

30 Mar 2011   #11
unifex

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

This does happens although rather rarely.

First of all, let me notice that you mentioned Program Files or Windows as examples of folders where the problem occurs sometimes. I would advise you against messing with those folders manually anyway. If you have remnants of uninstalled programs and you want to tidy up, Revo Uninstaller can do it rather nicely.

If you insist on doing this manually or if you have a problem with a file you just downloaded to your Desktop or some other folder, then there can be two separate issues - permissions and locking.

For permissions, just follow Brink's instructions, taking ownership and then allowing yourself access is all that's needed. Once this is done, the only thing that can prevent you from deleting the file or folder is the locking. For folders this is sometimes resolved by first deleting all content of the folder. Also, when you change permissions on folders (with the purpose of deleting them) make sure you tick the box "replace all child permissions ... " so that permissions will be automatically changed on all objects inside the folder. If you do not check this box (and it's usually unchecked by default), then the permissions on any file inside the folder will not be changed and you will not be able to delete them.

For files that are reported "in use" while no obvious program is even running, one can either use the unlocker - see Brink's post above - or one of the following: (1) simply wait and the system will release the file; (2) reboot and the file should be released; (3) if something is broken and even reboot does not release the file, then reboot to the safe mode and delete the file there. The latter option is sort of the last resort, I don't think I had to do it more than once or twice.

As to whether one can "manipulate" the locking feature - the only thing you might try is to get some software (Google for it, I don't use any of this, so I don't have a ready advice here) that unloads the unused dll's. Basically the idea is that sometimes after a program is closed, the associated dll's are not unloaded, they are still in memory and it is them who's holding the files locked. Eventually Windows will unload them and this is the origin of the above "simply wait" advice. But sometimes Windows won't unload them and in this case you either need to reboot or to use some software to unload.

Hope that helps.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Mar 2011   #12
Orbital Shark

 
 

Hi,

I believe the following may help if you get more folders you cannot delete.

Built-in Administrator Account - Enable or Disable

Also, if you reboot after recieving the message does it then allow for deletion or does the message still pop up?


OS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2011   #13
lunarcrisis

Ubuntu and Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

"For files that are reported "in use" while no obvious program is even running" is my case.. and like i've mentioned, i tried an Unlocker and it said "SYSTEM" was locking it and to try again later
Actually, there are prolly 2 cases even.. the second one being "needing permission from myself". In fact, i just had it some 5 minutes ago:
I downloaded an archive via torrent .. unzipped it in my Downloads folder, tried to move it to my Games folder.. and got the "You need permission from eureka\alex...." message although my account IS alex.....few minutes later, without changing any permissions or owners, it let me move it.
i don't think its about permissions ....just some weird bug

and yea "waiting it out" is the only thing i can do .. it always releases them sooner or later... and i am pretty sure restarting helps too ... the only problem is that its annoying having to wait.. if it wasn't, i wouldn't have been here

I wanted to try using a built-in administrator account once ... but i think i rejected that idea as i've spent a great deal of time configuring settings and stuff on my alex account.....maybe after next format.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Mar 2011   #14
unifex

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lunarcrisis View Post
"For files that are reported "in use" while no obvious program is even running" is my case.. and like i've mentioned, i tried an Unlocker and it said "SYSTEM" was locking it and to try again later
Actually, there are prolly 2 cases even.. the second one being "needing permission from myself". In fact, i just had it some 5 minutes ago:
I downloaded an archive via torrent .. unzipped it in my Downloads folder, tried to move it to my Games folder.. and got the "You need permission from eureka\alex...." message although my account IS alex.....few minutes later, without changing any permissions or owners, it let me move it.
i don't think its about permissions ....just some weird bug
Just the fact that you are logged in as "alex" and the file is owned by "alex" may not be enough, if the permissions are configured in a strange way, namely, you own the file but do not have full permissions for it. This may happen if you messed with permissions, changed ownership, and did not grant yourself full access after taking ownership.

The fact that this sorts itself out points to something accessing your files. The most obvious candidate is your anti-virus (or anti-malware, or windows defender or any other resident scanner that gets busy as soon as new files appear). It's also possible that the location where you download files is indexed and windows search starts working on its index right away. I'm just guessing here, but these seems possible.

You can troubleshoot this by trying to repeat the steps that led to the problem - i.e. download something with your torrent client, unzip or whatever and at the same time look at the performance monitor and see which program and/or system accesses your file. You can also check your scheduled tasks and see if there is some task that gets triggered by your download.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lunarcrisis View Post
I wanted to try using a built-in administrator account once ... but i think i rejected that idea as i've spent a great deal of time configuring settings and stuff on my alex account.....maybe after next format.
I would not recommend using the built-in Administrator account on the daily basis. I am sure that the Orbital Shark's suggestion was to use it just to resolve the problem (i.e. delete the undeletable file), as the built-in Administrator is less likely to encounter these "locking" issues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2011   #15
lunarcrisis

Ubuntu and Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

checked the scheduler ..."Task Schedulor (local)" - there was a bunch of seemingly unimportant active tasks ..lots of "windows customer experience something" related.. disabled all of them except "SynchronizeTime"

i don't have anything, no scanning programs that would need to access my folders/files. In fact, I've got pretty much everything i don't need disabled for the sake of simplicity and performance - UAC, Defender, Action Center, Firewall, some 20+ services -> got around 30 Processes running on startup. (i do malware/spyware/virus checks from time to time though, never found anything for the last ~6 years). so yea, i don't care about some risks associated with using an admin account....

I am not sure i get how to check what's accessing the folder/file from Performance monitor ... especially when its kinda random ... i can't reproduce it ..if i do the same again-> unzip the same archive and try to delete the folder...it gets deleted right away. + if i trust the Unlocker i used, "System" process is the culprit

indexing ..mmm . SearchIndexer seems like a possible culprit .. i'll prolly turn it off for the sake of getting to the bottom of this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2011   #16
unifex

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

Actually, disabling seemingly unimportant tasks and services might lead to unpredictable programs. So I would be careful there.

Let me ask you, when did this problem appear and how often does it happen? Also, does it look like it happens more often now, say after you did something to the system - disabled something or on the contrary installed something?

Basically, I've seen this happening on my system as well, but it happens so rarely, that I definitely would not classify it as a persistent problem or a bug. If you see this often, then something is going on with your system, right? I wonder if you have some restore points or backup images you can go back to. If yes, then you could try going "back in time" and see if the problem is more frequent now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2011   #17
lunarcrisis

Ubuntu and Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

i've formatted/reinstalled windows7 atleast 10 times and this problem occured on all installationas as far as i can remember - although like you said, the frequency changes. Well its kinda random after all .. or prolly -> the more installations/deinstallations/file & folder moving/ unpacking and those kind of operations i do, obviously the more often it shows up

the reason i use the word "random" is because i can't associate it with anything.. no hints, on the previous installation i did not turn off any services as i can remember, but the problem still persisted.
For a moment i thought it was related to Archive programs .. cause it shows up most of the time after unzipping something -> i switched from 7zip to Winrar.. still happened + there were other cases actually....with some folders left after deinstallation .. and some folders downloaded via torrent.

i don't use restore <_<
This problem is more like a mosquite buzzing around and annoying me from time to time, and i just can't catch it ;/
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Folder deletion problems




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