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Windows 7: Directory Displays But Files Do Not - In Windows 7 64bit

08 Apr 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Directory Displays But Files Do Not - In Windows 7 64bit

Greetings, everyone.

I have a Windows 7 laptop that I have had in my possession since last November 2010.

The files I transferred from an older Windows Vista system - to this new Windows 7 system - were fully functioning then and are fully functioning now (editable, savable, movable, etc.).

Shortly after transferring said files (regarding software and web development projects), I noticed a few directories were not behaving normally. Normal behavior would be defined as the ability to open a particular non-system directory and immediately see the files within that directly displayed in a list.

The misbehaving directories I speak of can be opened, but (1) they appear empty, (2) the vertical scroll bars to the right of the directories "flicker" off an on at a millisecond pace, and (3) the region at the bottom left hand corner of these directories where the number of items is listed . . . displays the actual number of items and, then, displays ZERO items (e.g. flashing back and forth between "185 items" and "0 items").

I can access (copy, edit, save, move, etc.) all of the files (.html, .jpg, and .mov) within various web design applications, Adobe Photoshop, and Apple QuickTime with no problem whatsoever.

Outside of these few misbehaving directories, my entire system appears to be fine.

On the other hand, if I attempt to copy the contents of these directories (from within Photoshop, etc.) into newly created directories . . . and, then, attempt to open up those directories from my desktop (as I would normally do), the same problem occurs.

Whether new directory or existing directory - the same files will not display. Even if I add new files to those directories, those new files meet the same end.

I have two other Windows 7 laptops - as well as an external hard drive - and none of those devices have trouble displaying the contents of the problematic directories I have described.

It would be easy and irritating and painful enough to reformat my system to see if that fixes the issue(s), but I would really like to trace the specific symptom to a specific KNOWN source . . . before falling back on a complete wipe out that may not be necessary.

I hope I have provided enough detail for a magical cure in the form of your response.

Thank you very much for your time and attention.


Eric M. Scharf

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2011   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

In following up on the original problem, I performed a quick and necessary experiment.

I removed each of the file types (.html, .jpg, and .mov) from the troubled directories, and - at first - it appears the problem rested with the .html files. The moment I removed them from the directories, everything returned to normal.

The .html files, however, are - at first glance - no different than the same files that populate other directories for the very same purposes.

The next step of my experiment involved reintroducing each category of files back into the troubled directories.

I copied in the .jpg files, and they were displaying fine.
I copied in the .mov files, and they were displaying fine.
I copied in the .html files, and, then, the problem hit.

The final step of my experiment involved reintroducing the .html and .mov files into the directories. All files displayed corrected without incident.

I, then, began adding in the .jpg files in pairs of two at a time . . . and, BINGO, I was able to trigger the display dysfunction as soon as I attempted to go past "164 items" in those directories.

I even performed the experiment again by selecting an entirely different set of .jpg files before reaching "164 items," and I netted the same result.

Logic - from someone unfamiliar with the Windows OS (any kind) - would dictate that I have obviously hit a file limit for those directories. This, of course, is not possible, as the standard directory in Windows can handle at least 2,000-3,000 files before responding poorly.

I have several directories for several projects that go well beyond "164 items" per directory . . . with, in fact, all three file types together (.html, .jpg, and .mov).

Soooooo, what is so magical about "164 items" in these directories?

While I dig further, please, again, feel free to add your 2 cents.

Thank You,

Eric M. Scharf
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2011   #3

win7 home premium-64bit-SP1-IE9RTM

Hello emscharf.
Maybe there is a bad sectors in your hdd, try to make a checkdisk and see if it works for you.
Good luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Apr 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit


I have, indeed, checked for bad sectors and none were found. It was certainly the logical next step, and now I am in search of the next possibility. I appreciate your input.


Eric M. Scharf
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2011   #5
Mike Connor

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

Run a malware check. Download this;


Run a FULL scan, and if it finds anything, post the log here.

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit


Malware Bytes is installed, and I ran a complete scan to no avail.

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

Database version: 6313

Windows 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1
Internet Explorer 9.0.8112.16421

4/9/2011 8:52:37 PM
mbam-log-2011-04-09 (20-52-37).txt

Scan type: Full scan (C:\|D:\|)
Objects scanned: 457654
Time elapsed: 1 hour(s), 21 minute(s), 16 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 0
Memory Modules Infected: 0
Registry Keys Infected: 0
Registry Values Infected: 0
Registry Data Items Infected: 0
Folders Infected: 0
Files Infected: 0

Memory Processes Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Memory Modules Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Keys Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Values Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Data Items Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Folders Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Files Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

I once again appreciate the continued feedback. Keep it coming, please.

Thank You,

Eric M. Scharf
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2011   #7
Mike Connor

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

OK. I have no other advice to offer on this,

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP

Vista and now 7 in 32 and 64 bit.

Try setting up another user account on a temporary basis, and see if the problem persists.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Sep 2012   #9

Windows 7 x64 Professional
I know this is old, but..

In case someone else runs into the same issue, try changing the directory folder type from pictures to "General" (right-click folder, pick properties and choose "Customize" tab (or such, I'm using different language OS, last one on the right). Just below the tab bar is a drop-down menu with "General", "Files", "Pictures", "Music" etc.) and back to pictures again.

It was doing the flickering thing for me as well and that seemed to do the trick. I suppose the desktop.ini file or something had become corrupted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2012   #10
Fred Shirley

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
folders that won't open

I have been having this exact same folder problem with my desktop Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit PC. If I change the folder name it will open temporarily; of if I change the customization (to "Picture" or whatever) it will open (don't know for how long).

But this problem started with just one folder, and then later a second folder. Am I going to keep having more folders go bad with time? Will I then have to fix each one's properties? And how long will this patch work?

Perhaps Microsoft is monitoring these posts and will dig down to find the root cause and fix it (I hope, I hope!).
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Directory Displays But Files Do Not - In Windows 7 64bit

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