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Windows 7: Why are there 4 (!) RECYCLE BINs on my partition? Outer and Inner RBs

28 Jan 2017   #1

win7pro 64bit
Why are there 4 (!) RECYCLE BINs on my partition? Outer and Inner RBs

After having disabled the option "protect my system folders) I had a look on my folders and found 4 (!) different RECYCLE BINs on my second, non-system partition D:

Have a look at the attached snapshot of my WinExplorer view and the corresponding listing with "dir /a".

Why are there so many RECYCLE BINs?

Whats the difference between the outer and the 4 inner RECYCLE BINs?

Why does one of the RECYCLE BINs has a short name while the others a longer like


Why do 2 of the tiny icons have a lock symbol and two not?

Can I delete them (e.g. from an externally booted ToolCD)?
Will the necessary (one and only ?) RECYCLE BIN then automatically re-created at next startup?


Attached Images
Why are there 4 (!) RECYCLE BINs on my partition? Outer and Inner RBs-multiple-d-recycle.bin-folders.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2017   #2

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring

First guess lookin at command prompt output
2 different users, 2 are locked 2 public

is folder view set to show hidden files/folders.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2017   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate, Service Pack 1, 64 bit

This is by default in windows. Partitions and external drives will have a hidden recycle bin and will be linked. As you have unchecked Protect System Files these are now visible. If you delete a file on the main partition C:\ That deleted file will be see in the hidden recycle bins. When you empty the recycle bin on C:\ It will be emptied from the hidden recycle bins as well. Just recheck Protect System File and there hidden again.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Jan 2017   #4

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Lance, where is that setting - Protect System Files?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2017   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate, Service Pack 1, 64 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
Lance, where is that setting - Protect System Files?

Windows key + E \ Organize \ Folder and Search Options \ View.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2017   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

All those folders are the real storage of the recycle bin. When "deleting" a file to the bin, what it really does is to move it to those hidden folders, and emptying it really deletes the files from there. The icon typically on the desktop is just a shortcut to one of those folders. The "$RECYCLE.BIN" is just containing all others, a merely organizational separation, while the 4 inside it are the real recycle bin that you see in the desktop.

Why 4? The trick is that each user account gets his own recycle bin, totally independent of the other accounts. This folder separation achieves that. The names of those folders are the "SIDs" of each user account it belong to (the SID is the internal representation of user accounts of Windows). So, when a user deletes a file though Windows Explorer, the file ends up in the respective folder for that specific user. That's the only reason for finding 4 folders there.

Why the short name of one specific folder? Because that one belongs to a built-in account (in that case, the SYSTEM account), while all others are computer-specific, and to make the unique Windows adds a long random number at the end. Look here for some reference on this.

Also, Windows Explorer loves creating that structure for each logical drive it ever sees. You can safely delete any of this, the only side-effect being losing all files in the recycle bin. But Windows Explorer will eventually recreate them automatically (whether you like or use them or not).
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Why are there 4 (!) RECYCLE BINs on my partition? Outer and Inner RBs

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