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Windows 7: Can't delete folder with millions of empty folders - What can I do?

28 Sep 2018   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Can't delete folder with millions of empty folders - What can I do?

Due to a bug in a vendor's automatic update tool, it created many millions of empty folders in a root folder (C:\Temp), and I've been totally unable to delete it. I was able to boot up a linux Live distro (Zorin v12, which is very Windows-like) and rename the folder to C:\Temp3, so it wasn't locked due to other files/folders inside, but when I tried to delete the folder in Zorin, it provided no indication that it was actually doing anything, even after an hour's wait.

So I tried to boot from a Windows 7 install flash drive, and waited for almost an hour for it to finish the god-damned "Searching for Windows Installations" bullshit (gawd, I hate that despicable "feature"! )

Eventually I was able to get to the command prompt and entered this command: Del /S /Q C:\Temp3, and although the command eventually completed (that is, the command prompt returned), the folder was still full of millions of empty folders!

So I booted up my paid copy of Active@Boot Disk, used it's file manager to navigate there, and chose "Delete". It then showed a window "calculating" the number of elements inside (instead of just deleting the damn folder), and even after two hours, it was still counting without deleting anything at all!

So I tried booting up in Safe Mode, but it refused to recognize my USB mouse and keyboard, so I couldn't even log in. But I figured that could have been because they were attached via a KVM, so I attached a separate USB mouse and keyboard directly to the front panel, but Safe Mode still refused to see them.

Then I booted up normally and pressed SHIFT + DEL to delete the folder without prompting, but it's now been running for three hours already and it's saying that it'll take at least another three hours! I started trying to use a disk editor to locate the folder in question and basically "disconnect" it / set it to zero bytes or whatever, but I'm afraid that I might do irreparable damage to the NTFS structure of my boot disk.

SO: What I desperately need is some way to FORCIBLY delete the damn thing immediately without question and without going through all those empty folders one at a time. Can anyone offer some other way to do this or some other piece of software that'll do what I need?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2018   #2
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

If there's one thing that computers are good at, it's producing 1s & 0's in the form of %%#@ you mother (*(&^(&$ LMAO

I think what you have going on here is a classic long path name issue. Where I think there is actually a command that can be used in command prompt, I prefer a GUI alternative. Try FastCopy or Long Path Tool.

Download FastCopy - MajorGeeks

Long Path Tool 5: advanced long path files manager

Zorin looks nice. Just downloaded it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2018   #3

Windows 7 HP 64

Something is wrong. If not in use you should be able to delete under windows.
I suggest you do a disk check
Open a CMD as Administrator and type
chkdsk c: /f
It will say it is in use and if you want to schedule to next start = Yes
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Sep 2018   #4

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18.3 MATE, W10 Home, #All 64 bit

Do you have a Backup Image from before the failed update?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2018   #5

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, Kali, VMWare Workstation Player, OpenVPN

Agree with Megahertz07

UVK - Ultra Virus Killer - Carifred

UVK Installer (EXE)
UVK Portable (EXE)

I believe you can run it in safe mode, I'll check mine.

Can't delete folder with millions of empty folders - What can I do?-capture.png

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Oct 2018   #6

W7 HP 64 bit

System restore? Restore Image backup? If those didn't work for me I'd reinstall - although I know that's a total pain but I hate mess lol
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can't delete folder with millions of empty folders - What can I do?

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