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Windows 7: slow/delayed delete of dvr-ms files in Recorded TV

09 Nov 2009   #1

Windows 7 RTM x64
slow/delayed delete of dvr-ms files in Recorded TV


Just a weird problem I've had for some time now - I convert my wtv files to dvr-ms using the native right-click convert, so that I can edit commercials, join etc using a third application. After I've edited and saved as an mpg file, I of course like to delete the dvr-ms file - because I'm usually working with the files outside of media center, I just like to delete them from an explorer window.

Doing this with wtv files (or any other format) presents no problems, but I find that with the dvr-ms files, there is a noticeable delay in deleting the file. With small files (standard def - usually around 2GB or less), this can take as little as ten seconds, but with HD recordings, it can actually take up to six or seven minutes for the "Do you want to send this file to the recycle bin" prompt to come up after I've attempted to delete the file.

Even worse, if the file gets sent to the recycle bin, and I wish to empty it, the delay happens all over again (usually for the same duration) before the recycle bin is eventually emptied.

When using the beta, I remember that the thumbnail process within MC used to tie up "new" dvr-ms files and read them to memory if they found them in your Recorded TV folder (spiking up your Ram and CPU for minutes on end), but this was remedied for the RTM and official release, so though it could be related, I don't think it's quite the same problem. The CPU and Ram over this time doesn't appear to spike, though it's definitely using up some CPU cycles.

Anybody else have this situation, or know a way to deal with it? It can be quite annoying when you can't delete any other files or empty your recycle bin because it's occupied with a dvr-ms turd that just won't flush.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2009   #2


Right click on the Desktop Icon for Recycle Bin, select properties, click the lower radio button and then apply. You may want to reverse that for normal file deletion operation to help retrieve an accidentally deleted file or folder.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2009   #3


Also, if you have a version of W7 including or higher than Home Premium, you now have "previous file and folder versions" (right click on a folder to see tab) in use. A large file may take longer to delete particulalry if you have modified the file several can customize previous files and folders to not keep older versions of files and folders on a particular drive. I strongly recommend you do not turn off previous versions for your system drive.

Previous versions of files: frequently asked questions

I have created a partition (drive) specifically for use with recorded TV, pointed WMC to it, turned off previous versions on that drive, use the recycle bin trick above as needed...files delete instantly (assuming they are not currently being being scanned by my AV product or in the process of being added to the index).

Also, I move my files to an external source regularly and allow WMC to delete any Recorded TV as needed to make room for new recordings, but the need has yet to occur.

Some 'reading between the lines' may be required with above - do so.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Nov 2009   #4

Windows 7 RTM x64

Thanks for the reply - although I don't think it actually refers to my problem. I might not have been clear enough.

I can delete very large files in other folders, no problem, no noticable delays - either to delete instantly (when too big) or to send to the recycle bin.

This includes large files I might have in my Recorded TV folder that -aren't- dvr-ms files (wtv or mpg or otherwise).

The problem only occurs when I delete a dvr-ms file (any size, but larger ones have a longer delay) from my Recorded TV folder. To illustrate the problem, if I convert a 12GB wtv file to a dvr-ms file (which will be the same size, give or take a few MB), the wtv file will go to the recycle bin instantly if I attempt to delete it afterwards, as it should. But the dvr-ms file will take about six to seven minutes or more for the "do you want to send this item to the recycle bin" prompt to appear.

Previous versions of files/folders shouldn't be an issue, I already have system restore disabled and I don't use the native Windows backup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2009   #5

Check the other apps

I suspect a third party app is interferring with the deletion operation by maintaning a lock on the file or otherwise. Can you:

A) Temporarily disable any third party apps and make sure any apps used in file conversion or playback of the file are closed.
B) Record a TV show or Movie.
C) Convert to dvr-ms.
D) Now delete the dvr-ms file without any additional manipulation.
E) Report if the issue remains.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2009   #6

Windows 7 RTM x64

It occurs from a clean boot (I generally have no startup apps apart from Avira AV, and my Recorded TV folder is set up as an exception to its scanner guard anyway). I recorded a show at random just now, converted to dvr-ms. Went to delete, experienced a three minute delay before the recycle bin prompt appeared.

I am fairly certain it's not a third party application that I'm using, but I do believe either a lock on the file or a scan is delaying the delete, which is why I suspect it's still Media Center misbehaving, albeit in a different way from what it did during the beta.

It's probably the case that most users don't experience this because they don't delete these files from Explorer, and instead do it internally from Media Center. Deleting from Media Center seems to work instantly (though it deletes instantly, and won't send to the recycle bin at all), which heavily implies it is MC to blame. I like to do my file management from Explorer though, and if I have multiple versions of a file (due to conversion/editing) and want to delete one, Media Center internally only reports the channel stream data and thumbnail (which are identical) - it doesn't report the format of the file, the filename or the size, so I have no idea which one I'm deleting.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2009   #7

Works perfect for me

To test if I had this issue I also followed my own suggestions above without issue, the files, either, were immediatley deleted.

Do you have any third party Explorer add ons, extra items that show when you right click? I have seen them cause various issues with file management.

Also, can't you just rename your converted or edited videos and place in another folder?

Is there a service starting at boot that is interfering?

You can use the newly enhanced resource monitor to isolate which process has a file open by using the check boxes to see which files are currently associated with each process.

How to Use the Resource Monitor in Windows 7 - For Dummies

Sorry about the dummies link but it is acurate.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2009   #8

Windows 7 RTM x64

In terms of a service starting at boot, nah, it happens at a clean boot (all startup options disabled). I can see where you're going re: explorer extensions - but the only extension on a right-click that I have is for WinRAR.

I can't say the Resource Monitor helped a great deal, as I probably need more information even to begin knowing what to look for. There are around 50-60 or more handles and modules coming off some files - the only reference I found looking randomly (there isn't a significant CPU or memory spike to track) was to a file I was trying to delete being used by explorer.exe - however when I click on any file (which I do in order to delete it), of course explorer.exe will have looked at the file, so it was only telling me something I already knew, and no more. It didn't tell me what it was doing, or for how long, or anything like that.

Renaming was interesting, because nothing changed. I was allowed to instantly rename the file. However, attempting to delete it caused the same delay. Cutting and pasting the file to a new location was also allowed instantaneously - however, attempting to delete it at it's new location -also- caused the delay.

I guess there's one more thing of note - if I attempt to delete the file, wait through the delay, and then say no to sending the file to the recycle bin, I can choose to delete it again, and the prompt will come up after a second or two. It's not instant, like a normal deletion is, but it's still quite quick, which implies to me that something about the file was read into memory/cache/whatever and kept, meaning whatever long read happened previously didn't need to occur this time (the second or two delay still implies some check was made though, that isnt made for all other formats).

If I say "no" to the recycle bin again, and attempt to delete a different dvr-ms file, after going through it's delay and returning to delete the original file, the delay for the original will be back, which tells me if it's reading it to memory, it'll only keep the last attempt. Maybe it's DRM related?

Anyhow, seeing as it isn't happening in your system, it -must- be something I'm running or I have installed. Damned if I can solve it though... I guess I'll just delete these files from inside media center for now - at some stage when I can find a prog that edits wtv files, I can drop the conversion process and hopefully never have to worry about it again.

Thanks for the help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2009   #9

Not stumped

The fact that you are seeing so many files associated with so many processes is very interesting, especially in light of your note that you have disabled so many processes.

From Resource Monitor, check only 'explorer' in the 'disk' tab and do so during the time period that the lag in file deletion is occurring...also look for other items that appear only when the lag is occurring. As disk activity should be minimal based again on your notes, it should be easy to see what is going on there.

MS has created a great tool with the Resource Monitor.

I would also look for events by reviewing them in order of time based on again the time period that the lag is occurring. A filtered custom view can be created that only shows events related to a particular event source or keyword even.

Good luck!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2009   #10

Windows 7 RTM x64

I thought it would be normal for a lot of files to be associated with various processes... But I had been looking at the "Overview" tab, not "Disk". I haven't really disabled many processes, the only thing I disabled at startup for checking purposes was my AV.

Looking in the "Disk" tab of Resource Monitor, I can see that during the delay, explorer.exe is present in the list, as is generally system, dwm.exe, perfmon.exe (I assume this is Resource Monitor itself), firefox.exe and svchost.exe.

In terms of disk activity, explorer.exe shows only the file it's working with during the delay (the one I am trying to delete). It shows the throughput as it appears to be reading the file concerned to memory/to disk. When that ceases, the prompt comes up to delete or recycle.

system and svchost.exe show a variety of tasks, but none that seem to logically follow as immediately relevant.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 slow/delayed delete of dvr-ms files in Recorded TV

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