Karl`s PC Help Forums

Unable To Delete A File
JackInCT - 5-12-2014 at 15:22

This is a post re the inability to delete a file (Win 7 OS).

I created a very small file from a Win 95 era 'Post It' (sticky note paper for you younguns as in tiny word processing program) type software program [they tend to reside temporarily on my desktop].

I cannot delete this file from my desktop, AND it does not appear in ANY folder, etc., in Explorer; this includes a try using the Command prompt and old DOS commands. Also I cannot rename it, or open its Property [I can get a Property window, but can't enter it].

Numerous 'Unable to delete a file' posts come up with a typical Google search, and most of the responses include using Windows Recovery.

I have zero confidence in Windows 'behavior' [aka competence] re not making what is really a minor problem much, much worse re using Recovery and winding up with a disaster (not to mention that there is no guarantee that using Recovery will solve the problem).

Anyone have any alternative ideas? An ideal solution will be some software that will focus exclusively on this one file for deletion, rather than 'mess with' the entire local hard drive.

FYI: this issue is occurring on my secondary archival backup PC on which I attempted to put Linux on a thumb drive, and in the process somehow managed to mess up the MBR for the machine. The solution via a Linux tech support website was to use Recovery from the OEM OS install disk (Win XP). Guess what? There was no Recovery feature on the OS install disk (which you should get when you boot up the install OS disk), and as per Google, some vendors have decided to leave it off and it appears mine was one of them. Well that shouldn't be a problem any longer since, it appears, that you are not going to get an OEM install OS disk (even IF you are willing to pay for one) when you buy a new machine.


John_Little - 5-12-2014 at 15:39

Permissions? Right click and check the properties.


Katzy - 5-12-2014 at 18:54

I assume not, John, as he said "I cannot rename it, or open its Property ". :(

http://emcosoftware.com/move-on-boot

http://emcosoftware.com/unlock-it

:D


JackInCT - 5-12-2014 at 18:57

Quote:
Originally posted by John_Little
Permissions? Right click and check the properties.


Hi, tried that and a right mouse click will show Properties but NONE of the tabs will become visible. So unless there is some other way of getting access to 'Permissions', that route is dead in the water (& ditto re the Target in the Shortcut tab; IF I could find the Target, I could try to delete the Target folder to see what accomplishes)


LSemmens - 6-12-2014 at 00:05

I use Take Ownership for such things. It generally does the job.


JackInCT - 6-12-2014 at 03:37

Quote:
Originally posted by LSemmens
I use Take Ownership for such things. It generally does the job.


Alas & Alack! No Joy. The 'Take Ownership' download at the URL embedded in your suggestion did indeed work and created the setting in the menu (is that what's called a Context Menu?) when I click on ANY file. But as soon as I do that, I immediately get what I presume is a Command Prompt window, and in its Title Bar "C:Windowssystem32cmd.exe"; an image file of what I saw is attached. There IS a blinking cursor (not visible in the image file) inside this window, BUT you can't type anything at all at the cursor with your keyboard (it does close out without any problem). I have no idea what the significance of this window is, to include why it shows up. I did try the delete key, and the delete in the menu, but that didn't delete the file.


LSemmens - 6-12-2014 at 07:59

Typically it opens a cmd window adjusts the permissions of the file and then closes said window. You should then be able to delete the file.


Katzy - 6-12-2014 at 14:41

I'd assume that whatever created the file could still be running and preventing the file from deleting?

If you do the ol' three-fingered salute, can you kill the program and, then, kill the file?

Did neither of the programs I linked to, work?


JackInCT - 6-12-2014 at 20:01

Quote:
Originally posted by Katzy
I'd assume that whatever created the file could still be running and preventing the file from deleting?

If you do the ol' three-fingered salute, can you kill the program and, then, kill the file?

Did neither of the programs I linked to, work?


Jumpin' Jehosaphat! I managed, apparently without any difficulty, to overlook your post. I have booted my skull into Safe Mode, and after I delete the cobwebs, I WILL buckle down, and do a reboot. You post is a good example of how mistakes are made without an end user knowing that one has been made, and a follow up post is well worth the doing.

24-48 hour lag time before I have the time to devote to your links.

Thanks again.


JackInCT - 10-12-2014 at 00:23

The problem is solved!!! The fix was neither 'pretty', or elegant, and certainly not quick at all (hours).

It suddenly occured to me to try reinstall the program (that created this problem file); HOWEVER I was unable to uninstall it (hung the system just like the problem file on desktop).

Desperate, I guessed that what further harm could possibly happen if, even without uninstalling it, would another install fix the problem. I even went to the developer's website, and was amazed that he/she was still around (it's in Germany). The last version of this software (the one that I use) was published in 2001 [NOT a typo]). It'still available for download from the developer's website. This program's native file format is "not"; I don't think I've ever run across that file format anywhere!

Lo and behold, the reinstall allowed me to delete the file!!!

By the way, Katzy I never was able to try both your links. Any ideas what I could do (how) to create some file on my end that would need their help to delete it? I'd like to do some practice with them to get a better handle on how/when they work [I'd never heard of these programs, or this genreof programs before].


John_Little - 10-12-2014 at 09:46

Well done Jack. Bit of inspiration there that paid off. I wonder if it was the extension that caused the problem?


Katzy - 10-12-2014 at 10:42

In a nutshell, they write info to the registry, which tells Windoze to delete the file, when you next boot, before the OS or any other programs lock them in place, I believe.


JackInCT - 11-12-2014 at 14:47

Quote:
Originally posted by John_Little
I wonder if it was the extension that caused the problem?


Typically these notes work just fine despite the fact that the software is, chronologically, ancient. I do NOT have to use the Compatability Tab to get this software to work either.

At my level of tech know-how, I have zero idea if the native file format (not) caused the problem; clearly I was able to use the program during this period to create new files; I presume that means that the program was not corrupt. So I wind up writing this incident off as 'just one of those things', and move on.


LSemmens - 12-12-2014 at 01:12

I think your final analysis is spot on, Jack.b Typically windoze lets you do what you like with files but it does flag some for its own use. Sometimes it gets confused and you end up with the problem you have just observed.

On thinking, another method, that may, in fact, have been easier, would be to boot from a live Linux CD, or Ultimate Boot CD, and delete the file from there.