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Empty Folder On My Desktop Can Not Be Deleted


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#1 Billermo

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 03:24 AM

I have an empty folder on my desktop that I can't delete. If I try to delete it, there is a pause for a couple of seconds and then I get the message:

Cannot delete FolderName, it is being used by another person or program.
Close any programs that might be using the file and try again.

OK


Browsing thru other people's posts here with similar complaints, I've tried to:
  • Make it not Read Only -- if I open the folder's Properties, Attributes have a little green square in Read Only, which I assume means it's currently Read Only. If I uncheck it so it's white and click Apply and then OK, when I reopen Properties, it is green again.
  • I tried to turn off Simple File Sharing. It didn't change anything for me.
  • I downloaded a recommended utility called PurgeIE/Delete Invalid File and used it to try to delete the folder. It also failed.
  • I also have rebooted the computer a few times and that has no effect either.
Incidentally, the folder did have some mp3 files inside originally, which I was able to cut from it and paste into a different folder (not on desktop).

Hope this isn't a tough one to solve. Any help would be very appreciated.

Thank you.

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#2 Budapest

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 03:27 AM

Try deleting it in Safe Mode.

If that doesn't work, try this free utility: MoveOnBoot
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#3 Larjo

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 06:19 AM

Hi,
Often the reason these files/folders cannot be deleted is because Windows Explorer is 'aware of it?'.
I have got rid of a few with the command prompt.
1. Open Command Prompt window. (Start > Run and enter cmd.
2. Open Windows Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del).
3. In Task manager, on the Processes tab, click on explorer.exe and then End Process. Do NOT close the task manager.
4. In the prompt window go to the Desktop folder. By default you should see C:\Documents and Settings\YOURName
Type dir and Enter and you should get a list of files and folders. One of them will be Desktop.
Type cd desktop and Enter. (Note the space)
You should now see the folder you want to delete. (we'll call it 'wontgo')
Type del wontgo. (Enter)
5. Back in Task Manager goto File > New Task(Run) and type in explorer.exe and Enter.

:thumbsup:

#4 Billermo

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 08:38 AM

OK I actually did boot into Safe Mode and tried that (after posting my question), and it did not work. The folder attributes still read the same, as Read Only, and couldn't be changed from Read Only nor deleted.

I actually have MoveOnBoot on my system and forgot to mention that I'd tried that one already, but actually you know it can only delete files and not directories/folders (at least not the version I have, anyway). The interface doesn't allow you to select folders, only files. If you select a folder, it only opens the folder to show which files are inside it.

Finally, I did just try Larjo's last suggestion. I followed it step by step and by the end of it the folder actually did not get deleted. However, when I went to my desktop and clicked on the folder itself and chose delete, this time it went to the recycle bin. Maybe he overlooked that last step.

Anyway, just writing all this back now in case anyone else comes across this same problem, this might be useful information for them.

So yes, the file is gone.

Thanks very much for all the tips.

#5 Budapest

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 08:46 AM

I'm glad you got it sorted out. And thanks for posting back with your solution - hopefully it will help other members in the same situation.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

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#6 wildchild2

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 09:12 AM

Did you have your music player open?
Maybe the folder was associated with that and therefore deemed to be in use.
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#7 Billermo

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 11:09 AM

Originally I did, but that was 2 days ago, and I tried to delete it every time I rebooted the computer, always with the music player off. And also in Safe Mode.

I don't know why it wouldn't delete. Larjo's solution pretty much worked, so he may know better than I do why it wasn't deleting. He mentioned that it had something to do with Windows Explorer 'being aware of it'. I'm not sure what that means exactly. It's not aware of it any more and that's all I care about. ;-)

Edited by Billermo, 06 August 2007 - 11:17 AM.


#8 usasma

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 06:09 PM

Sounds like Larjo's solution is for an issue where explorer.exe won't release it's "hooks" from the file in question. This depends on if the problem is with explorer.exe or with the file/folder in question. If it's with explorer.exe - the behavior should probably continue on the next reboot - if not, then all is well and the tip worked well.

I wonder if this will work with stopping the occasional issues of removing a USB device that won't let go of explorer.exe in order to be "Safely Removed" - and if it does, then how would we run the "Safely Remove Hardware" wizard after terminating explorer.exe. And, finally, what will happen if explorer.exe respawns itself before the process is finished? Sounds like it's time for a bit of experimentation! :thumbsup:
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