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I want to remove some extremely stubborn files from the recycle bin

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#1 Kev1983UK


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Posted 26 November 2011 - 10:52 PM

I won't go into too much detail at this stage because... well, I haven't got a clue where to begin... but basically I want to know as many different techniques as possible for removing stubborn files from the recycle bin because I seem to have created a very strange glitch where I am unable to view these files or remove them (everything else empties fine) I have tried several methods already to remove them but nothing and I mean NOTHING SEEMS TO WORK!!!

I'm using Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 3

I have recently been trying to fix up a friends laptop which is a Compaq Armada M700 and is running on XP Pro during which time I had an external hard drive plugged in which is a 2TB WD My Book Essential.

Now for some reason the laptop (or at least I think it was the laptop) created 2 folders on my external hard drive I believe they contained some sort of system settings like desktop.ini I can't remember exactly at this time but I may be able to find out if neccessary. The only thing I know is these folders didn't have specific names they were just letters and numbers.

I had tried several ways to delete these folders whilst the external drive was plugged into my desktop pc but for some reason it said access denied make sure it's not full, write protected or in use.

Anyway long story short I then reluctantly decided to use MBAM's File Assassin to remove these files, I had never used it before but it worked and they were sent to the desktops recycling bin.

Unfortunately I got the same message (or one very similar) when I tried to empty the recycling bin on the desktop which said:

Cannot remove folder i386: Access is denied.

Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use.

I could not see the files in the recycling bin no matter what I did, so I logged in as an administrator in safe mode without networking, made sure show hidden files was selected and made sure hide system files/folders was unchecked.

Now this is where it gets even more complicated, on the administrators account the recycle bin shows it's empty, but after logging off and logging into the password protected user account the recycle bin is showing it contains something BUT!!! I'm still unable to view the contents of the bin as the files remain hidden.

From here however I was able to use File Assassin again to access RECYCLER and delete individual files but they're very persistent and they keep returning upon restart.

I even created a .bat file to delete RECYCLER on both the user account and the administrators account (although not simultaneously of course) which worked but still the recycle bin on the desktop still showed itself to contain hidden files and it still refused to empty.

I have also tried to use some other methods including Safe mode with command prompt and RUN>>>gpedit to delete RECYCLER but I usually get told the path is wrong or something like that even though I've followed all the instructions perfectly.

I believe the next step if possible may be to take ownership of these elusive files but how do I locate hidden files within a recycling bin??? I've heard of a program called Unlocker as well which apparently unlocks and deletes protected files which I've just found now and will try to use a.s.a.p

BTW I should also mention that the recycle bin only shows to contain files when the external drive is plugged in via usb if I unplug it then the recycle bin thinks it's empty.

As you can see it's quite a strange dillema, I'll be suprised if anyone can figure this one out or even understand a word of what I've just said, but I hate to be beaten by something so ridiculous and as trivial as this. I'm sure I COULD learn to live with it but where's the FUN in that??? :grinner:

:smash: :smash: :smash: :smash:

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#2 cryptodan


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Posted 26 November 2011 - 11:01 PM

I would try this: temp File Cleaner this should remove any files that you are having issues with.

#3 a_cup


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Posted 27 November 2011 - 12:35 AM

Hi Kev1983UK,

i386 is a copy of windows installation files..Comes in mighty handy if you don't have the installation disk..


#4 hamluis



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Posted 27 November 2011 - 09:19 AM

Windows won't allow you to delete system files that are in the proper place. The Recycler folder is a system folder. Ditto for System Volume Information (relates to System Restore).

To empty the contents of the Recycle Bin (or System Restore)...simply turn it off. Go to direct delete mode. The Recycler/System Volume Information folders will still appear on each partition...but there won't be anything in them. If you want to then reinstate the Recycle Bin or SR on each partition, you can do so.

I do direct deletes and the Recycler folder appears on each partition I have created...but there are no contents in any of them.

Recycle Bin folders which are creeated...are not the same as the Recycler folders. I have no trouble deleting these, as they are temporary in nature.


#5 Kev1983UK

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 06:39 PM

Thx for the replies, every little helps, I'll give that Temp File Cleaner a try, I also realise now that the files i386 do relate to a copy of windows installation files, but I have no idea how they got on my external HD since I never asked it to put them there, although I'm guessing it is system restore related so I might have to try disabling that before trying to delete the files again :)

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