How can I delete corrupted NTFS files Chkdsk doesn't fix

By Willie11 ·
I have several files that show up but cannot be deleted, moved, renamed, etc. They are not in use (just documents, pictures, etc.) The file system is NTFS no security or access permission problems. Running chkdsk with /f does not fix the problem or find and report any errors.

In researching this I found that the cause is most likely a corrupted Master File Table. The only suggestion I have found is backup the volume excluding the problem files from the backup. Reformat the drive and restore it from the backup.

Here's the article at Microsoft.


Does anyone have a simpler solution?

How about a way to scan the entire drive and identify all the files like this so I only have to do the backup/restore thing once?

The machine is running Windows XP Professional Version 2002 Service Pack 3

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All Answers

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I'd try Unlocker.

by Ron K. In reply to How can I delete corrupte ...

http://download.cnet.com/Unlocker/3000-2248_4-10493998.html <br>
Once installed it's in Windows Explorer's right-click drop down menu. Click on the file to highlight it, right-click, choose Unlocker and unlock all handles, delete.

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Didn't work

by Willie11 In reply to I'd try Unlocker.

I downloaded it and tried it with one of the files. It said it found no locking handle and asked me what action I wanted to take. I selected "delete" from the drop-down and got the following message:

Unlocker.exe - Corrupt File
The file or directory \Documents and Settings\Willie\My Documents\Garmin\Downloaded Poi\Abandoned PA Turnpike Tunnels.gpx is corrupt and unreadable. Please run the Chkdsk utility.

Ran the Chkdsk (on reboot) and it found no errors. Tried Unlocker again with the same results.

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Tried booting to a command prompt?

by CharlieSpencer In reply to How can I delete corrupte ...

And then attempting to delete the files from the C> prompt?

Tried booting from a Linux LiveCD and deleting them?

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No I haven't

by Willie11 In reply to Tried booting to a comman ...

I haven't tried either of these. I have to make the CD first but I'll try them both and let you know what happens.

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You don't need a CD for the command prompt

by CharlieSpencer In reply to No I haven't

Press F8 after the BIOS boot but before Windows starts, then select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt' from the menu.

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Just Tried It

by Willie11 In reply to You don't need a CD for t ...

I booted into safe mode with command prompt as you instructed. I navigated to the file I used in the unlocker test above and tried to delete it. I got the "The file or directory is corrupt and unreadable. Please run the chkdsk utility" message.

I ran chkdsk c: /f

This returned "cannot lock drive"

I ran it again as chkdsk c: /v to at least display any errors.

under the index verification step (stage 2 of 3) it said, "Detected minor inconsistencies on the drive. This is not a corruption."

Under the Security Descriptor Verification (stage 3 of 3) it said:

"Cleaning up 3 unused index entries from index $SII of file 9"
"Cleaning up 3 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 9"
"Cleaning up 3 unused security descriptors"

That's all the messages I got.

Now I'm going to work on your Linux suggestion. I've got to teach myself a little bit about it first because I've never used it before. I'll let you know what happens.

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And you can use a Flash drive rather than a CD

by seanferd In reply to No I haven't

if that is any easier, should you choose to try a live Linux distro.


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A file shredder may help

by Slayer_ In reply to How can I delete corrupte ...

Spy Bot S&amp has one included, and I am sure you can find others.

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Just something else you could try out...

by Peconet Tietokoneet In reply to How can I delete corrupte ...

Delete A File That Is Seemingly "Undeletable".


Hoping this will do the trick for you.

Or you could try "Spotmau":

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