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Locked Files in a profile (Win2K Pro)

By pcmaster ·
I have an old profile that I can't delete. The path is 'c:\Documents and Settings\Saraw\Local Settings\Temp\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\
Within this folder there are 3 folders named meaningless names. (ie. A336S9SEA) and in side is the offending file(s) that is causing the deletion problem. The file names vary, but typically start with 'ix=dvd&rank=%2Brelevancerank&fqp=format%01dvd%.....' and it seems to go on forever. All of the folders contain similar files to this and cannot be deleted. Clicking on the file to delete results in nothing happening. Clicking on the folder it resides in gives an error of 'Cannot delete {filename~1}: Cannot find the specified file. Make sure you specify the correct path and filename.'

I've uninstalled the DVD and CD software and still can't delete them. Searched the registry for the folders or portions of the file and it comes up empty.

I'd sure appreciate some hints on getting rid of these things. I can't even change security settings on them to make it easier to delete. Anyone experience this before? How do I get rid of this profile.

This is a Windows 2000 Pro machine and I am in Administrator mode as well.


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by curlergirl In reply to Locked Files in a profile ...

Try running scandisk on the machine - have it scheduled to run at the next reboot, so that it runs outside of the OS. It sounds like these files are corrupted in some way - either the file itself is corrupted or it is just a file fragment, or the file system table entries for that file are corrupted. At any rate, running scandisk will probably either delete the MFT entries completely or repair them enough so that you can then delete the files.

Hope this helps!

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by pcmaster In reply to

Didn't touch it.

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by kanenas_0 In reply to Locked Files in a profile ...

Long post in two parts.

I'm afraid you'll have a very hard time deleting these entries. It can be done but it could take a long time depending on how many of those you have.

I've come across this before and tried all kinds of ways and automated tools and it was all for nothing.

Your problem is corrupted directory entries that cannot be directly deleted by any program I know of.
Something (a program or corrupted disk cache) threw some file on top of the directory cluster.
The entries you see, not only have strange names, but also creation/modify/last access dates, file types and sizes.

Keep in mind that these are "ghost" files and even if they stay there, don't take up any real disk space. It's just a cosmetic problem.

They could be a big problem if they happened in the same place but within an active profile. Internet Explorer would behave very strangely (assuming the system even managed to boot).

As a side case, if that ever happened, you would just boot in DOS mode with any diskette, rename the "Temporary Internet Files" to something else and reboot into Windows. The directory will be recreated again so you just have to delete the renamed one.

Back to the issue.
How to fix?

1) If you have too many of these entries, the fastest way would be to back up the partition, minus this directory branch, format it and put back the data. Many tools can do that so I won't get into it.

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by kanenas_0 In reply to

2) For a manual fix, you'll need some tool that can access the raw directory sectors. You better be comfortable working at this level since you can easily corrupt your disk.
Years back, the old Norton Disk Doctor used to do a great job with FAT disks. Now, with FAT32 and NTFS around, this tool is obsolete and there are no replacements.
The best solution I found was to use X-Ways WinHex.

a) With this tool, you Tools->Open Disk and the program scans the disk's sectors and presents you with a 2-panel window. The directory entries on top and hex representation on the bottom.
The top panel even shows the deleted entries (a "?" as the first character of the name) but you should ignore these.

b) Use the top to navigate to the directory with the strange entries and double-click one of them.
The cursor on the hex screen should jump to the first byte of the directory entry. Leave it there.

c) Select View->Template Manager and choose and apply the FAT Directory Entry" option.

d) On the new popup, you'll get the entry's directory fields. Change as you like.
You can rename the file, change dates, etc. Compare with a valid entry to see how they look like.
Set the file size to zero and make sure that all three dates are correct (I make them the same).
Winhex is buggy on this and the dates keep on flipping around sometimes so you might have to repeat this.

Closing the popup or going to the next entry (the "<"" and ">" buttons in the popup) applies the changes.
The behaviour at this point depends on Options->Edit Mode.

e) Save the changes, open Windows Explorer and try to delete the file you changed. If you cannot, check the entry with WinHex again. Probably a date was flipped to something out of range so fix it again.

That's it. Double-click another entry and repeat the process until done.

f) Do a complete scandisk when finished.

Sorry for the long-winded explanation but if anybody knows of a faster way, I'd be glad to know.

Good luck.

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by pcmaster In reply to

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by keith In reply to Locked Files in a profile ...

Try this little program , I use it for the same thing

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by pcmaster In reply to Locked Files in a profile ...

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