General discussion


Windows XP illegal filename

By wayne ·
For the past 18 months or so our Server has had an inability to process a file created by an "Ex" employee.

Our tape backup software was halting every night and every subsequent utility I have tried can not remove this file.

Each attempt to delete or rename it has failed with a "file not found" error.

As far as I can see it has been named oddly but having tried creating similar filenames they never behave like this one.

I guess filtering it out may help but it would be nicer to find the CAUSE and solution.

Our company only runs a simple network, and backup is from two 40 gigabyte petitions to two 40 gigabyte USB Iomega HD backup drives.

It is a mirrored array so there is a complete copy on the server but we prefer to keep a locked copy out of general user reach on the Iomegas.

The filename we have an issue with is as follows,

con. bearings.doc

The only unusal aspect I first noticed was the space between the first period and the word bearings. There are no trailing or preceding spaces elswhere.

Any and all information will be greatly appreciated.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

by mrafrohead In reply to Windows XP illegal filena ...

Have you tried deleting this file in DOS or in SafeMode?

Are you sure there aren't any other characters in the file other than this name:


Are you absolutely certain that there isn't more to the name?

Collapse -

by mrafrohead In reply to Windows XP illegal filena ...

actually try this instead... you can be my guinea pig... ;p

a bud of mine, ironically, sent this to me today.

I would test it out myself, but I've got nothing to test it on at this time.

Should work and do the job and it's freeware.

Enjoy! - and please post your results.

Collapse -

Thanks! Will let you know how I go

by wayne In reply to

Never thought of trying safemode. Bit of a long path to type in but I should get to it by xmas ;-)

I will give this util a burl first tho.

Collapse -

Try the security settings

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Windows XP illegal filena ...

I had a few problems with files created by a virus ona friend's machine. It ran when started and was listed as a hidden archive file executable by everyone. In the end I changed it from a hidden archive file and set security such that no one could run it; rebooted the system; got an 'unable run file' message; and was able to delete it. Then I went about cleaning up the registry. If the other options fail try that.

Collapse -

try this

by marcel In reply to Windows XP illegal filena ...

first use dir /x to get normalized directory name then
del "that name"
for a directory
rd "that name" /s

Collapse -

The real answer

by fred.flintstone In reply to Windows XP illegal filena ...

The reason the filename is illegal is because it starts with a reserved device name; con (i.e. the console). Other illegal names are aux, nul and a few others. You cannot delete these devices and that is why you cannot delete the file normally. Use this at the command prompt...

"del \\?\C:\WhateverTheFullPathIs\con.bearings.doc"

Include all the backslashes and question mark.

Related Discussions

Related Forums