How can I delete corrupt files?

  Gaz W 00:13 11 Sep 2004


I've posted this in the SP2 forum without any reply, so here it is coming from a slightly different angle...

I inserted the SP2 Setup disc and it started unpacking files to my extended partition (drive D:). Suddenly a yellow warning triangle in the system tray appeared going on about corrupt files. The setup stopped, and to cut a long story short, I now have 45MB of corrupt, unreadable files on my hard disk. I can't get them to go away - deleting doesn't work. Chkdsk now appears every bootup and says "An unspecified error occurred" and every time I run chkdsk manually I get the same error.

Hitting Shift + Delete in Explorer brings up an error: "Cannot delete file: Cannot read from the source file or disk".

Is there any way I can remove these files? Why did it happen in the first place - is there something wrong with my hard drive or (hopefully) the SP2 CD?

  Dan the Confused 00:59 11 Sep 2004

Delete Doctor? click here

  Taran 01:04 11 Sep 2004

Click Start, click Run and type cmd then click on Enter, or launch a command prompt window from your Programs/Accessories folder.

Now right click on an empty part of your taskbar then left click on Task Manager. Highlight EXPLORER.EXE then click on End Process. Windows Explorer will vanish from site.

Now in the Command Prompt windows, type this:

Press your enter key. This changes directory to the root of C:

Use the cd command to change directory to whichever folder you want to play with, then use the del command to delete it or its contents.

Corrupted files that are accessed by Windows Explorer may often not be deleted, so doing the process using DOS commands in a command prompt window without Explorer interfering with things is the only sure fire way I know of to sort it out.

  Gaz W 01:04 11 Sep 2004

Thanks for your reply...

...unfortunately it didn't work. I've still to try "Delete on system restart" but I can't say I'm confident.

It also only appears to delete files - I have an entire folder containing files and subfolders, all of which are corrupt! I can browse through them, but that's all I can do.

Oddly I can rename the files/folders, but not delete them, so I've just renamed the long folder created by the Win XP SP2 disc to something shorter.

  Taran 01:05 11 Sep 2004

I should really have added that once you delete the file(s) and/or folder(s) you can use Task Manager to open up Explorer again using the File, New Task drop down.


  Gaz W 01:06 11 Sep 2004

Hi Taran,

Only got your reply as I was typing the above - will give it a try now...

  Gaz W 01:07 11 Sep 2004

Yeah thanks - doesn't matter as I was aware of that anyway :)

  Gaz W 01:15 11 Sep 2004

...that didn't work either. I just got the same errors I did when trying it in the command prompt when Explorer was open. "The file is corrupt or unreadable" - am I looking at a format or is there a better way around this?

I have emailed Microsoft but am not expecting a reply any time soon and will probably be sent elsewhere within Microsoft to deal with my question.

  Gaz W 01:21 11 Sep 2004

It looks like it might have deleted something though - it depends if it was there to start with...

I've tried renaming the files within the folders, and I can't do that. I can only rename the folders. I can't delete the folders or the files in them. I think I can't delete the folders because the files are in them, and that the folders themselves are OK.

Chkdsk is having nothing to do with the files - won't sort it out!

  Gaz W 01:25 11 Sep 2004

Would the Recovery Console be any use here?

  Taran 01:27 11 Sep 2004

I've never encountered a file that I couldn't delete from a command prompt without Windows Explorer running.

You may have some luck slaving the hard drive to another machine and deleting it that way. A friend in the U.S. did that a while ago on a stubborn file but she slaved the Windows drive into a Linux box.

Have you verified the SP2 disk contents ?

Finally, if the drive is FAT you could try a Windows 98 startup floppy or if it is NTFS you could get something along the lines of NTFSDOS and access the drive from true DOS. You should certainly be able to delete it then.

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