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Removal of Corrupt Documents

  johndrew 12:50 01 Jan 2012

I have two documents that were sent by e-mail and have a .docx suffix. I saved them to My Documents folder but have the original e-mails as well. Both claim they are opened using Word but when this is attempted they report they are corrupt and cannot be opened. They open correctly from the e-mail attachment location.

It is not possible to change the suffix to .doc, .txt, .old or any other suffix - again because they report as corrupt - and all attempts at deleting them using deletion tools (Unlocker, Glary Utilities, Spyware Terminator removal tool and similar) have failed. They cannot be moved to any other location either.

I tried booting fro the UBCD disk and deleting when not actually booted into Windows, but this also failed.

Does anyone know or can suggest a method to remove these documents from my PC?

With thanks in anticipation.

  Terry Brown 14:51 02 Jan 2012

The problem may be that these were writen in Office 2007 or Office 2010, there is a compability patch (see fruitbat), but I do not know if if applies to office 2002.

I believe the converted files (2007 to an earlier version) are locked, which is why you are having a problem deleting themand for the same reason they appear as corrupt.-Your office software is not able to read the format correctly.

On your office software, are the extentions 'hidden', if so you will need to show these extentions (look under folders in the top bar)and unhide them. you should then be able to delete or change them.

Your software is well out of date and I suggest you use a program like Openoffice (free) see link for info and downloads for your office software.

  johndrew 16:14 02 Jan 2012

Well I thought I could overwrite using ATI booted from CD as all other suggestions failed, but this also failed. I can use ATI to restore the documents to desktop (from a backup made on 29 Dec 2011) and they will open normally but even though they show a 'modified' date of today they are still 'corrupt' when an attempt is made to open them from the 'My Documents' folder.

I also have Open Office 3 which I use and this cannot open the documents either.

I have also found a PDF which reacts in an exactly similar manner. It can't be deleted, shows as corrupt and will not open with Adobe Reader or PDF Viewer.

This situation is really weird and now my firewall is starting to play up. I'm beginning to need a course in anti-frustration!!!

  Secret-Squirrel 17:36 02 Jan 2012

"I have done all the above without success"

Not quite - I'm still waiting for you to tell us your Windows version. I'm guessing it's XP but you need to confirm that and also post the entire error message in full that you're getting regarding corrupt files.

I'll probably get you to go into Event Viewer to troubleshoot your problem further.

  johndrew 20:14 02 Jan 2012

Sorry you are correct.

I am running XP Pro SP3.

The message reads,"Cannot delete 97th Letter: The File or directory is corrupt and unreadable". It is in a pop-up box with a white cross in a red coloured circle at the top left. The only other bit in the box is an "OK" button.

Other than the identity of the document ("97th Letter") the same message is received for the other documents I have found affected to date in two separate folders.

I have looked in the Event Viewer but can find nothing that looks to me as if it is connected; but I am far from expert in these matters.

  Secret-Squirrel 08:59 03 Jan 2012

"I am running XP Pro SP3"

Thanks for that - try this:

1) Try to delete one of those pesky files again to generate an error message. Hopefully that'll trigger an event to be logged in XP's Event Viewer.

2) Click Start then Run, type eventvwr.msc then click OK.

3) In the left hand pane of Event Viewer, click on System. In the main section look for any errors or warnings that precisely match the time you tried to delete that file. If you find anything, double-click on the entry and the details will open in a new window. There's a handy Copy button there (picture of two sheets of paper) so click it and paste the report here.

4) If you don't find anything in the System section, have a look in Application instead.

5) While you're there, I'd like to see the chkdsk report from yesterday. You'll find it in the Application section with a Source of Winlogon. Copy and paste that here too.

  johndrew 11:12 03 Jan 2012

Well that was interesting but not productive.

I have searched Event Viewer for the CHKDSK report as you described but there is no record with a Source title of Winlogon. I checked both Application and System for it back to the end of last year (30 Dec) to ensure it was not missed.

I attempted a further deletion of one document but nothing appear in the Event Viewer so I tracked back to my previous attempts and found the point where I had used Unlocker to delete the file; it came up as an 'Application Popup' in 'System' telling me the file is "corrupt and unreadable" and requesting CHKDSK be run.

To make certain I closed Event Viewer an re-opened it but the last entry in either page before the deletion attempt was at 10:01 and my action was at 10:25. The only entry after was 11:01 an error that DCOM could not be started.

Is there anything that would block messages to Event Viewer?

  Secret-Squirrel 15:47 03 Jan 2012

"I have searched Event Viewer for the CHKDSK report as you described but there is no record with a Source title of Winlogon."

There should be a chkdsk report there so that makes me suspect that it's never been run, or if it was, it was stopped before it could complete.

Have another go at it. Here are step-by-step instructions:

Open My Computer, locate the C: drive icon, right-click on it and choose "Properties". Click the "Tools" tab then click the "Check Now" button. Tick both boxes which'll give the volume a thorough checking. Finally, click the Start button and you should see a message asking if you want to schedule the check for the next time your start the PC. Answer yes then reboot and the disk check will start automatically.

NOTE: If the location of your My Documents folder isn't on your C: drive then check the relevant drive instead.

Depending on the size of the drive, the disk check could easily take a couple of hours so be patient.

After it's completed, see if you can now delete those files. Even if it's successful I'd like to see the chkdsk report as it'll help me determine the general health of your drive.

"I attempted a further deletion of one document but nothing appear in the Event Viewer so I tracked back to my previous attempts and found the point where I had used Unlocker to delete the file; it came up as an 'Application Popup' in 'System' telling me the file is "corrupt and unreadable" and requesting CHKDSK be run."

Not every event gets logged in Event Viewer so I'm not concerned by that. The event you did find obviously doesn't tell us anything new but it was worth checking all the same.

  john bunyan 16:45 03 Jan 2012

If you want to delete the files you could try - in safe mode - dragging and dropping into the recycle bin. Otherwise Secret- Squirrel's seems your best route.

  johndrew 19:56 03 Jan 2012

"There should be a chkdsk report there .."

I promise you it was run fully. I have had a drive (not the boot drive) suddenly become corrupt and unreadable which is why I haven't got back sooner, but I did eventually find the report; how I missed it I'm not sure. The report is below:

As an aside I 'Restored' My Documents folder, using ATI, to a separate drive. The documents found corrupt in C: can be opened and read with no problem from this copy. Those on C: are still corrupt and refuse to be deleted or overwritten. I have tried deleting, overwriting, dragging and dropping in the Recycle Bin in Safe Mode and when booted from a CD to no effect.

Event Type: Information Event Source: Winlogon Event Category: None Event ID: 1001 Date: 01/01/2012 Time: 20:45:53 User: N/A Computer: POWERTOWER64 Description: Checking file system on C: The type of the file system is NTFS. Volume label is Workbench.

One of your disks needs to be checked for consistency. You may cancel the disk check, but it is strongly recommended that you continue. Windows will now check the disk.
Cleaning up minor inconsistencies on the drive. Cleaning up 120 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9. Cleaning up 120 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9. Cleaning up 120 unused security descriptors. CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal... Usn Journal verification completed. CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)... File data verification completed. CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)... Free space verification is complete.

307202928 KB total disk space. 179969612 KB in 157898 files. 52384 KB in 12798 indexes. 0 KB in bad sectors. 360192 KB in use by the system. 65536 KB occupied by the log file. 126820740 KB available on disk.

  4096 bytes in each allocation unit.

76800732 total allocation units on disk. 31705185 allocation units available on disk.

Internal Info: d0 08 03 00 d3 9a 02 00 2c 00 03 00 00 00 00 00 ........,....... ee 4c 00 00 02 00 00 00 46 03 00 00 00 00 00 00 .L......F....... 94 bc 0a 04 00 00 00 00 50 57 f8 2d 00 00 00 00 ........PW.-.... fc 72 45 05 00 00 00 00 42 bb d3 d7 06 00 00 00 .rE.....B....... 5a 77 ad 05 03 00 00 00 3a 18 1b 1a 0a 00 00 00 Zw......:....... 99 9e 36 00 00 00 00 00 48 3d 07 00 ca 68 02 00 ..6.....H=...h.. 00 00 00 00 00 30 79 e8 2a 00 00 00 fe 31 00 00 .....0y.*....1..

Windows has finished checking your disk. Please wait while your computer restarts.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at

  Secret-Squirrel 18:23 04 Jan 2012

Thanks for the report. The good news is that with zero bad sectors, the drive is in good physical shape. The bad news is that it hasn't sorted out the problems with those pesky corrupt files. I'll get back to you when I can think of something else to try.

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