INNUMERABLE copies of a folder

My father runs Win 98 - he has many,
many............many copies of the
same folder in C:\WINDOW

The folder is called Applog: obviously
something to do with Applications log:

but there are AT LEAST 50 of them !!!

I can't delete them (dialog box says something - I know I'll need to pass on this information, which I will post to this page ASAP.....):
thought about using DOS - haven't tried that yet - and tried Norton Uninstall,
which says "path too long"

Any ideas folks??



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prob. the message is "write-protected or access denied". Right?? you could have some really badly cross-linked FAT....which would make the same folder appear more than once in the directory structure....since you have Norton Uninstall, I'm assuming you also have norton utilities?? maybe you can do a "NDD" on the hard disk..and see if it's free or any errors.

Or it this doesn't work...restart the computer in MS-DOS mode, and try a "deltree" on the directory name.

If it says "path too long", then go in a few directory levels and try another "deltree" again..

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If possible I would check for somekind of virus, as I have seen these symptoms happen before. Also has the install been from an upgrade ?
borbAuthor Commented:
Dear St Steve,

EXCELLENT reply......!

I'm no DOS wiz, but knew there was a
command to remove many directories in one hit.............. deltree...!

Absolutely spot-on with:

"prob. the message is "write-protected or access denied". Right??"

That's the dialog box - that's the culprit revealed.

I did install Norton Utilities 3 on my father's computer, and told him to run NDD (Norton Disk Doctor??!) - came up with NO problems........

Can you explain "some really badly cross-linked FAT": what is it/how does it happen (I know it's File Allocation Table) - sounds like you know what the problem MAY be, and when any problem occurs, I always like to understand it, rather than just "follow the leader", so to speak (sorry - couldn't think of a better analogy). It's the best way to learn.

I'll try the deltree command: when I was
working on the problem, I didn't have my DOS book on me: I was brought up in the horrible Windows era: Windows teaches you nothing.

Enjoyed your comment immensely, and the fact that you knew the dialog box!Thankyou for your valuable assistance;

If deltree works, points are yours:
If NDD works: same
Can you clarify "NDD" for me,



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borbAuthor Commented:
Dear People,

One thing I did do, and forgot to mention, was to go to the first copy of this folder, and deleted the files:
a folder was obviously left behind!
The rest of the copies!

What happened was that all the files were deleted in all the copies of this folder, so I was left with a massive amount of folders going on for "who knows" how long - and was worried that perhaps this folder is not a folder to be "recklessly" deleted: ie, don't know what the folder's importance is; so I went to the Recycle Bin, and restored
all the files - interesting, or a point to note, that when I deleted one set of the copy, they were ALL deleted.

I think the "badly cross-linked FAT" then has extreme merit - must be something in this area...

What do you think, St Steve, and Ben,


st_steveCommented:'s good that you want to know...but before you do anything....don't do a "deltree" before all the "possible" cross-links are fixed! otherwise you'll be deleting another directory structure when you think you're deleting a different directory. Eg. you'll be going "deltree applog" but if it's badly cross-linked, you might be "deltree"ing your important data directory! (believe happenned to me before...and my father wasn't pleased with it that time!)

Ok....cross-linked files are such that their FAT entries are pointing to one another ie: crossed. Usually, they end up sharing the same FAT entry; there will be two FAT entries (one for each file) that point to the same physical location on the HDD. got it?? that's why I asked you to fix the problem before the deltree.

So...again..whatever you do...make sure you know what you're "deltree"ing!
try to install the latest version of Norton utilities (4.5, but 4.0 will do). as always, there are a lot of bug fixes between versions and NU 3 is kind of out of date already

NDD = Norton Disk Doctor

it'll fix most common Windows (and HDD) problems
if you're not going to accept the proposd answer by Ben, pls reject it so that other experts may propose another possible solution
Excellent advice Steve, sorry about the proposed answer, it was actually ment as a comment!
glad we agree on it Ben :) (proposed answer) could be a possible could be a never know...
just read my comment about the cross-linked files....correction to be made...

cross-linked files don't share the same FAT entries....their FAT entries point to the same physical location...hope I didn't confuse anyone else....except myself LOL :)
borbAuthor Commented:
I'll install Norton Utilities 2000
(V4.5) and run Disk Doctor, and other
tests. I'll leave the question unanswered until I do that. How else can I fix the problem if none of the Norton Utilities programs fix it.

If no problems are found using NDD, is
deltree ok to do?
yep....if NDD found no problem, it's about 99.99% safe to do a deltree..of course the other 0.001% would be the element of uncertainty....which no one of us control :)

If NDD does find will fix it......but if it doesn't, you'll have to be a compute wizard to fix the problem manually....coz it goes to the FAT level and you have to get some disk editing programs (like Norton Disk Editor - for DOS by the way - Windows won't let you run Disk Editor while itself is still running) you have to restart in DOS mode...but I woulnd't recommend it...unless you're absolutely sure that you have cross-linked files AND you want to have a few sleepless nights digging into your FAT sector in HEX editing mode!

if NDD didn't report anything, trust the program...there probably isn't anything crossed! and IF you can clean up the cascading directory structure, check your system config to see what programs are running; for possible culprit that has been creating annoying structures! you can search the running programs using "MSCONFIG" for starters.

Another corretion to be made..this one not so important....but I don't want people to think I'm mathematically challenged! :) it's "the other 0.01%" not 0.001% LOL
Yep, second comment DELTREE, will remove these folders.... do this

Restart Your Pc, Before windows starts, hit F8 / Pick Command Prompt Only

If the windows folder is this example (over 8 chars)

c:\program files\online Services\Msn50\Ocx\
           that translates into (dos)

so to kill it

deltree C:\>C:\PROGRA~1\ONLINE~1\MSN50\OCX

In order to get the info (an easy way) launch a dos shell as a window, then launch Windows Explorer drag the file into the dos window, and write the info down ready for when you kill it in dos... with deltree
borbAuthor Commented:
Excellent reply: I'm going over to my father's place tomorrow, and will do it
then post a message.

His computer has been crashing a lot - would this have anything to do with it. This long list of folder copies was created around April 99' - and the crashing has been going for about a month. Different programs crash frequently.
borbAuthor Commented:
The answer from St Steve worked:
I removed Norton Utilities v3 and
installed Norton 2000 (v4.5).

One of the commenets it said was:
"File Allocation Tables are mismatched on drive d: Run NDD32 to correct.

After running Norton Disk Doctor, the
copies of the folder "Applog" were
gone, and no other problems were reported.

How do I give the points to St. Steve?

Thanks everybody for your help,


borbAuthor Commented:
As previouslt stated, NDD fixed the

His computer has been crashing a lot,
so hopefully this will also fix that
as well.

Thanks again for all help,


Re - the virus comment from Ben Conde -
he has Norton Anti-Virus always running
in the background, so I didn't think
that a virus was the problem. The many
copies of the applog folder always seemed to be the problem - I suppose a virus could have created them....but I had a feeling that it wasn't a virus.

thanks borb...glad I could help....just a word about NAV running in the background...make sure you have the latest definitions and once in a while, do a scan from your rescue disks...coz sometimes virii can trap the antivirus itself..and make it report that there was no virus, when actually, there are a lot of copies of CIH running on the machine! I had this problem since DOS (MonkeyB was the one I had!) and I've seen it happen to a lot of other people...take my advice! :) thanks again for the points...
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