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Cannot delete file because "Cannot find the specified file"

Posted on 2004-03-26
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-12
I have a few files that, even though they are displayed in the Windows 2000 search window, and I put the cursor on the name and highlight it, I cannot delete the file because I get an error message saying "Cannot delete filename. Cannot find the specified file. Make sure you specify the correct path and file name."

This is different than the sharing violation question I see someone has asked, I believe.

Thank you.

Question by:MaryKim
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LVL 67

Expert Comment

ID: 10693064
Greetings again MaryKim...

What happens if you hit F5 to refresh the window?  Is it still there?
I'm wondering if it has just been recently deleted...
LVL 67

Expert Comment

ID: 10693071
This may also interest you:


LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 10693079
Hi MaryKim,

go to the path where the file is located and check if you can delete there ..
Also check these links

These are for xp mostly might work for u

HOW TO: Take Ownership of a File or Folder in Windows XP

HOW TO: Set, View, Change, or Remove File and Folder Permissions in Windows XP

You Cannot Delete a File or a Folder


Delete "Unremovable" File .

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LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 10694110

You have a lost cluster or two

Right click on the dirve letter, select tools and select check this drive for errors. Select fix errors and if it wants to reboot, let it.

When the check has completed, you should be able to delete those pesky files!


LVL 67

Expert Comment

ID: 10702825
Hi MarkKim - would you mind posting what it turned out to be?
Was it just that you needed to take ownership?

Author Comment

ID: 10719288
Dear sirbounty (and other helpers),

Actually, no solution that I have tried so far has worked for me. Here's status:

1) taking ownership instructions did not work for me because I got the message "the properties for this item are not available."
2) configuring folder permissions ran into the same dead end
3) going to the command prompt window, changing to the pertinent directory, and deleting the file with the 'del' command also did not work. I got the message "file not found" even though the 'dir' command lists it in the directory.
4) I have not yet tried to remove lost clusters because it seems I remember someone once telling me that is potentially risky. Do you think that's what I should try next, however?

I'll increase points and remain,
your damsel in directory distress

LVL 67

Accepted Solution

sirbounty earned 1000 total points
ID: 10719350
Yes, either JamesDS route above, or from a command line:

CHKDSK /F <enter>

I wouldn't call the procedure risky at all.  Just preferred not to power down while it's doing it's checking...(but that's common sense, eh?) :D
LVL 16

Assisted Solution

JamesDS earned 1000 total points
ID: 10721062

This is not risky because the data is already "lost" and the CHKDSK process will simply "organise it" so it can be removed.

I recently had the same problem on a drive array with over 200,000 directories and lost nothing after a CHKDSK.



Author Comment

ID: 10728578
Ok. I will try chkdsk and write back with results tomorrow. Thanks, both.

Expert Comment

ID: 20193808
I had the same problemand nothing shown was a quick or easy fix. I did some googling and I found the following.


The unlocker software took care of my folder I couldnot delete and I could have saved myself all those steps...lol


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