Deleting folder problems

Posted on 2004-08-15
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
here is an interesting problem which I never had before (I just reinstalled windows on a new hard drive) If I go to any folder and delete the contents of it then go up one level and click on the now empty folder and try to delete it I can't. The system tell me that it cannot delete the file as it is in use by another program or person. close any programs that might be using the file and try again. First I have no other programs and I just rebooted the system. Secondly I have not reformatted my drive to any other type other than NTFS which allowed me to delete folders before. Now here is the interesting part. If I just go to a folder I can delete it (and it's contents) and it gets done. Only if I click into the folder once to view the files then click back up one level. This is quite frustrating as I never had this problem before. The only differance is that I am running windows on a 200MB hard drive instead of the 120MB drive. Any suggestions?
Question by:PawloA
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LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 11805028
Is the file in use? If either the OS or another program is using the file you cannot
delete it You can with ZAP Included with the Microsoft SMS 2.0 Resource Guide and the
Microsoft BackOffice Resource Kit 4.5. or you can download it here
WARNING make sure you know what your deleting first!
LVL 65

Expert Comment

ID: 11805033
Hello PawloA =)

Just run a Chkdsk on ur system either from command prompt, or o it from my computer>right click ur hard drive>properties>tools>check now
then Defrag ur hard drive !!!!

Also try emptying ur recycle bin,,, and does this problem happens in safemode also ??
LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 11805034
Use this on the file/folder in question

Try using "KillBox" on the file
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Gary Dewrell
ID: 11805036
Hi PawloA,
Here is a microsoft article that takes you step by step how to trouble shoot his issue.;en-us;320081

God Bless

Expert Comment

ID: 11806927
Do you login as Administrator or a login that have administrator permission? Regular user is not permitted to delete some system files and folder, and it shows the same error message as the one you have stated.
If you are login as a regular user, try deleting the folder while login as administrator.

Expert Comment

ID: 11809337
Just one thing I've noticed with XP; if you open a folder in Explorer and then try deleting a short time afterwards you'll get denied.  It seems, even though you've closed the Explorer window or surfed away from the folder Explorer still leaves it open internally.  I assume this is to allow faster access to the folder if you go back to it but it's a dang nuisance.  Try closing all explorer windows  (make sure only one copy of Explorer is running in task manager; if there's two you've missed a window) and then deleting the file.  You shouldn't have any problem.

Author Comment

ID: 11817164
Hmm I wonder could it be due to the hard disk being indexed already for faster access? The only thing I did was boot the system, go into the folder and look what was there only. Deleted what was there then backed up one level and attempted to delete the now empty folder. That is when the problem of not allowing me to delete happens.
LVL 65

Expert Comment

ID: 11819126
PawloA.... same problem happens in safemode or not ??
if it doesn't happen there then it will be considered that u are having a background running application in Normal Mode, which is causing this problem :-?

Accepted Solution

Phill_upson earned 500 total points
ID: 11827000
I get this on my XP boxes from time to time.  Go to a command prompt (start - run - cmd.exe) and browse to the folder, e.g.

cd\ will get to the root of your hard disk.  cd foldername gets you inside folders.

Then try deleting from there:

del foldername

This method always works for me when explorer wont kill it off.  Alternatively, if you have any old windows versions anywhere try getting a copy of file manager off it.  The properties box in file manager will tell you what has an open session on a file or folder.

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