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Delete File After Reboot Using VB .Net

Posted on 2006-10-24
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Last Modified: 2011-08-18
How do you set a file to delete after reboot in VB .Net?  I tried using MoveFileEx but couldn't get it to work.
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Question by:marbro
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:ostdp
ID: 17800552
You can set up an entry in the registry under

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

which points to a program that will delete the file in question.

On the next reboot the program will get executed and the file deleted.

Example:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce]
"DeleteFile"="c:\\DeleteThisFile.Exe"
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:ostdp
ID: 17800568
The easiest way would be by using the commandline interpreter like so:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce]
"DeleteFile"="cmd.exe /C \"del c:\\yourfile.exe\""
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Expert Comment

by:DoctorMahdi
ID: 17800652
Or without registry:

use the usual normal file deletion and put the code under form load event then write the program in excutable form and insert it in the startup list


Here is the code:
-----------------------------------------------------
Dim FileToDelete As String
FileToDelete = "C:\test.txt"
If System.IO.File.Exists(FileToDelete) = True Then
System.IO.File.Delete(FileToDelete)
MsgBox("File Deleted")
End If
-------------------------------------------------------

when the windows restarts, your program run & the file will be deleted automatically

I agree with you it's not good way! but just a trick for those who don't like registry editing and it's hazards

Regards
DoctorMahdi
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Accepted Solution

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cookre earned 500 total points
ID: 17800702
If the target file gets used before RunOnce or Startup get called (for example, in a service) place an entry in

HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\PendingFileRenameOperations

Otherwise, the file will be in use before the simple deletes are executed, and they will fail.
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Author Comment

by:marbro
ID: 17804760
I need to delete the file before the system completely starts since the system locks it.  I think using the HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\PendingFileRenameOperations would be best.   Can you give me the exact syntax/example in creating the proper PendingFileRenameOperations key to delete a file upon reboot?

thx,

Robert
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:ostdp
ID: 17805098
For HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\PendingFileRenameOperations the registry value consists of name/newname pairs of null-terminated strings, with a final extra null termination. Files to be deleted are indicated by a null newname.
The entry is of the REG_MULTI_SZ type and the oldname/newname pair as far as I know is delimited by "=".

try something like this:

"c:\yourfile.txt="
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Expert Comment

by:ostdp
ID: 17805107
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Author Comment

by:marbro
ID: 17805147
ostdp, that didn't work :(

I found that the data syntax for replacing a file is something like this:
\??\c:\test2.xml
\??\c:\test.xml

Can't figure out how to do the delete.  I tried leaving the second line blank but didn't work.
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:cookre
ID: 17808556
Sorry, In a rush I sometimes fail to add important info.

1) Create that value as multi-string

2) Enter line 1 as:
\??\c:\foo.bar or whatever

3) Enter line 2 as two nulls (the first is the end of that string and the second signifies the end of all entries
To do that, OK the first line, click on Modify Binary Data, then add four zeros (two nulls) at the end.

If you have multiple deletes, use just one null (00) on the intermediate even lines and two only at the end.

E.g.:

\??\c:\foo.bar
\0 (00 in the binary edit)
\??\c:\fiddle.stx
\0
\??\c:\program files\long name\with spaces\but\no\quote.s
\0\0
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