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How can I delete a corrupt or unreadable Favorites folder in Windows XP on NTFS partition.

Windows XP Professional SP2. Intenet Explorer 7. The Favorites Folder has become corrupt and is unreadable is the error message I get when I try to open the Favorites folder.

40 gB hard drive formatted NTFS

I would like to delete it, since it triggers chkdsk to run on bootup. If I let chkdsk run, it stalls at 12% and I have to cold reboot.

If I choose not to run chkdsk, Windows loads and runs ok

But I have to watch the boot up so that I can click NOT to run chkdsk. ???

I used the move command from the command window and moved the old Favorites folder to C:\

I created a new Favorites folder where it was before and Internet Explorer will take new favorites and retain them.

I would like to know how to delete the folder.

I have tried from the command line:
deltree is not recognized
rd /s favorites - says the folder is not empty and does not remove it
Tried closing the explorer.exe process as I tried rd from command window- did not work
Seems pretty crazy that Windows has no command to delete a corrupt folder.

Can I identify the hard drive segment or sector or whatever unit the folder resides in and use something to mark that sector as bad so the OS will not even try to read it.

Defrag wont run because it checks the disk first and says run chkdsk.

Could something be wrong with chkdsk??

This should not be this difficult?? One folder to delete.

Thanks for any help
1 Solution

It sounds very much like your hard drive is giving up.

You could try give the drive a full low-level format with the Maxtor tool here: http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?locale=en-US&name=SeaTools&vgnextoid=720bd20cacdec010VgnVCM100000dd04090aRCRD

No guarantees that it'll help, but it might sort it out.

I would try to identify other solutions before doing a re-format.

Have you tried cleaning out all of your 'temp' and 'cookie' files?

There are several posts around here about repairing IE7.

You might also want to download CCleaner (www.ccleaner.com) to do a thorough clean up of all your junk files.

I have also used the 'Issues' function in CCleaner on a lot of XP boxes and it has worked wonders for clearing up strange error messages.

johnaaronwilsonjrAuthor Commented:
I ran Steve Gibson' s Spinrite over night and it found no errors on the drive. Level 4.

So it seems that the hard drive is OK, it must just be the format of the files/folder that is beyond chkdsk's ability to read or delete without reading.

A directory listing shows Favorites as a directory. I can not open the directory, I was able to use the move command, though it probably stlll resides in its original location and just the pointer to it was change in the File Allocation Table or whatever way NTFS keeps up with where the file/folder resides.

So, I think the drive is still OK.

I have not checked for spyware. But I don't really suspect that.

Thanks for the idea.
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My first thoughts would be a failing hard drive or a virus.  I assume you are booting to the command line.

Have you tried
cd C:\documents and settings\"your profile name"\
del favorites\*.*
for your rd command as detailed here, http://www.pcreview.co.uk/forums/thread-301849.php

"b.. Cannot delete directory with hidden or system files
You cannot delete a directory that contains files, including hidden or
system files. If you attempt to do so, the following message appears:

The directory not empty

Use the dir command to list hidden and system files, and the attrib
command to remove hidden and system attributes from files. "

Or attrib -s -h /s /d  C:\documents and settings\your profile name\Favorites\*.*  should do the job .

Boris PetrovicConsultantCommented:
First, from the command line, take position one level above that folder.
Next, execute 'dir /x', and it will display 8.3 name of the folder (In case the long name is corrupt or unreadable).
Finally, execute 'rd /s /q name_of_the_folder' using 8.3 name displayed in last step.
I used this frequently to remove some corrupted data from the drive, but...
...if you can't execute chkdsk succesfully (during the boot, so I guess there is no spyware started yet), than there got to be something wrong with the hard drive and I reccomend that you replace it before you loose more important data.
You can do it with fresh install and then copy all of your data to new disk, or you can perform partition to partition copy (with Symantec Ghost or some other software).
Here's a thought.  Download a copy of a linux live cd - knoppix for example.  Then double click on your hard drive, go to the folder in question and delete it there.  Then restart.  If it works, great.  If not, let us know.
You can try to boot with your Xp cdrom, choose repair option on the first screen.

 then go to C:\documents and settings\your profile name\Favorites\

with the Del command the job can be done.
Everyone should have a copy of Knoppix!
Some feedback as to how things are going would be great.

johnaaronwilsonjrAuthor Commented:
I still have not been able to delete the "corrupt or unreadable" Favorites folder.

I have installed a new hard drive and copied the old drive to the new one.

The new drive boots without trying to run chkdsk so I guess the copy process did NOT copy the "Corrupt or unreadable" Favorites. The new drive was missing a few settings: email passwords, roboform registrations, etc. But is running OK.

I am still miffed at not being able to delete a file or folder that is corrupt in some way.

The old drive is unchanged and I have a Knoppix Live cd which is supposed to have read/write NTFS support. When I get it I will try to delete the Corrupt Favorites folder using it. I will let you know if it works.

Thanks to all,

Forced accept.

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