Cannot empty recycle bin after deleting a file with an invalid name

Jsmply used Ask the Experts™
Hi All,

We had a few files/folders hanging around on our server that we could not remove as they were created with an invalid name.  This came from a Mac that was connected to our Windows share.  The directions on this site worked perfectly to remove it (, however, we now can't empty the recycle bin and get the same error message.  Anyone have any tips?  

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Could you try the following :

Go to Start/Run and type in CMD:

Type CD \RECYCLED, and then press ENTER.
Type ATTRIB -r -s -h info2, and then press ENTER.
Type DEL INFO2, and then press ENTER.

NOTE: This deletes the damaged INFO2 file. Windows will recreate this file as needed,


try disabling recycle Bin completely then re enable it
Enable/Disable Recycle Bin

[Start] [Run] [Regedit]
Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\BitBucket
Modify/Create the Value Data Type(s) and Value Name(s) as detailed below.
Data Type: DWORD // Value Name: NukeOnDelete
Setting for Value Data: [0 = Use Recycle Bin / 1 = Permanently Delete]
Exit Registry and Reboot

If none of that works, try letting Windows fix itself:
Double Click My Computer
Right click on Drive C:
Select Properties
Select Tools
Under Error Checking Select Check Now
Check Automatically Fix File System Errors
Reboot when prompted.

This can fix a lot of misnamed/zero byte files because Windows takes a look at it and decides "I can't work with that!" and changes the file accordingly.

If that doesn't work, or Windows burps on the filechecking you can try this:

Download Total Commander (free) from
Restart the computer
Hold F8 during restart until start menu appears
Choose Safe Mode
Enter the Admin's Account (not always necessary)
Explore the Recycle Bin with Total Commander, usually C:\Recycler
Mark the file with Right Click
Press F8
Confirm deletion

Let us know how it goes!

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Thanks everyone.  Will disabling the recycle bin clear it's contents?  The problem with all these possibilities is they all require restarting the server and this machine is in use almost all day.  
Disabling the recycle bin won't necessarily clear it's contents, particularly if Windows is having problems reading or "claiming" the file.
You can try it though. It won't hurt anything, but it might ask you to restart anyway :)
If it were me I'd just wait until after hours and reboot. The file is harmless so there's really no rush I'd assume.


I agree with DangIt... to be honest, I assume that disabling recycle Bin will remove it, but I am not sure because I never tried it! and leaving this file in your recycle bin won't harm your system. so leave it until you restart your server for any reason, then you may try solving it!

Have you tried restoring the file, and then deleting it by holding down the shift key to by pass the recycle bin.

also if you go to C Drive properties and delete files, it should also go through the process to delete what is in the bin that way.

@ancients - The C Drive Properties>Disk Cleanup is what I think you're referring to, but that uses the same commands as the empty recycle bin uses so it would choke as well.


Yep, definitely chokes up.  Restoring the file doesn't work, gives the same message as trying to empty or standard delete.  Only way to delete was via the cmd prompt and the \\?\filepathandname method described in the link above.  But, that doesn't work for the recycle bin.

Try using the 8.3 f (filen~1.) file name from the command prompt to delete the file.  


Deleting the file is not the problem, can do that using the method used in the above link.  It's clearing the recycle bin.  Will try these methods at the next restart, if nothign else chkdsk should take care of it.  Thanks all!


The top two posts didn't work, but they would in some situations.  Presumably this method will work, will try next restart of the server.  Thanks!

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