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Unable to delete files with improper characters in XP

Posted on 2011-02-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We've got a machine with a couple of files that have a dot in the name that are unable to be deleted.  We've tried all the variations of "\\?\" found in this article and its comments.  We also tried booting into UBCD and attempting a delete that way, and chkdsk also passed with no errors.  So far everything has failed.  

Any attempt to delete or rename the file is met with a "cannot read from the source file or disk" message.  This problem clearly stems from an improper file name but we can't figure out how to get rid of them.  Any help would be appreciated.  
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Question by:james_axton
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9 Comments
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:rabindrajha
ID: 34909774
use ubuntu live cd, boot the machine and delete....
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Richard2k4
ID: 34909939
have you tried deleting them from dos using their 8.3 filename equivalent?
0
 

Author Comment

by:james_axton
ID: 34909997
Richard2k4, yes.  We ran dir /x /a against it and tried del and del "\\?\" with that.  Neither worked.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Richard2k4
ID: 34910066
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/320081

Cause 5 or 6 I think is your issue.
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LVL 63

Accepted Solution

by:
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 500 total points
ID: 34910093
Safe mode with Unlocker
0
 

Author Comment

by:james_axton
ID: 34910159
MASQUERAID, the files are locked by anything.  Will that still get them out?
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 34910261
Do you mean "aren't"?
I've not had it fail on me yet.  If it doesn't do it directly it adds a right-click context menu which you can use which avoids explorer complaining about file naming errors.
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Author Comment

by:james_axton
ID: 34910411
Yes I left a word out, sorry.  We'll give Unlocker a try in an hour or so and I'll report back here.
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Author Comment

by:james_axton
ID: 34935160
Safe Mode and Unlocker did the trick where numerous variations of "\\?\" failed.  Thank you!
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