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Windows 2003 R2 Server NTFS duplicate folders

Posted on 2013-06-18
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Last Modified: 2013-06-24
My client has a Windows 2003 R2 server with a share.  They accessed the server with a Windows 7 Pro workstation and attempted to add files (during an install) to the share.  Afterwards they had the original share and a new folder with the added content only.  The new folder has the name of the original shared folder PLUS a space on the end.

Attempts to change the names of the original or the new folder, or copy the original or new folder contents result in bizarre changes, including the contents of the folders exchanging, errors claiming the disk cannot be accessed, etc.

Chkdsk does not appear to be able to see the problem, and returns no errors.
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Question by:VB6chuck
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10 Comments
 
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 39258337
Try safe mode
sounds as if windows explorer libraries has hooked into it.
Logged in as the default administrator so that you are outside the user accounts that own these
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 39258408
command prompt ren  / rename command is your friend

ren  abc? def  should fix it, just choose a unique replacement string then you can use explorer to copy over/back
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Expert Comment

by:rhinoceros
ID: 39258815
You mean copy one of shared folder (w/ same permission) and change to new folder name for sharing, rite?
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Author Comment

by:VB6chuck
ID: 39260761
1. Try doing what in safe mode?
2. I was able to rename with explorer, got FOLDER_ renamed to FOLDERx. But contents shifted back and forth as described, so just renameing it didn't fix the whole problem.
3. Not sure.  Goal is to have original share working and accessable from workstations, not to have workstations accessing the share creating new folders with similar names.
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 39260900
what do you mean contents shifted back and forth?

I'm curious as to what is actually going on and why myself, since thousands if not more servers don't have this problem.  I'd be really examining the computer that is causing the problem very closely.. I might go as far as doing a clean install and adding things until the problem re-occurs to find the offending piece of software.. The client has been recently scanned for malware using malware bytes and checked for any virii?
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 39261180
Lets go through what you wrote
They accessed the server with a Windows 7 Pro workstation and attempted to add files (during an install) to the share.  
Please explain what you meant by during an install?
Installing what?

Afterwards they had the original share and a new folder with the added content only.  
The new folder has the name of the original shared folder PLUS a space on the end.

If windows was installing all folders would be locked then any access has created a temp.
You might have to change the permissions / sharing on all folders to get rid of the new shared folder.

My suggestion of safemode was to use it since safemode is a diagnostic version of windows freeing up access to files that were otherwise locked by explorer.
Log in to safemode or open safemode and then try and copy out these files to the share and delete this new  shared folder
Another way to get round explorer, I have used the task manager, stopped explorer( no desktop)
then using the File>new task(run) browse to this folder and rename it.
Either way from I understand windows has created this folder and cannot release it's hold on it.
So you need to go outside of windows explorer.
Safemode.
Boot into windows though a Ubuntu Live Disc, gets you in thgere without windows running.
Here's a couple of guides take a look through them
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/31804/the-10-cleverest-ways-to-use-linux-to-fix-your-windows-pc/
http://www.pcworld.com/article/249870/create_a_bootable_linux_flash_drive_in_three_easy_steps.html
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Author Comment

by:VB6chuck
ID: 39264784
During an install of accounting software.  So an install program was running, attempting to copy files into the share.  Somehow instead of going into the share they went into a new folder with the same name+a space.  

All of the observed strangeness was with windows explorer, where at times the new or old folder would be linked to either the old folder contents, or the new folder contents.  At other times files and folders would be displayed in the old or new folder, and then attempts to do things like renaming a file would bring up a "cannot read disk" error.  Some of these errors suggested replacing the removed disk to restore access.  

I've used usb bootable linux in the past to repair various things and it worked quite well.

The client in question has contacted their hardware supplier to pursue this, so I will be a watcher from here on.  I was hoping this was a known problem, as in the "Oh it's the Win7 server 2003 R2 problem again", what you need to do is . . .

I agree with the Safe Mode approach, but am surprised chkdsk found NOTHING.  
Are there any tools which look clearly into the workings of an NTSF disk?  I would have thought something like this might be useful.

I'm leaving this open at the moment in case the client comes back with what the ultimate solution was.

Thanks,

Chuck
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 39264818
Hi Chuck, the question that needs to clarified here in my humble opinion
Why is it recommended not access folders during installing a new program/software?
As you said>> So an install program was running, attempting to copy files into the share.  
Somehow instead of going into the share they went into a new folder with the same name+a space.  << so this share was open and being added to by a user?
Then windows may not have had exclusive rights and
because if the install is over riding/replacing /adding accessing/ copying to any files in that folder it
can't update it.
So has created a new separate folder named the same but folder 2.
It the correct way to install something so that any files that are currently in use wont be overwritten.
Especially  >>an install program was running, attempting to copy files into the share.
Why was it copying files to a share folder?
A shared folder is just a library link from another source another User account?
who owns the shared folder?
Unless you use the public folder exclusively and copy the files to that folder.
Establishing File & Folder Level Permissions: Windows 7
http://www.uwec.edu/Help/drives/permissions.htm#advance

How to delete files and folders that cannot be deleted?
http://superuser.com/questions/229563/how-to-delete-files-and-folders-that-cannot-be-deleted

Advanced Installer User Guide
How do I install files in a custom folder?
http://www.advancedinstaller.com/user-guide/qa-custom-folder.html
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Author Comment

by:VB6chuck
ID: 39269401
You're suggesting that Windows created the 2nd folder to resolve a conflict created by the installer?

I will have to check with the installer to see what precautions she was taking to insure that users were not present, and also to see what rights she had and who owned the share on the server.

Interesting . . .

I'll let you know.

Thanks,

Chuck
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LVL 70

Accepted Solution

by:
Merete earned 500 total points
ID: 39269437
No not like that, I am suggesting windows couldn't access the folder it was copying files from/to  as it was in use and so created  new one.
regards Merete
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