Un-official Unsolicited Vista and Windows 7 Advice Thread

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  • PupatorPupator Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,322 Major grins
    edited January 23, 2008
    Syncback should only stop for one of two reasons: 1) the location that you're supposed to be backing up to isn't valid 2) the files you're trying to back up are in use.

    The menu system admittedly isn't very intuitive, but there's a "slient" mode where it ignores all errors and just does everything it can. As long as you aren't trying to back up your Outlook PST with Outlook open it'll run fine.

    Still, I'm far less concerned that people use syncback and far more concerned that they back up! If synctoy works for you, fantastic!
  • RichardRichard Mildly bemused Madrid, SpainAdministrators, Vanilla Admin Posts: 19,640 moderator
    edited January 23, 2008
    Pupator wrote:
    Syncback should only stop for one of two reasons: 1) the location that you're supposed to be backing up to isn't valid 2) the files you're trying to back up are in use.

    The menu system admittedly isn't very intuitive, but there's a "slient" mode where it ignores all errors and just does everything it can. As long as you aren't trying to back up your Outlook PST with Outlook open it'll run fine.

    Still, I'm far less concerned that people use syncback and far more concerned that they back up! If synctoy works for you, fantastic!

    The full version of Syncback will take snapshots of open files as long as you are using NTFS on XP Pro or later; the free version does not. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to do your backups when there is little activity on the machine. The full version has a scheduler that will wake up a sleeping machine, run the backup and the put the machine back to sleep again. I run daily incremental backups and it rarely takes more than a few minutes to complete, so I just let it happen during the day.
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,788 Major grins
    edited January 24, 2008
    Can't delete folder
    Screen grab says it all.
    I've tried booting into safe mode w/ command prompt and deleting through command prompt.

    It gives me some ridiculous message just like the pop up window. File name is too long blah blah.

    I've also tried renaming the files. Same message.

    Any ideas on how to deep 6 this folder?

    I see some third party "force delete" apps. But they all look hokey and not very trustworthy.

    Man I wish I had terminal on this (or some kind of REAL command prompt/shell). I'd nuke this thing to hell in about 5 seconds!
  • PupatorPupator Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,322 Major grins
    edited January 24, 2008
    When you try to delete from command prompt are you using the full (long) file name or the short (-x) filename with the ~?

    Also, have you tried booting in normal mode, opening a command prompt, then opening task manager and killing explorer.exe? Then you can perform the delete command in the CP and restart explorer from task manager.
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,788 Major grins
    edited January 24, 2008
    Pupator wrote:
    When you try to delete from command prompt are you using the full (long) file name or the short (-x) filename with the ~?

    Also, have you tried booting in normal mode, opening a command prompt, then opening task manager and killing explorer.exe? Then you can perform the delete command in the CP and restart explorer from task manager.
    I don't really know about a short or long name in MS. The folder on my desktop is called "123".

    I went into task manager, opened cmd prompt, closed explorer. Navigated to the folder and went to delete the file. It gave me the same rubbish filename, directory name or syntax is incorrect.

    Is there anything in the MS world that will use command prompt like a linux shell and force delete a file? i.e. [SIZE=-1]rm -rf[/SIZE][SIZE=-1] directoryname[/SIZE]
  • RichardRichard Mildly bemused Madrid, SpainAdministrators, Vanilla Admin Posts: 19,640 moderator
    edited January 24, 2008
    SloYerRoll wrote:
    Is there anything in the MS world that will use command prompt like a linux shell and force delete a file? i.e. [SIZE=-1]rm -rf[/SIZE][SIZE=-1] directoryname[/SIZE]

    Try RMDIR /S your_directory_name from the command prompt while in the parent directory.
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,788 Major grins
    edited January 24, 2008
    rsinmadrid wrote:
    Try RMDIR /S your_directory_name from the command prompt while in the parent directory.
    Same thing as my previous post.
  • RichardRichard Mildly bemused Madrid, SpainAdministrators, Vanilla Admin Posts: 19,640 moderator
    edited January 24, 2008
    SloYerRoll wrote:
    Same thing as my previous post.

    Jon,

    Hmmm...it looks like there is a <?> character in each of the filenames. I believe that is illegal in a Vista filename. So the thing that I wonder is, how were these files created originally? Can you access them (and perhaps delete them) from the program that put them on the machine in the first place? This is very strange.

    Regards,
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,788 Major grins
    edited January 24, 2008
    I'm pretty sure it was created w/ a bad scrape of a website via a dreamweaver third party plug in. I since re-installed the entire Web Premium CS3 suite and have had no problems. (I also don't use dreamweaver anymore since it's code SUCKS.

    I've tried to open/remove/anything these files in quite a few applications. No love.

    As a note. I can move the folder anywhere I want. It's only when I go to edit the contents that it get's all dumb on me.
  • RichardRichard Mildly bemused Madrid, SpainAdministrators, Vanilla Admin Posts: 19,640 moderator
    edited January 24, 2008
    SloYerRoll wrote:

    As a note. I can move the folder anywhere I want. It's only when I go to edit the contents that it get's all dumb on me.

    What happens when you move it to the recycle bin?
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,788 Major grins
    edited January 24, 2008
    Same thing.
  • StevenVStevenV Wake Up & Smell the Music Registered Users Posts: 1,174 Major grins
    edited January 24, 2008
    how 'bout DIR /X in the cmd prompt, which should show the short name (Imagehan~01.ashx or something similar), then DEL using that filename?
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,788 Major grins
    edited January 24, 2008
    Tried. didn't work.
    I'm not heavy on DOS syntax. But the "=" sign is some sort of command that won't let me use that character.

    i.e.
    Goto remove the file by typing:
    del Default.aspx?tabid=55 (this is one of the file names)

    and it tells me it can't find:
    Default.aspx?tabid (missing the =55 part of the filename)

    So it's getting to the = sign and getting all mixed up.

    FYI: This is the first time I actually tried to remove a file. I was trying to delete the entire directory up to this point.

    I really appreciate your help guys. Any other ideas?
  • RichardRichard Mildly bemused Madrid, SpainAdministrators, Vanilla Admin Posts: 19,640 moderator
    edited January 25, 2008
    SloYerRoll wrote:
    Any other ideas?

    Try enclosing the filename in double quotes:

    Del /F "stupid_illegal_filename"

    I seem to recall reading about some little utility programs that can get rid of files that don't want to go away...I think they set up something to run at boot time, before Windows loads, but I am vague on the details. Google will know.
  • cmasoncmason Old dog, new tricks Raleigh, NCRegistered Users Posts: 2,506 Major grins
    edited January 25, 2008
    This is a tough one. I suspect that these files may be registered by some program in memory or somethings...just a WAG, but perhaps one problem is that you are still using the same instance of Vista whether it is DOS or not. I would suggest booting into another Windows instance. So options here are. 1) put this HD into another Windows machine as a second hard drive. Nav to the files and delete. 2) Boot with your Windows Install CD, find utilities there (dont know what Vista install CD offers), 3) use a Boot CD, such as Bart PE or Ultimate Windows Boot disk. I use Bart myself. Bart does require that you have your Windows install CD. Then you can use Windows Explorer (from the windows booted from CD) to delete files on the HD.

    Good luck!
  • cmasoncmason Old dog, new tricks Raleigh, NCRegistered Users Posts: 2,506 Major grins
    edited January 25, 2008
    OK just found this thru Google, and though it worth posting here: ONE of these has to work:

    http://winhlp.com/node/39

    By the way...have you tried renaming the files to something like "delete1.txt" then deleting?



    Cannot delete file or folder

    Tue, 2007-07-17 11:46 — admin
    After trying the following methods, please click here to let us all know your results.
    Method 1

    Reboot, then delete.
    Method 2

    Open a command line window (WindowsKey + R, enter: cmd). Move to the folder in question by means of CD commands like CD \ and CD foldername.
    Delete the file or folder by using the DEL command to delete files or the RMDIR (remove directory) command to remove directories (folders).
    Method 3

    If this, on its own, is still not enough, then leave the command line window on the desktop, open Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc), and kill all explorer.exe tasks. Your desktop will go blank, except for the windows already open.
    Now try to delete the offending file by means of the DEL command, or folder by means of the RMDIR (remove directory) command, in the command line window, as described above.
    After that, in the command line window enter:
    explorer
    to restart your desktop. If you closed the command line window, you can still restart explorer by opening the Task Manager by holding down the Ctrl and Shift keys and briefly pressing the Esc key. In Task Manager select Applications, New Task and enter: explorer
    Method 4

    If the previous method fails, particularly with multimedia files, log off, then log on again, but do not select the file in Windows Explorer. The safest way is not to open Windows Explorer in the first place.
    Then try the previous method again.
    Method 5

    An even stronger measure would be to reboot, then try the previous methods again. This would work, for example, if a service has the file open.
    Method 6

    (Thanks to John Barrington.)
    If you can't delete a problem file, try deleting the folder that contains the problem file. If this doesn't work, try this next item.
    If the problem file and its folder, we'll call (A), is within another folder, we'll call (B), try to delete the folder (B) along with any troublesome contents.
    Of course, you want to make sure, if you have any other important files or folders within either folder, that they are saved in another location first.
    Method 7

    Begin like the previous method, but try also
    rmdir foldername /s
    (replace foldernamewith the name of the folder to be deleted). This command should delete a folder with all its subfolders.
    If the folder name contains one or more spaces, enclose it in quotes. Example:
    rmdir "folder name" /s
    Method 8

    If the folder name contains strange characters, use a command line window again, but use the DIR /X command to find the short name (for example: PROGRA~1) and use the short name instead. The short name is DOS compatible and has no more than 8 characters for the main name, a period, then no more than 3 characters for the extension.
    Retry the previous methods that use a command line window, but use the short name now.
    Note: Sometimes an illegal file name can cause Windows Explorer to use nearly 100% of the CPU time.
    Method 9

    Boot into safe mode and try to delete the file or folder there.
    Method 10

    If you're trying to delete a program file, like one with the extension .exe, the cause could be that the program is currently running. Stop it, then delete the file.
    If the program starts automatically, check the article Autorun causes on how to remove the start command. Do it, reboot, then delete the file.
    Method 11

    If this also doesn't work, there is a way to rename a file or folder during the boot process. For this you need to use the registry editor REGEDIT.EXE. See the Registry warning for a general warning.
    Create an entry in
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Session Manager\
    named PendingFileRenameOperations of type REG_MULTI_SZ. In pre-XP Windows versions you have to use REGEDT32.EXE to create this value type.
    The first line of each pair is the current file or folder path and name with \??\ in front of it.
    The second line of each pair is the new file or folder path and name with !\??\ in front of it.
    Example for one pair which moves the file mfc42.dll from the temp folder to the system32 folder and overwrites any existing file at the destination:
    \??\C:\TEMP\mfc42.dll
    !\??\C:\WINDOWS\system32\mfc42.dll
    You can add as many pairs as you like. The move operation is performed directly after the next reboot. You can also give folder paths, so the folder will be renamed. But both paths have to be local.
    There is a Windows API call for this, named MoveFileEx, and somebody in Germany has even written a utility named MoveEx for it. You can download it from http://wwwthep.physik.uni-mainz.de/~frink/nt.html. Use it if you need this function often. A Posix utility from a Windows Resource Kit named mv.exe also does it, just in case you still have the resource kit around.
    Method 12

    Boot into another operating system to delete the file from there. The other operating system can be, for example, another installation of Windows, BartPE, Knoppix, or any operating system that can read the file system used (NTFS or FAT32).
    Method 13

    Remove the hard disk from the computer and connect it to another computer. Delete the files or folders there.
    Method 14

    If you cannot delete a file or folder because it is in use, you can use one of the mostly free utilities, such as Unlocker.
    Method 15

    If the cause is that the path and file name is too long, you can use the following method, reported 2007-05-17 by Mark Briody:
    Open a command line window and use the subst command to create a virtual drive to the folder containing the long file name, e.g.:
    subst x: "C:\Documents and Settings\briodym\Favorites\Mark\Gadgets and
    Hardware\Hardware\Stores\eBuyer"
    Then change to the virtual drive x:, and you should be able to delete the file.
    Finally, to clean up, remove the subst again with:
    subst x: /d
    That's it.
    Results
  • StevenVStevenV Wake Up & Smell the Music Registered Users Posts: 1,174 Major grins
    edited January 25, 2008
    SloYerRoll wrote:
    Tried. didn't work.
    I'm not heavy on DOS syntax. But the "=" sign is some sort of command that won't let me use that character.

    right, but the short name shouldn't include that character.

    DIR /X

    01/25/2008 10:40 AM 34 DEFAUL~1.ASP Default.aspx?tabid=55blahah

    DEL DEFAUL~1.ASP
  • PupatorPupator Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,322 Major grins
    edited January 25, 2008
    RE: 15 methods of madness....

    :jawdrop Good grief that's nuts. If deleting from command prompt with explorer closed and using the short name doesn't work, I'd skip straight to using one of the programs. All of those other options have to operate within the Windows shell, so if the above mentioned doesn't work, neither will they.
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,788 Major grins
    edited January 25, 2008
    StevenV wrote:
    right, but the short name shouldn't include that character.

    DIR /X

    01/25/2008 10:40 AM 34 DEFAUL~1.ASP Default.aspx?tabid=55blahah

    DEL DEFAUL~1.ASP
    Don't see a short name in there.
  • PupatorPupator Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,322 Major grins
    edited January 25, 2008
    SloYerRoll wrote:
    Don't see a short name in there.

    That's really weird. The giant void of black space in your picture should have shortened names. I can't help but wonder if the '.' in the filenames is messing it up because it thinks everything after that is part of the file extention. (Don't get me started on programmers who write filenames with spaces and symbols in them!)
  • RichardRichard Mildly bemused Madrid, SpainAdministrators, Vanilla Admin Posts: 19,640 moderator
    edited January 25, 2008
    Pupator wrote:
    That's really weird. The giant void of black space in your picture should have shortened names. I can't help but wonder if the '.' in the filenames is messing it up because it thinks everything after that is part of the file extention. (Don't get me started on programmers who write filenames with spaces and symbols in them!)
    A period is legal in a DOS filename, though stupid to put there. DOS will take whatever comes after the last period as the extension, and extensions are not limited to 3 characters. However, a question mark is not legal in a file name, and I don't understand how Vista ever agreed to create a file with one in the name. Well, I do understand...it's a bug. The program that saved the file was defective, and Vista shouldn't have allowed it. The reason Jon is having so much trouble getting rid of them is that the commands he is using don't have the same bug that created the file, so they are saying, "that's an invalid name, so I'm not going to do anything other than complain." It might require the use of a very low-level utility to get rid of them.

    Another solution would be to rename the folder to something like "Undeletable junk to be ignored forever" and bury it somewhere out of the way. This would be OK as long as you remember to include that folder in the list of things to ignore when doing a backup. Some backup programs will just barf if they encounter a bad file name, though others are smart enough to skip over the bad ones and do the good ones.
  • PupatorPupator Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,322 Major grins
    edited January 25, 2008
    Unrelated to Jon's problem --

    I found this to be really helpful info: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/what-is-svchostexe-and-why-is-it-running/

    Maybe some of you will as well. :D
  • StevenVStevenV Wake Up & Smell the Music Registered Users Posts: 1,174 Major grins
    edited January 25, 2008
    SloYerRoll wrote:
    Don't see a short name in there.
    yea, that is odd.

    I haven't found a way to generate files with illegal characters in it to test, but this program looks like a promising way to rename your files so you can get to them. http://www.findmysoft.com/download-MacNames.html
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,788 Major grins
    edited January 25, 2008
    Pupator wrote:
    I'd skip straight to using one of the programs.
    Can you guys do a quick search and see what you'd use in this situation?
    I just don't want to toss some crap on there that screws w/ my system.

    I'm sure I'm being over protective. But I haven't had a major issue w/ any OS I've ever run. So I don't think my protective nature is a bad thing.
  • cmasoncmason Old dog, new tricks Raleigh, NCRegistered Users Posts: 2,506 Major grins
    edited January 25, 2008
    interesting thread: sounds like your situation

    http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=548320
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,788 Major grins
    edited January 25, 2008
    Thanks. Almost the same thing. But I know how to use command prompt and already exhausted that.

    I appreaciate all your help guys. But I'm gonna deep 6 this way into the guts of this machine and forget it exists. It's only a 5MB file.

    I just hate knowing there's a file in my computer that's more stubborn than me.

    Cheers,
    -Jon

    BTW if you do come across a good eraser app. I'll be happy to give it a shot. I tried the one in the pp google thread. It installed and just beeped when I tried to shred the file.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,162 Major grins
    edited January 25, 2008
    How about booting up an Ubuntu CD-ROM and try removing it through a linux command prompt? I believe it can read/write NTFS now...

    I've also used the System Rescue CD.
    Chris
  • PupatorPupator Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,322 Major grins
    edited January 25, 2008
    ChrisJ wrote:
    How about booting up an Ubuntu CD-ROM and try removing it through a linux command prompt? I believe it can read/write NTFS now...

    I've also used the System Rescue CD.

    Yeah, that's a good idea. The Unbuntu CD will create a folder on your desktop that gets you straight to the windows directory. Then you can sudo delete that thing into bad filename hell.
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,788 Major grins
    edited January 25, 2008
    I used to have ubuntu on a dual boot partition. But deleted it since I just wiped an old laptop and loaded ubuntu on it for my *nix work so I don't have it on my main machine anymore.

    Is there a way to boot from CD on ubuntu w/o reloading it as a second boot option?

    I know how to change the boot order in BIOS. But am not sure about booting from ubuntu CD.

    I have the ubuntu cd sitting in my case now and it sounds like a great idea if you can provide instruction or a link to instruction.

    Cheers,
    -Jon
  • ChrisJChrisJ Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,162 Major grins
    edited January 25, 2008
    No install is necessary... the entire OS is on the CD. Just boot it, do what you need to do, shut it down, and eject!

    I'll see if I can find something a bit more specific...
    Chris
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