[thelist] files on NT that can't be deleted

Burhan Khalid burhankhalid at members.evolt.org
Fri Mar 1 16:46:04 CST 2002

Okay, here are some tips :

First of all, make sure that you have sufficient rights to delete the file.
Might seem trivial, but worth checking.
Secondly, if the filename contains characters beyond those supported by
Windows, then you won't be able to access them through any Windows
interface. A looong time back I learned this trick to "hide" files from
Windows, but still be able to access them through windows. I used to scare
my boss with "do you think it could be a virus?" type jokes. Here is how
such tricks work :

Someone, using dos, creates a directory/filename using the extended ASCII
character set (beyond 255). You can see this for yourself by following
these steps :

1. Get to your command prompt (cmd, or command.com)
2. Type this md [space]
4. Hit enter.

You will have created a directory that is inaccessible from within Windows,
but as long as you know the ALT number combo, you can get to it from DOS.

To get rid of such files/directories, you have to get to DOS, and then its
simply a matter of the correct command :

rd for directories, and del for files.
Alternately, you can use deltree to delete an entire tree structure.

Example :

C:\>deltree [space] ALT256 [enter]

In some versions of scandisk, it will detect such directories as invalid
filenames, and will delete them. This might be something that you might
want to try.

If I'm barking up the wrong tree, I apologize.
Burhan Khalid

At 04:58 PM 3/1/02 -0500, you wrote:

>jes... er... yes.
> > From: "Scott Dexter" <sgd at ti3.com>
> >
> > have you tried from the command line?
> > >
> > > got a web project where a client uploaded files to our NT
> > > server, but there are characters in the file names that
> > > prevent us from deleting them through windows (as explained
> > > to me by a sysadmin)...
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