Re: "Undeletable" File

I tried WinHex and managed to change the name in the MFT file
record. WinHex reported the file under it's new valid name in
the folder AVP8. However a WinHex "Secure Delete" failed with
an error message reporting that it couldn't find the old file
name, "avp.09....", Windows couldn't see the file either so I
raised the white flag and restored and updated a back-up from
before the advent of the offending file.

My thanks to you and everyone who tried to help.

John John (MVP) wrote:
You should be able to rename the file with WinHex and then as Jeff suggested try to delete it normally within Windows. This tool has a fairly easy to use GUI with disk and file explorer. Of course, it goes without saying that you must be very careful with these types of tools, best to have a reliable backup before you use them.


Dick K wrote:

Thanks for the suggestions. The "rm" command in "Windows Services
for UNIX V3.5" fails with the message "No such file or directory".
I'll consider using a disk editor but I'm afraid I find the prospect daunting so I'm going to give the problem a rest for a bit.

John John (MVP) wrote:

You seem to have tried almost everything and nothing seems to work. You could try the Posix RM.exe utility and see if it can do the job. If it you still cannot delete the file then I suggest that you use a disk editor to remove the file.


Dick K wrote:

Thanks for responding. I hadn't tried FileASSASSAIN but,
like the other apps you mention, that too failed. Each
of its three deletion methods elicited the error message
"The file you have specified does not exist or is not
visible to FileASSASSAIN. Please select another file."

Your other method is plausible but, stupid as it sounds,
I don't know the file name. Explorer displays the name
"avp.09.03_08:35_1e16.ALL", FileASSASSAIN showed
"avp.09.03_08:35_1e16.ALL.log" and another app saw an
even longer name which continued with a space and some
more garbage which I don't recall.

ju.c wrote:

These are the best apps for file deletion, all free.
(You can't delete a folder if you have it opened)

Unlocker 1.8.7 237 KB

KillBox 90 KB

FileASSASSIN 1.06 163 KB

DelinvFile - Delete Invalid Files and Folders

This is a trick to delete an undeletable file by restoring a file over it with a file
created with the same name using a drive imaging program.


1. Create a text file and write in it a couple of letters.
2. Save that file in your root drive (C: for example) with the
same exact name and extension as the file you want to delete.
3. Now make a backup your new file (I used Acronis True Image).
4. Open your backup program and restore the file you created to
the folder where the undeletable file is, overwriting it.
4. Now you can delete it!
5. Run chkdsk


"Dick K" <not@xxxxxxxx> wrote in message news:ONk8uGPPJHA.5080@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I'd be grateful for assistance in getting rid of an
"undeletable" file on a Windows XP MCE laptop with an
NTFS file system.

"c:\AVP8\avp.09.03_08:35_1e16.ALL" is the fully
qualified filename. (The folder "AVP8" originally
appeared in and was subsequently moved from
"...\All Users\Application Data\Kaspersky Lab").

In File Properties the file size is shown as 0 bytes
and the only tab displayed is "General", though my
admin account has full control of the folder "AVP8".

The problem surfaced when Disk Defragmenter reported
that the file could not be defragmented and occupied
45MB in 59 fragments.

Attempts to delete the file in Explorer failed with
the message "Cannot delete file: Cannot read from the
source file or disk". "Copy" and "Rename" failed in a
similar fashion.

Attempts to delete the file with "unlocker" and EMCO
"moveonboot" were ineffective, as was running
"chkdsk /f /r", which reported that the volume was

An attempt to delete the file in the command console
using the command "del \\?\c:\AVP8\*.*" failed with
the error message "The system cannot find the file

Having cloned the disk an attempt to restore it from
a Ghost 2003 image failed with an "inconsistency".
Luckily an Acronis image restored successfully.

If possible I'd like to avoid going back to a clone
which predates the creation of the offending file.