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Unable to delete corrupted/unreadable file on external HD.

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atarischad
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Today I was copying a file from my laptop onto my USB external hard drive when the transfer froze and I had to cancel it. The file is still intact on my laptop but the unfinished copy created on my external hard drive does not seem to want to be deleted.

When I try to delete it from Windows Explorer I get the message "Cannot delete: The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable." I tried in safe mode with the same results. I tried a couple of programs designed for similar situations (Killbox, Unlocker, FileAssassin) but they were unable to remove it.

In the command prompt I have run "E:\>chkdsk /f" but get this message:

The type of the file system is NTFS.
Cannot lock current drive.

Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Chkdsk may run if this volume is dismounted first. ALL OPENED HANDLES TO THIS VOLUME WOULd THEN BE IN VALID. Would you like to force a dismount on this volume? (Y/N)

I select "No" and get the option to "schedule the volume to be checked the next time the system restarts" and when I select "Yes" and restart nothing happens. It boots as usual (I believe because the external hard drive is not recognized until Windows is operating.)

When I simply type "E:\>chkdsk" it runs, recognizes the problem file but ends with the message "Errors found. CHKDSK cannot continue in read-only mode."

When I try to delete the file in the command prompt (by typing E:\>del +the file location) I receive the message "The file or directory is corrupted or unreadable."

Does anyone have any suggestions for removing this file? Any help at all would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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HoustonIT
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try chkdsk /r

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atarischad
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try chkdsk /r

This produced the same results as chkdsk /f

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airbourne
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...still looking. You already tried a reboot.

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airbourne
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Try this:

Close all open programs.
CTRL-ALT-DELETE and open task manager.
Close EXPLORER.EXE
Go to FILE and choose RUN.
Type CMD to open a command prompt
Then from the C:>_ change to the drive letter and folder.
Type "dir /x" to get the short names of all the files and folders.
Then perform a DEL on the short filename or RMDIR /S for short directory names.


I have a program that I have used in the past (not the ones you have already listed). I'll see if I can find it when I get home.

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atarischad
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Try this:

Close all open programs.
CTRL-ALT-DELETE and open task manager.
Close EXPLORER.EXE
Go to FILE and choose RUN.
Type CMD to open a command prompt
Then from the C:>_ change to the drive letter and folder.
Type "dir /x" to get the short names of all the files and folders.
Then perform a DEL on the short filename or RMDIR /S for short directory names.


I have a program that I have used in the past (not the ones you have already listed). I'll see if I can find it when I get home.

Unfortunately this did not work either. I received a message saying that the file was corrupted or unreadable and that I should run chkdsk.

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caperjack
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atarischad
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The only option I found in HijackThis was "delete on reboot" which did not work because the external HD is not immediately recognized on reboot.

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caperjack
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The only option I found in HijackThis was "delete on reboot" which did not work because the external HD is not immediately recognized on reboot.

How big is this file ,
did you try plugging drive into another computer

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airbourne
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It's a stretch, but try this tool:

http://www.jrtwine.com/Products/DelFXPFiles/

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atarischad
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How big is this file ,
did you try plugging drive into another computer

The file is about 300 MB. Just tried everything with the same results on a different computer.

It's a stretch, but try this tool:

http://www.jrtwine.com/Products/DelFXPFiles/

No luck.

I'm puzzled.

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airbourne
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Well, depending on how much data is on it, there is always the copy everything off, format and copy everything back...

The chkdsk thing should work, but it's strange that it is not letting you.

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atarischad
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Yeah, I think the reason chkdsk isn't working on reboot is because when the computer reboots it does not recognize the external hard drive until it is unplugged and plugged back in (though I'm not sure why.)

It's more of an annoyance than anything (especially since I can't find a solution) and isn't worth taking the time to copy everything off of it (it's a 111 GB hard drive and only has about 5 GB of free space.)

I'll keep searching for a solution and if anyone has any other ideas I am all ears!

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caperjack
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go to mycomputer ,right click on desired drive and chose properties ,then tools , error checking ,click on fix now check the empty boxes ,it should not prompt to restart computer ,if does just check off one option at a time

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atarischad
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Took a few hours to run but this worked! The file is gone. Thanks so much for your help!

Question Answered as of 4 Years Ago by airbourne, caperjack and HoustonIT
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caperjack
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your welcome ,good luck

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Frank Wallis
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If you have any anti-virus eg.avg,avira or etc, just scan your
USB drive with that anti-virus and see if this file is infected or not.
If it is infected then move it to the quarantine.
If the file is not infected, then make sure you make a backup of all
the data from this usb drive to your system and format this usb drive.

After performing this , write back to this thread.

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govi
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Hi friends ,

My openion
1.Format the drive after copying your important data to another harddrive or pendrive .
2. Goto command prompt then use e:\del /f /q file_name.extension

Just try this

You
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