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Solved: How to delete an (undeletable) hidden 'corrupted and unreadable file'?


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17-Aug-2012, 07:25 AM #1
Solved: How to delete an (undeletable) hidden 'corrupted and unreadable file'?
My tale of woe starts with trying to delete some folders containing jpeg files.

I got the message "Cannot delete Thumbs.db. The file is corrupted and unreadable". So I deleted the jpegs individually without any problem, and the folders then looked empty - but when I tried to delete the empty folders I still got the same message again, that Thumbs.db was corrupted and unreadable, so couldn't be deleted.

The Thumbs.db files didn't show at all in the now 'empty' folder - and don't show up either in a Windows Search for 'Thumbs' in All Files and Folders. (I have the 'Show hidden files and folders' option ticked In Tools->Folder Options->View of Windows Explorer).

Next thing (new) is that Chkdisk now runs every time I bootup with the message 'One of your disks needs to be checked for consistency'. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the original problem, but I had already made an image of my disk a few days ago, so I restored that image to a new bigger hard drive I had already planned to install. Restore went OK, new hard drive seems fine, but I am getting the same 'One of your disks needs to be checked for consistency' message - so I'm guessing the problem is not with either of the hard drives. Checkdisk doesn't show any errors.

I'm right out of my depth here. Anybody got any suggestions? And how do you delete files you can't see?

Really appreciate some help. Thanks!

Dell Dimension 5000 3.0 Ghz
3 Gb RAM
Windows XP Pro SP3
AVG Internet Security 2012
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17-Aug-2012, 08:10 AM #2
try uninstalling/re-installing ThumbsPlus
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17-Aug-2012, 08:21 AM #3
Remove the folder with a Command Prompt.
Click Start>Run>type cmd>OK
In the Command window, type rmdir /S /Q "full path to folder" and press Enter.
The full path to folder is the exact address of the folder you want to delete. Example: C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\my folder.
Be sure to include the Quotes around the path.
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17-Aug-2012, 08:23 AM #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by user2339 View Post
try uninstalling/re-installing ThumbsPlus
I think you may be mistaken about something, as I never saw the original poster talking about that app.......
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17-Aug-2012, 08:25 AM #5
also, Colt, if throoper's advice doesn't work (and I see no reason why it wouldn't), you could also take a look at unlocker.
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17-Aug-2012, 08:26 AM #6
sorry, please ignore my previous post and look here :

http://www.itguyfixit.com/2009/07/re...indows-xp.html
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17-Aug-2012, 08:39 AM #7
So you know. Thumbs.db is a "Hidden operating system file".
In Folder Options>View you need to uncheck "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)" in order to see it.
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17-Aug-2012, 12:49 PM #8
Thanks, user 2339 - I can actually see those hidden files now. Thanks, too, throoper, for showing me how to use the command prompt cmd, And thanks, Valis, for pointing me towards Unlocker. Same outcome though with whatever I did. I got a real limpet version of undeletable corrupted thumbs.db here.

I'd welcome any other ideas - please..! I still keep getting the message to run chkdsk (again), which I have done about eight times today, but no errors are reported. What does that indicate? Thanks for your patience.
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17-Aug-2012, 01:11 PM #9
Try running the command in Windows Safe Mode.
HOW TO BOOT INTO SAFE MODE
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17-Aug-2012, 01:37 PM #10
Thanks again, throoper. Just tried it in Safe Mode. Still comes up as "The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable".
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17-Aug-2012, 01:52 PM #11
Content removed due to copyright issues.

Last edited by Cookiegal; 19-Aug-2012 at 10:42 AM..
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17-Aug-2012, 01:59 PM #12
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Originally Posted by Colt View Post
Thanks again, throoper. Just tried it in Safe Mode. Still comes up as "The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable".
Are you able to rename the folder that contains the thumbs.db? I'm wondering if it's the folder shell that's corrupt.
If you can't rename it (which would indicate it IS the folder), create a new folder and try moving the folder into it. If successful, run the command on the new folder, changing the path to end at that folder.
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18-Aug-2012, 10:57 AM #13
user2339 and throoper, thanks again. I got the same result with the boot CD. I then tried to rename both the folder and the thumbs.db file, and still ended up with the same message "the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable".

I guess my only option now is to format my hard drive, clean install Windows XP, and restore my data from that backup WITHOUT the affected folders...? Seems a bit drastic, but I just want to get rid of that darned Chkdsk each and every bootup!

Last edited by Cookiegal; 19-Aug-2012 at 10:43 AM..
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18-Aug-2012, 11:07 AM #14
Sounds like it is the folder shell that's got the problem. Where exactly is the folder?
There's a few other tricks to try before doing a reinstall.
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18-Aug-2012, 11:23 AM #15
There are seven different folders affected, all together in My Documents. Here's an example: C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents\Temp 75 Claudia China\Chengdu HiRes Photos
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