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"Error moving file or folder" -- "directory is not empty"

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by hawaiianhope, Mar 31, 2011.

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  1. hawaiianhope

    hawaiianhope Thread Starter

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    Wanted to resurrect an older thread, but its closed :
    http://forums.techguy.org/windows-xp/652638-error-moving-file-folder-directory.html

    Please read completely before responding.
    I am a 30 year IT pro, most of it as a programmer. I am the geek in charge of a tech non profit org in Hawaii. www.HawaiianHope.org
    so yea.. i have at least half a clue.

    Here is the deal.
    In doing drive copies, data recoveries, etc... when we are moving a mass amount of data from one drive to another we run into this problem a lot.
    "Error moving file or folder" -- "directory is not empty"


    If you restart the move, it will continue on and keep going, restart enough times and eventually it will move all directories.

    I think its a programming issue with windows and wonder if anyone has a work around ?

    I have a suspicion that the copy process is getting out of sequence. That it is trying to move a folder before it actually emptied it. Possibilities are :
    1) windows forgot its place in moving through and navigating numerous sub directories and it is having a problem with “recursive calls.”
    2) Computers with hyper threading or dual core processors are spawning the movement of files across multiple processes, and some are getting ahead of the other.
    3) It did actually move the file, but the cache or something in memory has not updated, or the full data write has not completed yet before it tried to move the directory. (delayed write)


    Yes, you can copy and then delete the old.. but that takes longer. a LOT longer if the process crashes for any reason, you have to start again. Moving files ensures that you have everything you need the first time through.


    Anyone else run into this problem and anyone know how to get MS to take a look ? I think i have seen others run into the same problem with Vista and 7 as well with the same circumstances.

    THANKS !!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  2. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    51,988
    This is a known issue. It is by design.

    As you may know, moving is in its essence an unsafe process. It would be better to use the actual sequence of copy and then delete.
     
  3. hawaiianhope

    hawaiianhope Thread Starter

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    Yes, it would be, if the copy function was written better as well. Instead of like it is now where the whole process comes to a screaming halt if one file cant be copied for some reason and you have no idea where it left off.. The better copy would build a list of files that had errors and allowed you to deal with them individually. on error keep going and notify me. more like FTP does.
     
  4. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Yes, I agree that it is not the ultimate solution. The entire copying process has been under review since XP and major changes have been made in Vista and 7 to prevent data loss due to interrupted processes and hardware failure, as well as problematic or varying data transfer rates.

    Ycopy may interest you in this regard.

    Unstoppable Copier is more for copying from corrupt media, but is similar in design.
     
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