Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


I Just Cannot for the LIFE of Me Get One File Deleted!

  1. #1


    Posts : 38
    Windows 7 Home Premium

    I Just Cannot for the LIFE of Me Get One File Deleted!


    Hello, everyone, Iím using Windows 8.1.

    I have an external USB 3.0 hard drive with a folder on it that has six subfolders. (You can thank an older Mozilla Thunderbird backup utility for that.)

    Inside the last subfolder is an .eml file with a very long file name. Iíve tried to delete this file, and just canít. No matter what I do, I cannot delete this file. I get the following screen when I try to delete it.

    Click image for larger version

    If I right-click on the file, I do not see the typical context menu that would normally have Delete, Rename, etc. It just has Open, Open With, and Send To.

    I researched this problem via Google and even Bing, and read several instructions on what to do. NONE worked. For example:

    * I tried installing Unlocker to unlock the file, so that I could delete it or rename it. That didnít work.
    * I even tried a few DOS commands in the Command Prompt screen. I tried DEL, RMDIR, and even DELTREE. None worked.
    * I tried editing permissions. That didnít work.
    * Lastly, I tried going into Safe Mode (via SHIFT + RESTART), and tried playing with the folder and file there, without success.

    So, Iím asking for help. How on earth do I get this file deleted?

    Itís not the end of the world if this folder and file are stuck on my external drive. Itís more an annoyance than a problem.

    Actually, I do have a viable solution to this problem: Backup everything on my external hard drive onto my OTHER external hard drive (except, of course, for the folder in question). Then, format the first hard drive, and move back everything I backed up. That HAS to work. It HAS to. Doesn't it?

    That will be a long, tedious process, because thereís over a Terabyte of data on it. It seems ridiculous to me to have to spend hours backing up a TB just to delete or rename one e-mail file. (The other external hard drive is USB 2.1, not 3.0.)

    Does anyone have any other ideas that might work? Thank you so much. J. Danniel

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,290
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    Open an admin command prompt and give this in-- rmdir /s /XXXXX where the x's are, just drag & drop the file on the command prompt after typing
    Code:
    rmdir /s /  
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 38
    Windows 7 Home Premium


    I cannot drag the file, or the folder it is in, into the admin command prompt.

    And I did try the rmdir command manually, with no success.

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,290
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    Do you have a Linux distro live disk? Ubuntu or Mint perhaps. Then you could boot into a live session and mount windows find the file and delete it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 38
    Windows 7 Home Premium


    I've never used Linux. I do not know what Mount Windows means. But I could probably figure it out. It would probably take less time to backup-and-format the drive than become familiar enough with Linux to use it to solve this problem. Of course, if formatting the external drive doesn't work, then I'd probably have to try Linux.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,290
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    Just download Ubuntu and burn to a DVD or make a bootable USB(just unzip the ISO to it) then boot to it then you get the option to try it (live session) or install(don't touch it) then a desktop will appear, in it's version of file explorer click on the windows drive(automatically mounts it(gives access to windows)) then you can find the file like you would with 7zip or any other file manager and delete it. after that shutdown take the disk out boot to windows...done.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 38
    Windows 7 Home Premium


    I am creating a bootable USB stick with Ubuntu right now. I'll follow your instructions, and will let you know how things turn out as soon as possible. Thank you. Jd
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 38
    Windows 7 Home Premium


    Wow. That worked. Simple, too. Thank you so much. I never would have thought of using Linux. Thanks again. Jd
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,290
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    WOW!!! you were fast. You're welcome. Just so you know the Ubuntu live session al has a great disk tool called GParted for instruction on how to use it go HERE: But when moving windows OS partitions it's better to use Windows own Disk Management. But Gparted is good when used before anything is on the disk(prepping an external or 2nd internal drive or multiple drives in one instance.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

I Just Cannot for the LIFE of Me Get One File Deleted!
Related Threads
Deleted file on homegroup in General Support
One of the partners I work with deleted the main database backend file from his computer. Its not showing up on any recycle bin. Is there a way to recover it? Im using windows 8, file history was not enabled. Previous versions tab doesnt even show. Right now I'm using Recuva, its in the process of...
Hello, Is there a good free program to recover a deleted trash bin file? I would feel a lot better deleting files if I could recover one in the future when I get a pop up saying it's missing.
I have been working on several different projects lately, as a result I have partitioned, and re-partitioned a USB external HDD (250G), I have a total of 5 active partitions, not including the system partitions. However I have a total of 18 partitions showing, although everything other than the...
How to reset a user's deleted sub-folders/file paths? in User Accounts and Family Safety
I mistakenly deleted the contents of a user's account folder and was unable to replace the sub-folders manually or by pasting empty ones from another account. If I try to use the account to save files, I just get an error message saying that the folder xxx or file path doesn't exist, depending on...
There was another thread about this, but the solution wasn't clearly explained. A user provided the OP with a Desktop.ink file, and nothing was said about what to do with the file that was provided. I'm having the same problem, where I deleted the file by accident and now there is no live tile for...
Solved accidently deleted a file in General Support
Hi everyone hope you can help . . . This is my first post, so forgive me if I mess up. I have accidently deleted a file on my C drive . . . C:\Users\David\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows It is the Temporary Internet Files and is now causing problems. If I run CCleaner it Hangs/Freezes,...
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook