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Tech Helproom

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WinXP Explorer shows directory in tree, but "can't find" it for deletion


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My wife and I bought the local newspaper and inherited all of its computer equipment, which includes an HP "Entertainment" series laptop dating back to 2007 or early 2008 (When we purchased the business.

It apparently had Windows Vista on it out of the box, but the previous owner had the hard drive replaced with a Windows XP drive. That drive was 97% empty when we inherited it.

I installed version 2.13 of the SeaMonkey browser, but didn't like the fact that the files in the browser cache were not all in one subdirectory, but rather in many subdirectories, each containing only 1 or 2 files.

I deleted this version of SeaMonkey using the Windows "Add/Delete..." wizard, and installed an older version of SeaMonkey (2.0.14) which is working fine as I write this.

The problem is that the automated "remove" process did not remove the user profile associated with the previous version of SeaMonkey, and I am also unable to delete it using Windows Explorer. I can delete all of the files and subdirectories under the top profile level, leaving only an empty directory with the profile name, HOWEVER that file (empty directory) cannot be deleted because Explorer/Delete can't "find" the file, even though it shows up in the Windows directory tree.

Can you determine from the above what the problem(s) might be, and how I can resolve them? The command-line "chkdsk" function says there are problems on the drive, but the "Fix" switch doesn't work because Windows is already loaded. Do I have to install and run the Recovery Console, or is there a "Scandisk"-like utility available for Windows XP/SP3?

Thanks a bunch in advance!

Ed Crosby [email protected]

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Can you cut and copy the folder to the desktop? Then delete and reboot.

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No, the directory can't be deleted, cut/pasted, moved or copied using Explorer. When I try any of those operations, I get the error message "Cannot (move, copy, etc.). Cannot read from the source file or disk".

I think I have some disk corruption going on. I'll see what happens with Recovery Console.

Thanks for your input.


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