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Old August 25th, 2004, 11:28 PM   #1
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Slightly OT: Corrupt file that wont delete- HELP!

Was moving data off a DVD to my external hardrive. They were a series of DV avi clips. It stopped during the transfer and stated some sort of "cylindrical redundancy error". No biggie. Well I notice the file (despite the error) made it to my hardrive...or at least my hardrive thinks it's there. I double click it and it does play a short portion of the beginning of the clip...then goes grey....Assuming that's the point where the transfer went bad.

No biggie, just delete it- right? WRONG!

I tried deleting it and it said that it was in use by another program. I tried deleting some other clips that came off the same DVD and they are fine...they are able to be deleted.

I go and disconnect my external drive- power my machine down and do a cold boot. Re-connect my drive then give it another go. STILL says in use by another program. The file refuses to be deleted....or renamed or moved for that matter.

Heres the kicker- when I go to browse to the directory this corrupt file resides....my cpu usage goes through the roof even if I as much as highlight the file. I'm not talking double clicking to activate the file I'm talking a basic SINGLE click to highlight the file. The second I do my cpu jumps to 80% usage and won't stop. Even if I back out and stop browsing that directory...my cpu usage continues to stay around 80% despite the fact I'm not running any programs.

At this point I can't even "safely remove" my external drive. As soon as I try to stop it in XP it says a program is accessing it.
I'm assuming it's Explorer. Once it even glances at the file it goes berzerk. I've even run a virus scan on it and it's clean.

Any ideas on what I can do short of reformatting?! HELP!
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Old August 26th, 2004, 12:13 AM   #2
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First of all a CRC error usually *IS A BIGGIE*!!

Second, this is a known problem with XP and I'm not sure if
Service Pack 2 fixed this already, or not.

The problem is in Microsofts indexing engine which keeps AVI
files locked. If you wait long enough it will be gone and you can
be lucky to not have any locks if you have just booted into the
system.

If either does not allow you to delete them there are two ways
to get the file to go. First is more manual and you really should
be confident with things like killing processes and the task
manager. What you do is close ALL PROGRAMS and then open
a command line dos box. Go into task manager and close all
Internet Explorer and Explorer tasks. This should yield an empty
screen with just the command line and no desktop / start bar.
Navigate to your directory and you use DOS to delete the file.

If you don't know DOS or the other things then don't use that
method. The second is to disable the service.

Otherwise you will need to alter the registry, see the following page:

http://www.sanx.org/tipShow.asp?articleRef=230

The downside is that explorer now cannot show you details of
AVI files anymore. But it will prevent any future locking.
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Old August 26th, 2004, 01:00 AM   #3
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Thank you so much Rob for replying. I'm not that good in the DOS prompt and am intimidated as heck with the registry so I tried to be crafty in deleting the file.

Like I said- even if I highlight the file my cpu throttles to 80% usage and NEVER comes back untill I forcefully unplug the drive.

What I did was create a new folder and moved ALL the content ACCEPT that file to the new folder. Then I went back and instead of highlighting the file to delete it (which would activate the problem) I highlighted the now empty folder that held only the corrupt file and deleted it (thank GOD!) sucessfully (knock on wood!).

The only thing I'm worried about is when I was transferring the files to the new directory it was acting sluggish and never quite "finished". I waited several minutes and still had the status bar for the files being moved. I figured it was hanging because I had earlier clicked on the bad file and my cpu usage was locked int full throttle. But when I went back to investigate it seems like the files DID all make it despite the fact I hit "cancel" after waiting a few minutes. Hopefully I didn't corrumpt any NEW file MYSELF by doing so but according to the numbering in windows explorer all the file #'s are kosher.

I'll double check the media tomorrow to make sure it's all intact.

Again thank you for your help Rob- I was so uptight...I never knew a corrupt file transferred from DVD/CD media could cause such a problem. Especially with the whole CPU usage thing locking at full throttle after clicking on the suspect file. Bizzare huh?
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Old August 26th, 2004, 04:56 AM   #4
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Glen, try from a command prompt:

CHKDSK d: /R

where d: is the drive letter. It may say that it is in use (it should not be), and if it does, answer Y to scan on restart. Leave it plugged in if it does prompt you and restart the system. That may fix the problem. Oh, the /R scans for bad media sections too, so it can take awhile.
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Old August 31st, 2004, 03:13 PM   #5
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Hi,

You could try a "quicker" chkdsk

chkdsk d: /f

will not check on sector level - will stay at file level...should be enough.

You could also try:

You can right click your drive in explorer -> properties -> remove "use indexing services for this volume" ( on the bottom of the props dialog )

G'luck!

// Lazze \\
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Old August 31st, 2004, 04:12 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone.
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Old September 1st, 2004, 01:24 PM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rob Lohman
The problem is in Microsofts indexing engine which keeps AVI
files locked. -->>>

if you are referring to the way that the operating system indexes files to make searches quicker, that type of indexing can be turned off.

i believe that option is accessible by right-clicking on the drive... i have it turned off on all the drives that i use.
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 06:18 AM   #8
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True, but that will not fix the problem for some reason. What it
does is something like this. When you open the folder Windows
enumerates the files and will load handlers for files it can identify
(to get things, for in this case AVI files, like width and height etc.).
This handler has bug in that it doesn't close the file after opening
it (doh). So disabling indexing will not fix it.

What might also work is rebooting your system. Open a dos box
(command shell) and navigate to the directory that way and use
the dos delete command to delete the file. Since Windows
doesn't have that directory open it (the handler) should not lock
the file either.

If you wait long enough this lock will be gone. I'm not sure why
it happens in the long run and it doesn't close it at first. Perhaps
the handler gets stuck somewhere or something. Who knows.
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 08:45 AM   #9
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What might also work is rebooting your system. Open a dos box
(command shell) and navigate to the directory that way and use
the dos delete command to delete the file. Since Windows
doesn't have that directory open it (the handler) should not lock
the file either.


Or do what I did to resolve the issue- isolate the file you want to delete in a folder by itself then delete the folder that contains the file rather than trying to highlight and delete the file directly.

Btw, I always turn off indexing on all my discs.
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 09:32 AM   #10
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That will work indeed and should be simpler. But may need a
reboot as well. Good one Glen!
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