Cannot remove folder

By fw2004
Oct 13, 2008
  1. Hi;
    I just re-installed Windows XP pro, installed firefox 3.0, and then restored the backup of my bookmarks to the default folder where it was before.
    When I restored, I made the mistake of allowing MSBackup to restore security, and since I have a new install of Windows, the security does not match, and I am not allowed to remove the folder which restore created, or to access the restored bookmark file.

    I have restored the file again, putting it into a temporary location first, then copying it to the working folder.
    I still want to get rid of the extra folders now located in the Application Data\Mozilla... folder.

    I have tried logging on as administrator, but still cannot remove the folder.
    What do I have to do to remove the folder?


  2. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    Most files/folders in XP Pro you can right click and then click security and alter permissions. Try that?

    If that won't do it, try one of these;

    Enter 'cmd /k' (no quotes)
    Enter 'cd\' (will get you the C:\ prompt)
    Enter 'cd\Documents and Settings\{your user name}\Desktop'
    Enter 'dir /w'
    If you can see the item, Enter 'erase [filename]'

    If you had a folder to delete, you would use 'rmdir [folder name]'


    Download and install and update Malwarebytes (useful AM): use its' More Tools feature and run the FileASSASSIN.


    To use HijackThis to remove a stubborn file:

    Clearly identify the file(s) you want to delete and write down the COMPLETE path, eg, C:\Documents and Settings\MOM\Local Settings\Temp\filename

    Start HijackThis,

    click on the bottom option 'none of the above, just start the program'

    click on the bottom right hand option 'config'

    click on the top right hand option 'Misc tools'

    click on the 'delete a file on reboot..' box

    CAREFULLY work your way through the selection process to the file you want to delete and click on it

    Shut down and Reboot

    Sometimes, simply renaming a file/folder helps.
  3. fw2004

    fw2004 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 150

    Thanks for the help, but unfortunately in my case, it did not work.
    I first tried the cmd /k (what does the /k switch do?). It didn't give me any errors in removing the file, but nothing happened. Explorer still could not gain access to the folder the file was in.

    Next, I tried MalwareBytes File Assassin. It did see the file, and allowed me to remove it, but would not allow me to remove the folder.

    I then tried Hijackthis, but it could not remove a folder.

    I then installed a second copy of Win XP Pro on another HDD, and booted into it.
    I could see the folder I wanted to remove, but again, I was denied access to it.
    It appears to me that something in the security schema (or whatever) will not allow any system except that which secured the file to remove it.
    I have had this sort of problem before, when I had more than one copy of Win2K Server running on the same machine. I believe that I was able to take ownership of the rogue file or folder and then remove it.

    I do have a copy of Win2K Server, so maybe I will install it over the second WinXP install (or on another partition) and see if I can do that. This I have to admit is a little like the Monty Python mosquito hunting with a bazooka gun skit.
    I should be able to use some sort of admin tool to do this.
    I'll look on all of my OS's install CD's and see what I can find.

  4. kingcomp

    kingcomp TS Rookie

    Another option is to download and create SystemRescueCD available at or use some other Linux type Live CD. This should get you around any windows security and allow you to delete anything you want (be careful because anything means anything)
  5. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    /k holds the DOS window open instead of simply doing the command and closing.

    I like to see things happen - not a voyeur mind you, just an interested technophobe.


    You did try the Permissions change and renaming?
  6. fw2004

    fw2004 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 150

    No, I had actually not tried permission changes. Reason: I did not find the security tab when I looked in Properties. At first, I thought maybe it was because I wasn't logged into a domain, but using Windows help files, I found the reason: I had "use simple file sharing" checked. Uh, well, I guess that shows you how inexperienced I am. I'm not a novice by any means, but I just don't get to do these things all that often since I don't have my Win2K server running anymore.

    I like having the second Win XP install though. It's a good place to check out new software and do anything I don't want to risk on my main install. I do of course have security running on the other install. Nice that Symantec allows you to run more than one install of Internet Security 2008. I still have the same sub renew date on both of course.

    I had no trouble activating Win XP on the 2nd install, even though I had just installed on the main drive a day ago. I guess their activation software is "smart" enough to recognize that it's the same computer, or maybe they are less vigilent than they used to be in the beginning<g>

  7. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    So! Fixed.

    A good lesson for everyone and you are off and running again.

    Ain't life Grand!

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