"Ghost" Recycle Bin

By Sabrina
Mar 13, 2014
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  1. I'm not sure where to start on this (or if I'm even posting in the correct area) as I don't seem to have virus problem and yet I'm not getting any funky errors. I do, however, have a "ghost" recycle bin on my desktop that's been hanging around ever since something happened while running TFC and having a computer crash in the middle of that function. At that time I ended up having to hard boot the computer. Since then, all has been well. The computer is running like a champ and TFC continues to be a useful and reliable tool.

    I've attached a screenshot of my desktop. The ghost icon for the recycle bin is the last in the group of icons on the left of the screen. I've "deleted" this item several times to no avail. The "real" recycle bin is still present and functioning normally. This isn't a performance issue, it's merely an aesthetic one. How can I get this ghost to go away?

    Attached Files:

  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,732   +156

    I guess you will have to live with it...
  3. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,428   +618

    Right-click on the trashcan, then Properties. Show me what the dialog says, for both trashcans.

    Also try following these steps to hide them, and then show them.
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-au/windows/show-hide-recycle-bin#1TC=windows-7

    Go to C:\$Recycle.Bin and tell me how many Recycle Bins you have there.

    Also try: start -> "desktop icon", click on the "show or hide common icons..." entry. Select the Empty Bin, reset icon to default.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
  4. Sabrina

    Sabrina Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 28

    Dialogue for both icons is attached (very different - one behaves like the recycle bin, the other behaves like any other icon).

    Images for the desktop with and without the recycle bin box checked are attached. Each time the only icon affected was the real recycle bin.

    Image of C:\$Recycle.Bin attached. There are 2 files in that folder.

    Resetting the icon to default yielded no change.

    Attached Files:

  5. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,335   +49

    The one with the two folders is locked (see the lock symbol) and the reason it is impossible to delete it is down to the two folders with the odd names. These are actually created by a rather special user who is now an 'unknown' user, and will probably be found to 'own' the old recycle bin. I can tell you this sort of strange thing has been happening in win 7 for at least 4 years or more with no action or solution from MS. There never will be either.

    Examples of the unknown user S-1-5-21-etc.... are :- a previous administration user now replaced by a new administrator for certain reasons (computer pre-owned, or OS updated from earlier OS version), or quite commonly a user generated by backup software installed to do drive imaging and since removed from the system. Such a super-user has to have super-full rights in order to be able to image a complete drive.

    Here is an example of the sort of thing people try to remove such folders which can no longer be processed. http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/...ders-how/3160990a-e723-45dc-84e8-3e493ef57c89
    I can only report that most times, nothing can be done to remove those problems, but they don't cause any futher trouble, just frustration. To complicate matters, that unknown super-user will also be found in the registry in several places.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  6. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,428   +618

    Ghost-bin location says that the Bin is actually located on a server or file share somewhere.

    It seems that your computer is running Win7 Pro (or higher), is/was attached to a domain, and had folder redirection activated at some point. E.g. a company computer.

    Is this computer still owned by the company? If yes, then I'm not going to help you further, apart from telling you how you can hide the ghost Bin icon:
    Open up My Computer, click on Desktop, click Organize (top-left), Folder and Search Options, Hidden files and folders, Don't show hidden files. OK.



    If it's an ex-company computer or something similar, let us know..
  7. Sabrina

    Sabrina Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 28

    It's my computer, but yes, I have it on the company network for ease of use. The "hiding" worked just fine, though. So thank you!
  8. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,428   +618

    I see. Well, that's good.

    The second 'ghost' bin is there if you delete something from your Desktop or Documents folder that is sync'd to the server. It goes into the Ghost Bin. A 'copy' is made in your normal recycle bin. Most people should have hidden files not showing anyway.

    That's the cause of this problem. :)


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