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How do I delete a Norton 360 Backup file?

By CelticBear · 8 replies
Jul 16, 2009
  1. My problem is that I have an old Norton 360 backup file approx 40 GB in size that I can't delete. I removed Norton 360 from my system without deleting this file. Now when I try to delete it using Windows XP I get an "Error Deleting File or Folder" message which says "Cannot delete DiskID: access denied. Make sure the disk is not full of write protected and that the file is not curently in use."

    I talked to Symantec support who told me the only way to remove this file was with the original installation of N360--too late for that now! The Norton Removal Tool is no good--it apparently removes programs but not backup files.

    I tried to re-format the WD WorldBook external drive on which this backup file resides to no avail. Western Digital support informed me that this drive cannot be re-formated.

    Anyone have any ideas as to how I might free up 40 GB's of space by eliminating this file?
  2. mrturtle

    mrturtle TS Rookie Posts: 41

    Darricks boot and nuke?
  3. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 678   +69


    First try to delete the file in Safe Mode, before something gets a handle on it (holds it and prevents its deletion). To start in safe mode,

    a. Restart the computer and, when the screen becomes blank during startup (before windows logo appears), repeatedly press F8 until the Windows Advanced Options Menu displays.
    b. Use your arrow keys to select Safe Mode, and then press ENTER.

    If that fails, use Unlocker

    1. Simply right click the folder or file and select Unlocker
    2. If the folder or file is locked, a window listing the lockers will appear
    3. Simply click Unlock
    4. Reboot (sometimes not required).

    Unlocker should then delete file on reboot, before anything gets hold of it.

    Unlocker is free but donations are welcome.
  4. CelticBear

    CelticBear TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately neither worked. From Safe Mode I got the same Windoes "Error Deleting File or Folder" message.

    When I tried Unlocker, I first got a message saying "No Locking handle found however can help deal with problem" One of the options presented was to delete the file, which I chose. After quite a while I got an Error message "the object could not be delted".

    Any further thoughts?
  5. CelticBear

    CelticBear TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I am not very familiar with Boot and Nuke but thought it was for wiping all hard disks clean. I will research it further but I was hoping to find a solution that would allow me to deltete just one Directory rather than wiping the entire disk clean. Thanks for the sugestion.
  6. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 678   +69

    Alternative Strategies

    Well, you can pride yourself that you’ve beaten the best file deletion tool I know of, or maybe this honor belongs to Norton. :) That is topped up by a drive that cannot be reformatted!

    On a more serious note, I list below other strategies, but cannot guarantee they’ll work where Unlocker failed. However, if you are determined – and careful where indicated! – they are worth trying. If you don’t want to take any risks, make a system backup image, which is a good policy anyway.

    A free alternative approach you can try is:

    This integrates into the Windows shell (right click) and allows you to copy, move or delete files on the next system boot.

    Locked Files Wizard
    This is a simple assistant that allows you to either replace, move, delete or rename one or more files or folders which are in use by the system or any running process.
    WARNING: You can crash your system or make it unbootable if you are not careful!

    If the file is not in use, another possibility for inability to erase it is that the file name is invalid. A good tool for this case is:

    DelinvFile - Delete Invalid Files and Folders
    This is not free but there is a demonstration trial, which includes the capability for testing to verify that the program can access and process your problem files and folders.

    If all else fails, you can try DBAN as already suggested:

    DBAN (Darik's Boot And Nuke)
    Copy all remaining files on the disk involved, except the one you want to get rid of, somewhere else and then use DBAN on that disk to erase it completely. Afterwards, move back all the files you had copied.
    ATTENTION! Be extremely careful not to wipe your entire system, as will happen e.g. if you type "autonuke" and press Enter. Make sure you use the configurable option.
    Hit Enter at the start-up screen, and the Interactive mode will let you select specific hard drives or partitions to be shredded. Use the space bar and up-arrow and down-arrow keys to navigate and select from shredding algorithm options (which don’t really interest you), and press F10 to start the process.

    Good luck, and bear in mind that stubborn file deletion often is as much art as science.
  7. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Posts: 678   +69

    The Official File Deletion Tool

    I don't know what you've done in the meantime, but while reading a German computer mag, I discovered by accident the following combination of file deletion tools by SysInternals, written by the legendary Windows expert Mark Russinovich, and bought and officially adopted by MS itself.

    I'd say give this a try by preference. If it fails, the only choice left seems DBAN.

    PendMoves v1.1 and MoveFile v1.0
    By Mark Russinovich

    Schedule file rename and delete commands for the next reboot. This can be useful for cleaning stubborn or in-use malware files.

    The included MoveFile utililty allows you to schedule move and delete commands for the next reboot:

    usage: movefile [source] [dest]Specifying an empty destination ("") deletes the source at boot. An example that deletes test.exe is:

    movefile test.exe ""

    Notice that for deleting a file you specify "" as destination.

    PendMoves shows you what files are scheduled for delete or rename the next time the system boots.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,687   +3,842

    Wow, that's rude, bordering on consumer fraud.

    I'm sure you've already tried this, but I would have tried to open the folder and delete it piece at a time. At least after I changed it's "read only" properties. One can only assumed that that would have failed also.
  9. CelticBear

    CelticBear TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes I tried changing the attributes and deleating single files and folders one at a time--all to no avail. The file attributes are not allowed to be changed.
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