Vista Permissions?
August 13, 2007 8:06 PM   Subscribe

What the crap? Vista won't let me delete a folder extracted from a .rar file.

K. I hate wasting my weekly question on this!


I pulled a folder (two subfolders about 2.5 GB total) onto my Desktop from a .rar file. Now I'm trying to delete that whole folder and receiving a "Destination Folder Access Denied" error. I'm an Administrator. I have ownership of the folder I'm trying to delete + Full Control permissions-wise. Am I missing something here?

I've googled this for about an hour. All I can find is similar issues with copying shared files between workstations.
posted by heavenstobetsy to Computers & Internet (26 answers total)
have you a windows explorer in that directory? could the rar extraction application or some other app. still have the directory (or a file in that directory) open?

If you can't work out what is prohibiting the deletion, you could always try rebooting and the re-deleting the file.
posted by azlondon at 8:22 PM on August 13, 2007

Just a random guess, but is your recycling bin very large? Try doing shift+delete, which bypasses the bin. Sounds like a big folder, so it's getting stuck on the size?
posted by jesirose at 8:31 PM on August 13, 2007

Response by poster: Tried rebooting. Same issue. I dunno. Guess I'm going to have Season 2 of The Hills on my Desktop forever.
posted by heavenstobetsy at 8:31 PM on August 13, 2007

When this type of thing happens to me, I usually wait until I restart the computer to delete it. This usually works fine, but when it doesn't I'll use a local FTP program to delete the file. It's never failed me yet.
posted by dhammond at 8:32 PM on August 13, 2007

I have yet to use Vista, but can you boot in Safe Mode as in XP? Booting in Safe Mode has done the trick for me in the past.
posted by jmd82 at 8:41 PM on August 13, 2007

Can you delete a single file in the folder?
posted by smackfu at 8:48 PM on August 13, 2007

Try turning off UAC then deleting it. I had this problem whenever I tried to delete anything in the C: drive using cubic explorer until I turned off User Annoyed Constantly.
posted by IronLizard at 9:14 PM on August 13, 2007

Hah. I'm the first person on the internet to call it that.
posted by IronLizard at 9:15 PM on August 13, 2007

Hah. I'm the first person on the internet to call it that.

Better snap up that domain name!
posted by davejay at 9:28 PM on August 13, 2007

Response by poster: I can't delete a single file inside, no.

I have UAC off. It was the first thing I did when I got this PC. What a terrible idea.
posted by heavenstobetsy at 9:34 PM on August 13, 2007

Guess I'm going to have Season 2 of The Hills on my Desktop forever

The Gods are punishing you. One, stealing the copyrights. Two, admitting you watch The Hills.

Seriously though, as someone who has watched a few TV series this way, make sure your bittorrent client isn't still trying to upload it as this will cause failure.
posted by Bonzai at 9:34 PM on August 13, 2007

Dunno about Vista, but this would be a sure kill in XP. Copy the following lines, paste them into Notepad, and save them as kill-folder.cmd:

cacls "%~1" /t /g %username%:F
attrib -r -h -s "%~1"
attrib -r -h -s "%~1\*.*" /s
rmdir /s "%~1"

Drag the folder you want to kill, and drop it on kill-folder.cmd's icon. Should do the job.
posted by flabdablet at 9:36 PM on August 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Good point. Karma coming back to me.

Azureus is no longer in play though.

Safe Mode = no for some reason as well!

I'm stumped.
posted by heavenstobetsy at 9:36 PM on August 13, 2007

Even though your userid is an administrator try logging in with the actual administrator id.
posted by Bonzai at 9:46 PM on August 13, 2007

Boot with a live Linux Distro like Puppy Linux. Find the folder and delete it. You're done.
posted by Crotalus at 10:27 PM on August 13, 2007

Crotalus has it. Knoppix would work, as would Puppy Linux.

And if that doesn't do it, start backing up your data if you can, because that hard drive is gonna blow.
posted by darksasami at 10:42 PM on August 13, 2007

On XP, I've always used WhoLockMe to figure out what was going on when that happened (occasionally). Not sure with Vista, but it might be worth a try.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:15 AM on August 14, 2007

Are you sure it is actually extracted, or is it still in the .rar file just looking like it's extracted? Can you delete the .rar file?
posted by caddis at 4:13 AM on August 14, 2007

The only reason you wouldn't be able to delete a file is if you either don't have permission, or the file is locked. Since this is your own computer, I'm guessing the permission issue isn't.

That means a file lock. A file can be locked for several reasons, but they all basically come down to this: Windows thinks a program is already using the file. You need to find and kill that program. If your download client is still open, the file is locked. If you're even viewing the file in some programs (file explorers, for example, though this happens a lot more on Linux boxen than Windows), the file can be locked.

Or, your recycle bin could just be "full." What that means is, there's no extra space on your system to not delete the file (files in the trash are still valid files, according to Windows, until you empty the trash). Empty your recycle bin and watch the Gigs come flying back.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:59 AM on August 14, 2007

Additionally, it's very strange that the file would remain locked after rebooting. The only instance I can think of where that might happen is if you installed a program that's now starting up every time the system is booted, and that program in turn is "holding" the file/folder. It doesn't just have to be in your Start menu... look in your Registry or at your running Services.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:35 AM on August 14, 2007

I think that Civil Disobedient is on to something. No telling what might of been in that file.
posted by bkeene12 at 5:55 AM on August 14, 2007

Get process explorer from the ms site and start killing off every process you see with the exception of explorer (this means killing dwm too). After you've killed everything you can without making it impossible to use, delete the file. I've had this same problem a couple of times, but I don't remember how I fixed it other than UAC. It's not malware, it's just an annoying bug somewhere in vista.
posted by IronLizard at 3:20 PM on August 14, 2007

Wasn't there a bug in XP where a malformed divx .avi file would become undeletable? Seem to remember that something like shmedia.dll would try to read the file, hang and keep it locked. Perhaps that bug is also present in Vista.
posted by blag at 9:23 PM on August 14, 2007

If that's what's going on, it's probably caused by Explorer trying to make thumbnails for you. You should be able to stop it from doing that by turning on List or Details view on the folders concerned, instead of Thumbnail or Filmstrip view, then logging off and on again.

I've not used Vista, so I don't know whether it shows folders on the desktop in thumbnail view by default; but it does sound like the kind of thing Microsoft probably would do in relentless pursuit of compulsory eye candy. I don't know of a way to change the desktop's view mode, so using a Linux live CD to do what you want is probably your best option.

If it were me, I'd use the same live CD to kick Vista in the head and install Ubuntu; it's less troublesome by far :-)
posted by flabdablet at 2:49 AM on August 15, 2007

IronLizard, "User Annoyed Constantly" is just brilliant and deserves a shot at becoming a meme. Well done.
posted by flabdablet at 3:03 AM on August 15, 2007

Hey cool, thanks flabdablet!

Did you get it deleted heavenstobetsy? If not, try using this utility.
posted by IronLizard at 5:08 AM on August 15, 2007

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