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  • Can't delete files...what the heck?!

    This is the message that appears when I try to delete a few certain folders off my desktop:


    Cannot delete (Program name): It is being used by another person or program.

    Close any programs that might be using the file and try again.


    Now, these programs are not being used by anything. One is the Thievery.exe, one is some iTunes.exe thing I canceled before it was done downloading, and the other is a character generator, but not an exe. Anyone know how I can get rid of these?
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  • #2
    1st option: Ctrl + alt + delete. Then click programs and see if those files are actually on. If not then...
    2nd option: Delete them using cmd.
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    • #3
      Safemode!
      Based on a true story.
      The prequel.

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      • #4
        windows is known to be quirky with file deletion.

        There are some hacks to make windows let you delete files it thinks are "in use", but safe mode is better.

        Another thing you can try: Open a command prompt, kill explorer.exe, use command prompt to delete and start explorer.exe again.
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        • #5
          or if you hate safemode (HATE!!1!") run cmd from run, kill explorer from the taskmanager and delete the offending files from the command prompt
          edit agh pwned by Pest and my slow reactions skills =0
          ..it's safer here.

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          • #6
            Have you tried to restart? Usually does the trick. I doubt Thievery.exe is started when Windows is booting.

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            • #7
              I've had several times problems like this (and they weren't cured by booting), but at least that method Pest suggested did the trick on those, can't remember if safemode worked on them too.
              My cats are black! How about yours?

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              • #8
                I get it all the time,i just leave it a week or 2, and next time i notice the empty folders, it gets gone.
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                • #9
                  There are some programs that you can get that can move, rename or delete files on boot before anything starts to use them.

                  google about
                  Never, ever, argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience

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                  • #10
                    The error can also happen if the file is too large for the recycle bin (which is typically where you are moving it to when you "delete").

                    The file needs to be permanently removed directly, bypassing the recycle bin.

                    I think hitting "Shift-Delete" to remove the file does this.
                    Give some taffer fire, and you'll keep him warm for the night with one less reason to cause trouble for the master.
                    Set a taffer on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life, and have no need to bother the master.

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                    • #11
                      Here you go.


                      I use Process Explorer, but the above linked program looks to be easier to use(just a few clicks with that one, and potentially several with PE).
                      Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, n. See also Irony.

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                      • #12
                        Modetwo, i think the issue here is that it's on the desktop, that's why killing the desktop (explorer.exe) might work.
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                        • #13
                          I just used Unlocker to delete a few empty folders that wouldn't go away -- Movie Maker, microsoft frontpage, NetMeeting, and xerox. Now if only there was a way to actually uninstall Outlook Express.
                          Nearly all men can stand adversity -- if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

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                          • #14
                            Missed the unlocker thing, that's pretty nifty. Thanks.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by WildBill
                              I just used Unlocker to delete a few empty folders that wouldn't go away -- Movie Maker, microsoft frontpage, NetMeeting, and xerox. Now if only there was a way to actually uninstall Outlook Express.
                              Don't you simply find the folders (empty) respawned on restart?

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