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RunAmok

Problem cleaning Recycle Bin in 3.11.1550 under XP

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Running CCleaner 3.11.1550 under XP SP3 did something rather strange the first time I ran it. Using the Run CCleaner from the Recycle bin icon, it evidently tried to clean it but the icon didn't change - still showing that the recycle bin had some files in it. When I opened the recycle bin at that point it did appear empty. But the "Empty the Recycle Bin" choice from the Recycle Bin icon was not greyed out. When I tried that, it asked if I wanted to permanently delete "Window". That was a bit scary, so I didn't proceed. I checked the Recycle Bin using Windows Explorer (I'm set to view hidden and system files) and it appeared empty. A manual 'analyze' run of CCleaner did not show the recycle bin so it evidently thought it was empty.

The next day, I deleted some files, and manually emptied the Recycle Bin. From that point on, CCleaner seems to be working as I expect it to - deleting anything in the Recycle Bin and the icon changes from 'not empty' to 'empty'.

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Take-two: I just reproduced the same problem. Created a new - empty and unnamed - folder on the desktop and dragged it into the Recycle bin. Used the Recycle bin's icon option to run CCleaner - which appeared to run normally. At that point, the symptoms matched those described above - except that my memory must have been slightly off since when I click on the Empty Recycle Bin choice it asks if I want to delete "Windows". Again the recycle bin appears empty from any method I can think of using to look at it, CCleaner does not see it as populated from an analyze, but the icon shows it still contains something.

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Files in the Recycle Bin which you can't see can mean a corrupt recycler.

 

If this is the case, simply shift-delete the Recycler folder, and Windows will create a new one on reboot.

 

You'll have to first check the "show hidden files and folders" box and uncheck the "hide protected system files" box in the "Tools\Folder Options\View Tab" of any Windows Explorer window.

 

2011_10_21_151152.jpg

 

Open your root folder (C:\) and shift - delete the "Recycler" folder, and reboot.

 

2011_10_21_151633.jpg

 

If this has been the cause of your issue, you will have a fresh clean Recycler folder after rebooting.

 

This is probably the best thing to try first, and if you have other partitions or permanently connected drives, you may have to delete the Recycler of each one

 

I can delete that folder (as Administrator) with no problems, so post back if you hit a problem with that.

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Thanks for the reply. Should have tried that, but because Windows seemed to think that "Windows" - whatever that meant - was a candidate for deleting, I hadn't pursued it any farther. But if there was something corrupt in the Recycler of either or both of my hard drives, that sounds like a reasonable next step. I did delete the Recycler folder on both hard drives and reboot. Sure enough both were recreated with a single folder (my id) under both, and I could put things in them and manually empty them with no problems

.

Soooo... I repeated the test outlined above, simply creating a folder on the desktop, dragging it into the recycle bin, and running Ccleaner from the recycle bin icon's right click options again. Back to square one! Again, the Recycle Bin icon still shows it has contents, nothing there when I 'open' the recycle bin or in either recycler folder or subfolder, but again asked if I want to delete "Windows" if I try the Empty The Recycle Bin choice. Appears to me that this version of Ccleaner apparently creates some kind of corruption in one - or both - of the recycler folders on my two hard drives.

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I've just picked up on something from your second post above.

 

Created a new - empty and unnamed - folder on the desktop

 

Is this the windows trick of using "Alt + 255" to create a folder with no name?

 

If so, that's your problem. These unnamed folders can be difficult to get rid of, and you'll find countless examples via google of folk who do this and then find they can't get rid of it.

 

It can become hidden automatically, and then folk can't even find it to get rid of it, and if in the recycle bin, it will definitely confuse Windows.

 

Do all your testing with a normal file or folder and I don't think you will have a problem. Of course renew your Recycler again.

 

I'm assuming it will be gone if the Recycler deletes OK, but if you have any doubts, delete the Recycler in Safe Mode.

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Interesing thought, but.... the folder was created my simply right-clicking on the desktop and picking 'new folder' I just didn't bother to rename it. And the same symptoms occur when I delete any unwanted file. CCleaner deletes everything in the recycle bin, but leaves behind something invisible it refers to as "Windows". It appears from the two systems I have here that the problem only appears on the system with two hard drives. Both are otherwise identical, XP, Pentium 4HT, loaded apps, file system and structure (give or take an individual file or two), etc.

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Damn, I thought we'd cracked it there.

 

I'm inclined to think that this isn't actually a CCleaner problem as there are many instances of this phenomena out there on the web not involving CCleaner.

 

It's difficult to tell what is causing this.

 

Anyways, have a try with a solution to the problem at this link, which incorporates a reg fix from "Kelly's Korner", (a well known and highly respected source of fixes of all kinds), coupled with our efforts above i.e. renewing the Recycler.

 

http://forums.techgu...tml#post1248468

 

Also have a look here ...

 

http://forums.techgu...blem-you-2.html

 

 

EDIT:

 

Something else you could look at relating to the two drives configuration, is how you have the Recyclers set up.

 

Show hidden and system files again, and go into the Recycler folder and then right click the Recycle bin folder/icon itself and select properties. Mine is set up under the "global" tab to "Use One Setting For All Drives" ...

 

b79fec5cd2eb.jpg

 

If it's the same as mine, maybe try setting them up separately. You never know.

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Those two links were on point, although they were circa 2006 and slanted toward how to recreate the recycle bin under SP2 or discussing the same invisible "Windows" file/folder as far back as W98. I compared the .reg file with my registry and found several differences but I think those were more SP3 or local config oriented rather than part of the problem. And while I'm willing to add the symtoms of an invisible "Windows" in the recycle bin to the long list of Windows Wierdness, the bottom line is that this had never happened here until I upgraded to the 3.11.1550 release. Neither do I know why XP claims that whatever it sees is "Windows", but Microsoft is Microsoft and wierdness is wierdness...

 

Still, it got my curiosity up, so I did the volume copies that I'd been putting off this month, recreated the problem, and emptied the recycle bin which claimed it was about to permanently erase "Windows". I don't know what it erased or what or where it changed something, but the end result appears to be nothing more than an empty recycle bin. I'm permanently set to view system and hidden files, but there was no change in any of the recycler properties or contents (or lack of contents) that I could see.

 

I did some additional testing to see if there was some specific environment or recycle bin contents which contribute to the problem. Tried large and small files on both drives (but nothing bigger than the allowed space), folders (empty, populated, renamed, etc), all with using just the Recycle Bin's 'Empty" link and then again using CC's "Run CCleaner" option in the Recycle Bin's options.

 

Bottom line is that deleting files on either (or both) drives works as expected with either method but CC leaves something (?) behind if there's a folder involved - although using the Empty option works as advertised. The folder is deleted, but Windows sitll thinks there's something there to be handled. And whatever got left behind can safely be deleted/repaired by just using the Empty option.

 

Oh, and I do have the two drives set to individual percent of allowed space since they're different sizes and one is relatively small (20% of 500Gb $ 10% of 40Gb) so they both have their own recycler structure.

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I'm scratching my head here as to what could be created in the Recycle Bin by using CCleaner, and as you state, just this version of CCleaner.

 

For elimination purposes more than anything else, have you tried going back to a previous version of CCleaner that didn't create this invisible file, and the odd "delete Windows" message?

 

I think it's relevant to know as to whether this really is a problem relating to the latest version of CCleaner, or has a problem been created which would now cause this to happen with any version?

 

If a previous version works as it normally should, then stick with that one until the next update of CCleaner, and I'll point the devs to this thread as they are more likely to fix something "version" related.

 

What puzzles me, is the fact that this issue has happened with a lot of people not using CCleaner, so it's possible that your issue could be a combination of CCleaner and something else. The something else being the cause of the issue for others.

 

Windows weirdness!! I like that term.

 

All previous CCleaner versions:

 

 

EDIT: There is an updated version available at that link.

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Based on years as a Windows admin, I'd bet that it's not really an 'invisible' file that's being left behind - since I can't see anything in the actual file system using either Windows Explorer or several lower level utilities. My guess is that it's some long standing Windows bug - from as far back as W98, according to the reports - which misinterprets whatever (?) it's finding and pumps out the "Are you sure you want to delete 'Windows'?" message. Since I don't have a clue how CCleaner empties the recycle bin, I don't know where else to look. Registry? Some entry that's set to flag the fact that a recycle bin is populated - which is no longer getting cleared? Something in the file system or specifically in the properties or contents of the recycler folders on one or both drives?

 

In any case, your suggestion reminded me that I don't really know how long it was before this problem popped up when I actually deleted a folder so it could have begun several CCleaner releases back.

 

Ahhhh ... Here's another set of clues which may help someone figure it out:

 

10.1525 - Works as expected

11.1541 - Fails

11.1550 - Fails

12.1572 - Fails

 

All tests were done using the 'quick and easy' method by creating a new folder on the desktop, dragging it to the recycle bin, right-clicking the recycle bin and selecting the "Run CCleaner" option, noticing that the icon did not revert to the 'empty' icon (and the "delete Windows" message still resulted from a manual empty) and continuing to really 'empty' the recycle bin for the next test.

 

And as I said, now that I know that continuing to manually empty the recycle bin after the misleading message doesn't really delete "Windows" it's not really that big a deal. Probably scares the crap out of the average user though... <smile> Hopefully, the dev's will figure out what they changed between 3.10.1525 and 3.11.1541. And I'd love to find out what's actually causing the problem - and the misleading message.

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That's all useful information, and thanks for taking the trouble to test the CCleaner versions.

 

It isn't too big a deal as you say, but it's a mystery, and if you're anything like me, you'll hate mysteries.

 

One of us may just bump into a solution for this, and the devs do read these posts, so based upon the fact that version 10.1525 works as expected, they may have a fix for a future version, but in the meantime I'm fresh out of ideas.

 

I'll get back to this thread if I find anything remotely useful.

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Based on years as a Windows admin, I'd bet that it's not really an 'invisible' file that's being left behind - since I can't see anything in the actual file system using either Windows Explorer or several lower level utilities.

Have you use Everything from http://www.voidtools.com/

That searches the MFT and shows me things that Windows Explorer conceals.

 

I have just searched for CHKDSK*.LOG

and it found four instances of 5 KB LOG files within C:\System Volume Information\Chkdsk\

and two instances of each in D:\System Volume Information\Chkdsk and H:\System Volume Information\Chkdsk.

 

Even more amazing, by selecting one result and right click I can OPEN PATH and Windows Explorer is launched,

and now Notepad tells me all the bad things ChkDsk said after it announced

"One of your disks needs to be checked for consistency."

 

N.B. Windows 7 and I are new to one another so I have not yet touched this region with iCalcs,

so Windows Explorer would never have let me get this far into its inner workings.

Having viewed the log I closed without writing and now I am out of there.

I may not be an angel but I know where I should not be treading :rolleyes:

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It may not mean anything here but I know for a fact that for some odd reason the default Windows 'save' dialog creates a zero byte file and deletes it instantly afterwards. Microsoft uses this kind of behavior to test that the location is actually writable and in your case it gets stuck :)

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One more clue, for whatever it's worth.... I just cleaned out %temp% (which, by the way, CCleaner does NOT clean out) before I shut down for the night. There were 36 files (some zero byte, some not) and 4 empty directories (2 of which were subdirectories under one of the top-level 2 directories). I checked to see that they all were in the recycle bin (they were) and then clicked the 'Run CCleaner" link. When it finished, the recycle bin's icon still showed it had contents but opening it showed it was empty. The interesting part is that when I then manually tried to empty it with the recycle bin's Empty link, it asked if I wanted to delete 4 items - accounting for the 4 folders which I'd just seen in there, but not the 36 files. Sooo.... if there's only one folder to start with, it asks if you want to delete one item which it describes as "Windows" but if there's more than one folder, it simply asks if you want to delete the number of items which were originally folders... Files get deleted normally and don't add to the wierdness count. Go figure....

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The presence of a file is indicated by an entry in a directory, as shown by DIR and Windows Explorer

A separate indication is in the MFT, as shown by "Everything" from voidtools

 

Those two sets of information are not necessarily adequate to tell Windows the ORIGINAL location when you ask it to RESTORE an item from the Recycle Bin.

I do not know how Windows knows that - I have not bothered to Google - I just know that it knows.

 

Perhaps that is the bit of secret knowledge that CCleaner needs to purge.

 

Do you have x32 or x64 - perhaps this could be a factor - with Windows anything can be the hidden gotcha :rolleyes:

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Win XP Pro, x32, SP3, patched up to date.

There are several Microsoft 'Tips' (example - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/136517/EN-US/ - dated 2007 so it should include XP) which explain how the recycle bin works, how the files are renamed when moved to the recycler folder, etc, and using a DOS window and the DIR command, I see the renamed files and folders even though Windows Explorer's view translates the name back to what you deleted. What I hadn't seen until tonight until I knew what to look for - is a hidden file called "Info2" which is supposed to hold corresponding informaton such as the original path, and which never shows up using Windows Explorer or a Windows search including hidden and system files in the search options. In any case, again using DOS and DIR, there's still a "Dc4" left in the recycler after I run CCleaner which is evidently the test folder "Test_CC" I created and deleted. It's a directory, and not hidden or system. There's also two hidden files ("Info2" and "desktop.ini") and desktop.ini is of course, also a system file. Info2 contains 20 bytes of unrecognizable binary data; not enough to hold the full 40 byte path and original name, but... it's obviously is enough to hold whatever internal translation Windows needs to restore the directory.

 

At this point, all I really 'know' is that CCleaner works fine on my wife's PC (XP Home Edition) which has a single larger hard drive and does not work on my PC which has two smaller hard drives set up for individual recycler bins.

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From a test situation carried out here ...

 

http://www.raymond.c...ecycler-folder/

 

... it seems that deleting the Info2 file creates the "Delete Windows" situation.

 

If you try deleting INFO2 from command prompt, it will say that “Could Not Find INFO2″ because it has HIDDEN attribute. Just use the command “attrib -h INFO2” to unhide INFO2. Now I am able to delete INFO2 file. Weirdly immediately after deleting the INFO2 file, I can’t see any files in desktop’s Recycle Bin but the icon still showing as if there is trash. I tried to empty recycle bin and it ask me “Are you sure you want to delete ‘windows’?

 

 

Is CCleaner deleting this file somehow, or could there even be a corrupt Info2 file in there, although this shouldn't be the case as you can delete and restore the Recycler with no problem.

 

Thinking out loud here, as this is a weird one, and I think maybe one for the devs to look at.

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@Dennis

Thanks for the link.

I knew that converting FAT32 into NTFS was less efficient than starting with a clean NTFS,

but I had not realised one was also permanently stuck with both flavours of Recycled or Recycler.

 

Gotchas to the left of me, Gotchas to the right :o

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It's not that Info2 is missing - or even damaged. It just doesn't match the contents of the recycler folder! I won't go into why XP asks if you want to delete "Windows" when it knows there's something wrong, but at least I've finally figured out what it's interpreting as 'wrong'.

 

Here's what Info2 looks like with both a file and a directory in the recycler folder

 

♣ ♥ C:\Documents and Settings\techjtr\Desktop\CCtestfilel.jpg

 

 

☻ ☻ 0Φ]üê¥╠☺ ` C : \ D o c u m e n

t s a n d S e t t i n g s \ t e c h j t r \ D e s k t o p \ C C t e s t f i

l e l . j p g

 

 

 

 

C:\Documents and Settings\techjtr\Desktop\CC_testdir

 

 

♥ ☻ îFQë¥╠☺ C : \ D o c u m e n

t s a n d S e t t i n g s \ t e c h j t r \ D e s k t o p \ C C _ t e s t d

i r

 

And here's the matching entries in the recycler folder:

↑..

↓DC3 (Note that this is a directory)

DC2 .JPG

DESKTOP .INI

INFO2

 

After running CCleaner, here's what's in the recycler folder:

↑..

↓DC3 (Yep, it's still a directory)

DESKTOP .INI

INFO2

 

But here's what Info2 has in it:

♣ ♥

 

Not suprisingly, that's exactly what the Info2 of an empty recycle bin looks like. And I verified that with an FC comparing this Info2 with one created when I used the Empty link to empty the recycle bin.

 

Sooooo.... What CCleaner is doing (at least here) is resetting Info2 to it's 'empty' state/contents but failing to remove the directory(s) in the recycler folder itself. Why it's doing that in my particular environment - and not in others - is a great question, still to be answered.

 

EDIT: Posting the above removed some of the spaces in the examples, but the gist of what happened is valid.

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Just to get this clear.

 

You are creating the invisible file in what appears to be an empty Recycle Bin, and getting the “Are you sure you want to delete ‘windows’? message with the Info2 file still in there. Which obviously is different to the scenario created by Raymond at the above link.

 

And it doesn't appear to be a corrupt Info2 file stuck in there as it's contents change as the Recycle Bin is being used.

 

This is definitely one for the devs, and as they do read these threads maybe they'll respond to this one as it's particularly unusual.

 

Some good detective work done there, which will hopefully help with an eventual resolution.

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On Windows 7 I have a "toy" 100 MB FAT32 Partition T:\ with a Recycle Bin

and all the useful partitions are NTFS.

 

I can delete a file in either FAT32 T:\ or NTFS C:\ and see it in both the C:\ and T:\ Recycle Bins.

 

Is it possible that the Recycle confusion that Raymond identified as a result of changing format,

could also exist under XP if it holds both NTFS and FAT32 partitions with disparate Recycle things linked together ?

 

@RunAmok

Could this be a factor here - do you have both NTFS and FAT32 ?

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@Dennis

Thanks for the link.

I knew that converting FAT32 into NTFS was less efficient than starting with a clean NTFS,

but I had not realised one was also permanently stuck with both flavours of Recycled or Recycler.

 

Gotchas to the left of me, Gotchas to the right :o

 

Boy, all this is too much for me. By the way Alan, it's "Clowns to the left of me! Jokers to my right. Here I am stuck in the middle with you." -Bob Dylan O.K., I know when to leave. LOL Warlock

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@Alan_B - Nope. Just two single partition NTFS drives as C: and F: And I don't know why it would matter, but one is on the primary controller and the other is on the secondary with DVD drives (as D: and E:) also split between controllers. As to the apparent duplication where a deleted file shows up in the recycler on both drives, Windows Explorer 'helps' us by faking that. But... DOS shows there's a DC4 only in the recycler on the drive the file was erased from. The recycler on the other drive only contains Info2, and the Info2 in the recycler of the second drive is 'empty; (as shown above). I suppose I should point out that if I erase a folder on the second drive, the DC4 and updated Info2 exists in that drive's recycler and the one on the C: drive is empty - even though Windows Explorer fakes it and makes it look like there's a file in both recycler folders.

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Just an update to notify that the symptoms described did not change when running 3.13.1600. In my dual disk environment, as long as there is at least one folder in the recycle bin (which is a visual combination of the two recycler folders) , CCleaner will not empty the Recycle Bin correctly.

 

If there's only one folder in either recycler folder, after runnng CCleaner a manual 'Empty' of the recycle bin will ask if you really want to delete "Windows". If there was more than one folder, a manual 'Empty' will simply ask if you want to delete "all the items in the recycle bin". In either case, the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop will continue to show that the Recycle Bin is not empty after running CCleaner until you manually empty it using the Recycle Bin icon. Luckily, a manual empty does NOT delete 'Windows', and simply resets both recycler folders to their default 'empty' configuration.

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