Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have some strange folders on my hard disk (they appeared in a subdirectory of a QT installation on my C partition, I am not sure, but I think those folders appeared after I deleted some temporary files on the command line with del /F /S /Q *.*).

Those strange folders have the name "c:" and I can’t delete them, because when I click delete, windows wants to remove all my files on the C partition.

Does anyone have any clue how I can get rid of those folders?

picture showing the strange folders

I even can start the calculator with the path: C:\a\c:\a\c:\b\c:\a\c:\b\c:\a\c:\b\c:\a\c:\a\c:\Windows\system32\calc.exe


dir /Q results:

Directory of C:\a

19.11.2010  07:59    <DIR>          MYCOMPUTER\MYUSER      .
19.11.2010  07:59    <DIR>          BUILTIN\Administrators ..
21.12.2009  20:04    <DIR>          ...                    c:
               0 File(s)              0 bytes
               3 Dir(s)  19.354.865.664 bytes free

EDIT2: Running a full chkdsk /F /R during boot didn't change anything.

share|improve this question
Can you paste the output of dir c:\a? – Nov 20 '10 at 16:54

I don't know how you ended in this state, but can you try the following:

share|improve this answer
that junction tool does not work in my case: Failed to open \\?\C:\a\c:: The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect. – smerlin Nov 20 '10 at 17:25
Try: junction c:\a to determine whether it's a junction. Did you try chkdsk? – Nov 20 '10 at 17:27
junction c:\a gives me No reparse points found., and no i havent tried chkdsk yet, will try it now. – smerlin Nov 20 '10 at 17:38
OK, then it's not a junction point. Try chkdsk, hope it helps. – Nov 20 '10 at 17:46
chkdsk stage 1-3 havent detected any error... stage 4&5 will take some hours to finish... if it doesnt find any error aswell it seems like i will try if i can get some info about these strange directories using the direct filesystem api myself... maybe it is indeed a junction, but that junction tool does not detect it because it normally only supports links to other folders and not to partitions... – smerlin Nov 20 '10 at 18:12

Since the odd folders appear to be stemming from folders in your root of C:, I would investigate doing a backup of your drive (on another machine) with a tool like Total Commander, but excluding those base folders (i.e. a, b, etc.).

I recommend TC because it can run in elevated mode, and copies user security without trying to take ownership of a folder.

Then format the drive, resync the folders back, and run a repair install off the XP CD.

share|improve this answer
up vote 0 down vote accepted

i was able to easily delete those strange folders using a Linux-OS. Interestingly, on linux those folders looked quite different, and were not recursive at all. They just contained some emtpy subdirectories and nothing beside that:

   +Documents and Settings
   +Program Files
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.