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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

EDIT1:

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.

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Can you paste the output of dir c:\a? – icyrock.com Nov 20 '10 at 16:54

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

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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? – icyrock.com 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. – icyrock.com 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.

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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:

-media
  -Windows_mount
    -a
      -c:
        -lib
          -QT4
            -plugins
              -designer
    -b
      -c:
        -lib
          -QT4
            -plugins
              -designer
   +bin
   +Documents and Settings
   ...
   +Program Files
   +Windows
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