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On my Windows XP machine, I type dir into the command prompt in a specific directory. It starts to list a bunch of files but then pauses and then shows File Not Found.

Does anyone know why that would happen and how to fix it?

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It would help to know which directory you were in. – ChrisF Aug 20 '11 at 21:09
Have you run a disk check to see if there is file-system corruption? (c:\> chkdsk) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Aug 21 '11 at 4:47
-1 You should amend the title, because the title reads as an extremely silly question. Whereas the question is actually indicative of some serious/actual problem. Some people may know the answer but not click on your question because it looks like you're asking something very obvious. Why does DIR say "file not found" obvious answer because no files in the directory. You should amend the title – barlop Aug 23 '11 at 9:38
up vote 6 down vote accepted

If there is a corrupt entry in directory list, an error might occur. Just try again and try to find where it is aborted. Use Explorer instead of command prompt and examine the file list. Sometimes protected files -viruses/antiviruses and Sony do that- can't be recognized by the filesystem.

Probably you can't copy or delete ALL files in that directory. If they are not important try to delete all files. At the end you might find the "dirty" entry, after delete all clear files/dirs.

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Does it stop at the same spot? If so, hdd is failing

If it stops at random points, try dir /a

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Agreed, search in other sorted ways, dir /oen But do run a check drive on the disk, when you can accept the downtime. – Robert Kerr Aug 20 '11 at 21:53

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