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this one is odd:

I have two partitions on my computer, one for linux (ubuntu 12.latest) and one for window 7. I use grub to choose the system to boot. I made a Screenshot in Linux and saved it on the windows partition, which is mounted in linux with nautilus.

the filename is, or was, i cannot tell if it still exists in reality:

Screenshot from 2012-08-19 11:01:53.png

and it is (or was) saved in the windows Desktop folder (c:\Users\<name>\Desktop).

The file never worked because windows told me its demaged, but that does not matter just because I want to delete it now, but I cannot.

I tried the dir /X - trick, but no short name is generated for this file, I tried the \\?\c:... - syntax trick, but it tells me:

The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect.

and I finally tried to delete it within linux, where for the first try the files could not be deleted and didn't exist anymore at the second try.

I tried a chkdsk and it told me: disk is clean.

BTW.: I saved another file from linux on the desktop, this time with a valid name and it appears in linux, but not in windows.

What is going on here?



I tried FAR but:

error deleting file with FAR

every kind of file action (i.e. renaming, move and so on) leads to an error.

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Is the file visible from linux now or not? – terdon Sep 18 '12 at 10:48

In most cases Far Manager can delete files, wich can not delete Windows Explorer, cmd.exe or other file managers. But I can't check it with your example - can't create file with such name ;)

Some symbols (':' too) are forbidden for names in NTFS. So, you have a problems.

Thought, if you need to delete invalid file from Windows directly, you may edit HDD partition with some special tools (WinHex for example) - find file name and change ':' to any other symbol ('_').

Another try - in some cases, deleting via short file name may works (if this file has short file name). You may see the short name in the "dir /X" output, or after pressing Ctrl+N in Far Manager.

share|improve this answer
how can i find a file in winhex and change the name there? can i also use the hex plugin within notepad++?? – philipp Sep 18 '12 at 8:04
I was doing this trick lpng ago, not sure, how to find a file name... Try to search for a string. And you may use any editor, which can operate with partitions as raw. – Maximus Sep 18 '12 at 8:48
So, Far is not a solution for ":" contained names. Because it operates with file system via OS API. – Maximus Sep 18 '12 at 8:50

I suspect you'll have to delete that file the same way it was created: from the Linux system. The problem is that : is used to access Alternate Data Streams, but the part after the colon is not an alternate stream in this case. I reproduced your scenario and can confirm your observations. The file doesn't have an 8.3 name, and removing it via \\.\C:\... does not work. Same goes for trying to remove the containing folder or using Microsoft's Services for UNIX. You could try Cygwin, but I suspect that won't be much different from SFU.

Bottom line: your best bet is to boot into Linux and delete the file from there.

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