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There's a file on the desktop that hangs when I try to rename it and when I try to delete it the message "Preparing to recycle: discovering items" shows up and hangs there. I also can't access the files properties. The file can open.

EDIT: I ran check disk but I'm not sure if it worked. It really quickly showed the screen "checking file system, NTFS, file system is clean". Still the same problem.

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Have you tried running a disk check? – Karan Dec 12 '12 at 2:39
Does restarting help? Maybe something's using the file. – Louis Dec 17 '12 at 5:23
@Louis no....... – Celeritas Dec 17 '12 at 5:24
What is in this file? What is the name of the file? How did it get there? – cutrightjm Dec 17 '12 at 8:19
@ekaj it's a video of an interview copied from a CD. It's format is .rm – Celeritas Dec 17 '12 at 10:14
up vote 1 down vote accepted

An alternative method to remove this file is to boot into a Ubuntu Live CD, find the file on your Windows filesystem, and delete it.

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I currently have Mint Linux installed on a separate partition but am not proficient with it. Can I delete the file if I boot into Mint? – Celeritas Dec 17 '12 at 10:15
@Celeritas Yes, you should be able to - it will be in the <drive>:\Users\<username>\Desktop directory. – cutrightjm Dec 17 '12 at 19:17
how come that worked? – Celeritas Dec 18 '12 at 2:14

What's the file's name? Maybe you set up that all system files should be shown, which means that also the 'desktop' file on the desktop will be shown and this one is not meant to be deleted.

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I have never seen a desktop file on the desktop (even with hidden files and folders visible) - what file is this? – cutrightjm Dec 17 '12 at 8:30
The desktop.ini file is a hidden system file used to customize and adjust settings for the Windows folders that contain the file. It can be deleted though, I was mistaken. You can see this file by going into Tools>Folder Options>View and disable "Hide protecting system files(Recommended)" – RnBandCrunk Dec 17 '12 at 8:46

This how I fixed the issue (you will not be able to rescue the file, it will be permanently gone):

  1. Write down the file name you want to delete and the folder it is in.
  2. Open the Task Manager and kill the process explorer.exe. This will make you lose the command bar and prevent you from seeing any icons on your desktop, but that is ok.
  3. in Task Manager click "New Task..." and type cmd.exe which will give you a command prompt.
  4. In the command window navigate to the hard drive the file is in by typing e.g. D:
  5. Navigate to the folder your file is in by typing cd\ followed by the folder name (e.g cd\users\owner\desktop
  6. Delete the file by typing del (with space after del) followed by the file name. If the file name contains spaces you need to put the file name within quotes (e.g. del "bad file.txt")
  7. Use Task Manager to restart Explorer by clicking "New Task..." and type "explorer.exe"
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