I have run into something that looks like a bug in Windows.

I have extracted a RAR archive onto my PC and the extracted folders cannot be deleted by any means!

My OS's language is English with some culture aspects of it set to Greek.

The character that seems to create the problem seems to be 'å'.

Here is a screen-shot that displays the problem:

Folder that can't be deleted

Using DEL from the cmd doesn't seem to help.

When I try to delete the folder from Explorer nothing happens.

When I try to rename the folder from Explorer I get these weird messages :

message 1

message 2

Seems like a part of Windows thinks it's a file, while another part of it thinks it's a folder.

So, the question is: does anyone know what goes on here and any way to delete this thing?


As you can see, I have found a solution. But if someone could explain to me WHY Windows has problems with this character while it generally supports Unicode, let me know. I would like to understand the internals of it... (that's the only difference from the other question, I guess)

Does NTFS support both Unicode and ASCII files names and that file used ASCII (for some reason)? Then if it used ASSCII, how on earth was the character displayed correctly in Explorer?


1 Answer 1


OK, I have found a solution by looking here: https://superuser.com/a/72296/527934.

You can use the 8.3 name to delete the folder like so:

dir /x (to get the 8.3 name)

rd /s /q <8.3 name> (in my case the 8.3 name was STILLE~1)

I just wonder why Windows does this...

If anyone knows the internals of it, provide a more extensive answer (probably together with the above solution text) and I will mark it as correct.

And the problem Windows has is the double dots ... It seems that you cannot have those in a folder name, since it is a wildcard for folder up : https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa365247%28v=vs.85%29.aspx

  • 1
    The problem is with the file name. Windows file naming conventions. A file name from extended character set, special characters, reserved characters are not supported. Some refer these characters as illegal characters. More information can be found in this post: vlaurie.com/computers2/Articles/filenames.htm
    – Epoxy
    May 14, 2016 at 11:49

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