The Dc number can vary. The error is a sporadic, but when it happens it prevents the contents of the recycle bin from being deleted. It can also occur when the recycle bin appears to be empty, yet it has the crumpled paper indicator.

Rebooting makes the problem go away, but it can also magically go away by just waiting a long time, like over night. But the problem keeps recurring with no rhyme or reason. What is causing this? I really don't want to reinstall Windows.


Additional file security steps needed to delete files from recycle bin.

After the files are moved to your desktop, you've used Unlocker to rename them, you need to take ownership of the files. Select them all, right click, properties, security tab, Advanced button, select your account and take ownership. Go to the General tab and remove the Read-only Attribute. Delete the files, they will fill up your recycle bin but when you empty the bin they go away for good!


Well my DVD drive seems to be going bad so I can't boot from the setup disc for now, but the rmdir answer from @TuxRug inspired me to try an old trick, and it seems to have worked.

  1. In Windows Explorer, uncheck "Hide protected operating system files" folder option
  2. Browse to C:\ and rename the RECYCLER folder to say RECYCLER.bak
  3. Now delete RECYCLER.bak, and Windows immediately creates a new RECYCLER folder.

With a freshly created Recycle Bin, and the old corrupted in it, I simply did Empty Recycle Bin, and the problem has cleared up. No rebooting necessary.


I resolved my problem using the Unlocker: http://www.emptyloop.com/unlocker/#download.

In the recycle bin there was two folders (hidden) called DC17 and DC20 (in my case).

So, here is what I did

  1. First open UnlockerAssistant.

  2. Then try to empty the bin (that wont delete) and after that comes Unlocker and ask what you want to do.

  3. Choose MOVE the locked folders to your desk. (Now is the hidden folder on your desk but they are not hidden anymore!)

  4. Take something else (an document or whatever) and put it in the bin and empty it like normal. (Now should the bin look normal again) :)

  5. Now rename those Dc folder/s on your desk and turn off write protection on them.

  6. Then throw them in the bin and delete them as normal.

Problem solved (in my case, hope it work in yours).

  • please don't use a signature or tagline in your posts - especially if it's advertising a website - your user card is attached to every post you make and you can include whatever you want in your profile. – DMA57361 Jun 24 '11 at 11:35
  • To add to the last post, I had undeletable files in the Recycle Bin and the tip did not work the first time I tried. I then realised that I have 4 drives on the PC with Recycler folders on them and the files were repeated on all the drives. Moving all 4 to a new folder with Unlocker cured the recycle bin and I could then delete them all. Though I moved 4 files they all had the same name and only 1 was in the new folder! Weird or what!!! – user137575 Jun 1 '12 at 17:35

Don't check to delete the file in Unlocker but check to move it on some clean USB stick drive — after it is moved, format the USB drive.

When I had deleted file Dc26 with Unlocker it was in Recycle Bin with the same name, but when I tried to clean RB error it showed that the file could not be deleted and then Unlocker pops up asking you to delete. It works but at the same time the file Dc27 was created automatically, along with Dc28, 29, 30.


I found this answer written by a user named "WhitPhil" on the computing.net forums [Source]. It looks like it applies to Windows Me, but it might work in XP with a few changes. Below is my adjusted version:

The DC prefix is what Windows uses for files in the bin. If you start to see these from Explorer, it indicates a corrupted bin.

Boot to the Windows XP setup disc and enter the recovery console

Enter the Administrator password when prompted.  

* If you are using Home Edition, it will probably be blank unless you've changed it.
* If you are using Professional, it will be the password you provided during setup unless you have changed it since then.
* If it's an OEM installation (it was installed when you got the computer and you haven't re-installed or done a clean upgrade), then it will probably be blank, but if not, call your computer's manufacturer.

When you get to the prompt, type `rmdir /s C:\RECYCLER` followed by ENTER

After confirming that the folder name is correct, respond with Y.

Reboot normally to windows and a new recycle bin will be created.

Since this originally applied to Windows ME, you should probably set a System Restore point before doing this. However, this page suggests the same resolution in an XP system, but it doesn't use the boot disk. Using the boot disk will ensure you have full permission to do this and will ensure nothing is accessing the files you are trying to delete.


It's an NTFS issue: simply MOVE the file on another non-NTFS partition (e.g. FAT32) --you might need Unlocker's help here-- and delete it (don't recycle it, SHIFT+DEL it).


My antivirus (F-Secure) found a malicius file but failed to remove it with no warning. It was found in WINDOWS\TEMP\NSK60\NSO62\pack.exe. It seems that it can have different names on different computers. All tricks I tried to delete it failed. The program UNLOCKER moved it to trash (it changed name to DC17) but it was still impossible to empty the recycle bin. I then moved it to desktop (with UNLOCKER) but it was still impossible to delete. I then moved it with UNLOCKER to an empty USB stick and then i formated it (Brute force) It worked.

  • I think you could more clearly indicate why your solution is superior to those already show above. Please take a look at "How do I write a good answer?". – user260419 Aug 2 '14 at 14:08
  • This does not answer the question – Jan Doggen Aug 2 '14 at 15:25

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