Folder name is ..(

The folder was created during an Evernote export. I've tried to open, move, delete, and rename in the XP GUI and I get an error. I've tried the same in the command prompt and I get an error, such as...

F:\tsr>ren "..(" dotdotparens
The system cannot find the file specified.

F:\tsr>ren "\\?\f:\tsr\..(" dotdotparens
The system cannot find the file specified.
  • 1
    I think we are going to need some more info on this. Are you trying to double click it, open it via batch, where did it come from, what do you think is in it, do you receive an error message when trying to open it? Have you run chkdsk to verify that isn't your issue? – David Remy Nov 19 '10 at 17:49
  • That filename is not invalid since it doesn't contained any invalid characters (I just tried to create and delete a folder and a file with that name and worked fine). So there must be another reason for preventing you deleting the file. Try chkdsk with repair as suggested by Remy. – Alberto Martinez Nov 19 '10 at 22:00

Open a command prompt and rename it

cd parentfolder
ren "..(" dotdotparens



 Directory of C:\temp

19/11/2010  17:51    <DIR>          .
19/11/2010  17:51    <DIR>          ..
19/11/2010  17:50    <DIR>          ..(

C:\temp>ren "..(" dotdotparens


 Directory of C:\temp

19/11/2010  17:53    <DIR>          .
19/11/2010  17:53    <DIR>          ..
19/11/2010  17:50    <DIR>          dotdotparens

However since ..( is a valid folder name which can be opened in explorer, there's probably more to the name than you've seen. The technique may still be useful.

Update: if you have perl installed, try this

C:\temp>perl -e "opendir H,'.'; while ($f=readdir(H)) { print qq($f\n) if $f=~/^\.\.\(/ }"

If the above prints a single folder, it is safe to proceed ...

C:\temp>perl -e "opendir H,'.'; while ($f=readdir(H)) { rename $f, 'xxx' if $f=~/^\.\.\(/ }"

C:\temp>perl -e "opendir H,'.'; while ($f=readdir(H)) { print qq($f\n) if $f=~/^\.\.\(/ }"

Update 19 December 2011

If you don't have Perl but would like to, you can download and install it.

If you want to check file or foldernames, you can use something like this

C:\test> dir
19/12/2011  16:49    <DIR>          .
19/12/2011  16:49    <DIR>          ..
19/12/2011  16:49    <DIR>          ð

C:\test> perl -le "opendir H,'.'; print $_,qq(\t),unpack('H*',$_) for readdir(H);"
.       2e
..      2e2e
­-       f0

C:\test> perl -e "rename qq(\xf0),'foo' or die $!";

The perl script provides a hex dump of the file or directory names so that you can work out exactly what they are and do something about them.

| improve this answer | |
  • Didn't work for me. I included the details in the question. – Homer Nov 19 '10 at 18:02
  • you get a +1 because i know what you're talking about...i previously had a server busted wide open through a nix shell on a windows box. this allowed really crazy filenames that couldn't be changed in windows, even through the windows CLI. – RobotHumans Nov 19 '10 at 18:08
  • I don't have Perl installed. – Homer Nov 19 '10 at 21:10
  • @RedGrittyBrick, what if the folder has no name? – Jack Dec 19 '11 at 15:35
  • @Jack: Unless your filesystem is corrupted, folders always have a name, even if it looks empty. – RedGrittyBrick Dec 19 '11 at 16:30

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