Computer Help forum


How do you delete a specific file from the Registry?

by zeebell / April 4, 2013 3:21 PM PDT

Dell Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E7500 Computer
Inspirion 545s 00
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
6GB Memory
750GB Hard Drive
Wireless N Networking

I have a file on my computer that was at one time a .jpg file. I renamed that file and my hand slipped creating a typo of some kind, and it came back without any extension in the file name. The file is in a folder in My Documents.

I've tried renaming it to a .jpg file. I have used utilities such as revo uninstaller, CCleanr, and cannot find anyway to remove a folder or file. How can one do that?

The file has been there for a couple of years now and it's not causing any harm - that I know of; however, I'd still like to get it off the pc if that is possible. If not, I'll live with it and just leave well enough alone.

Thanks for any help.


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All Answers

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You might be able to ...
by Edward ODaniel / April 4, 2013 6:53 PM PDT

delete it from a command prompt using a "wildcard".

Can you tell us the EXACT path to the file AND the filename? I am asking this because some directories you may not have permissions that allow file deletion and also there are some names that are protected like COM or LPT

Alternatively you could boot a Linux Live CD and delete it from Linux. You could also probably delete it from the Windows Recovery Environment.

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How to delete a file that won't delete
by zeebell / April 5, 2013 1:42 AM PDT

Hi Ed -- long time no yak! Hope all is well with you. Nice to see you're still here at CNET. OK -- here is the info you asked for -- C:Users\Julea\Documents\Day Brighteners\calendars\not a good file\maycal2012-precious.

You'll note there is no file extension. How do I delete from the command prompt? I know to type cmd in the search box, but don't know what to do after that.

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Since you also indicate that ...
by Edward ODaniel / April 5, 2013 3:59 PM PDT

you receive an error message about the file not being there try these commands -

Attrib -s -h -r "C:Users\Julea\Documents\Day Brighteners\calendars\not a good file\maycal2012-precious"

now try these commands

del "C:Users\Julea\Documents\Day Brighteners\calendars\not a good file\mayc*.*"

and also

rd /s "C:Users\Julea\Documents\Day Brighteners\calendars\not a good file\" This will cause a message to you saying Are you sure (Y?N)? to which you reply by typing y (use this only if the directory "not a good file" does not contain any other files you want to keep because this should remove the "not a god file" directory as well as any subdirectories and files under it.)

If you get any error messages tell us exactly what they are. After performing those commands look for the file in Windows Explorer and if it is still showing press the F5 key to refresh the screen.

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I think Kees has the right idea
by zeebell / April 5, 2013 11:57 PM PDT

Admit defeat -- all I get when using the cmd and typing in the commands is "system cannot find specified file." It really isn't bothering anything and I am not a perfectionist - just thought if there was an easy solution, it could be gone. I appreciate your time and efforts.



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I'd do what Kees suggested re Ubuntu
by wpgwpg / April 6, 2013 12:13 AM PDT

It's not that much work to make a Ubuntu disc. Just download the Ubuntu desktop from in .ISO format, burn it to a DVD, boot from the DVD, and delete the file. It always works for me. The value of this is that you have something you can boot from the next time you have some problem. You can do this in under 30 min.

Good luck.

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Re: can't delete file
by Kees_B Forum moderator / April 5, 2013 7:48 PM PDT

With all that new information here are some remarks:
- That dot at the end of the filename is strange. A file without an extension doesn't have a dot either. Take any normal file, choose rename from the right click menu, delete the extension, press enter and the dot disappears automatically. So I think there is some invisible character in the extension.
- So maybe a delete from command prompt with a wildcard (extension *) as suggested by Ed will work.
- But you didn't tell what happens when renaming the file. Just erase the whole filename and rename it to x.y or so (filename x, extension y). What error message do you get?
- Maybe there is some error (inconsistency) in the file system. Did you run a chkdsk?
- Can you move that file (or if moving the file fails the whole folder that contains it) to some place where you don't see it normally? Say the c:\windows\temp folder. That will be cleaned by ccleaner each week, and it may give an error message or simply delete the file. Or maybe find it undeletable but not give an error message either. Then - with no errors and out of the way - I'd consider the issue closed.

If you really want it to disappear (some people are perfectionists) you can try to delete it from Linux. Maybe that will simply do it. But it's a lot of work: download Ubuntu, burn it to DVD, boot from it, run the file manager, find the file and delete it.
I don't think this is important enough to format the disk and re-install Windows. Do you?

And yes, I knew that you know how to delete and rename and move files. But I didn't read anything about what exactly went wrong. But that's more clear now.


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Or ...
by Kees_B Forum moderator / April 5, 2013 10:12 PM PDT

admit defeat and simply hide that file (right click>attributes>hidden) or even the folder it's in. Then it's surely out of sight and possibly out of mind.


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That didn't work either
by zeebell / April 6, 2013 12:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Or ...

When trying to hide the file, I get the same message -- "cannot find specified file."

So, your idea of admitting defeat and carrying on is only option it appears. Thanks for your time on this. It's not a problem anyway - just thought I would be able to get it off and evidently this pc want to keep it.


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Re: renaming
by Kees_B Forum moderator / April 5, 2013 1:48 AM PDT

Why not rename it back? You tell you tried, but you didn't tell why it failed.

Or why not delete it, if there is no need to keep it around. Deleting a file is quite easy in Windows Explorer or (My) Computer: select and press delete (or select, right click and choose delete). Did you really never delete a file in alle the 10 years or so you already have a PC?

From what you tell, I see no need at all to use the command prompt. But maybe you didn't tell the whole story.


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I know how to delete files
by zeebell / April 5, 2013 6:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: renaming

How to physically delete files is not my question, but how do I delete this particular one. I did try renaming it to a .jpg and it tells me the file is no longer there. I did a search for the file and it tells me no such file.

I even tried deleting the folder with the file in it and it won't go.

I don't know what else to tell you, so that's my story and I'm stickin to it. Please don't tell me how to right click and delete a file or drag it off, etc. That I know how to do.


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How about try this.
by Oldartq / April 5, 2013 2:34 PM PDT

Create a new folder, then put that old folder in the newly created folder; now delete the new folder. Sometime that method works for me.

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That won't work either
by zeebell / April 5, 2013 4:27 PM PDT
In reply to: How about try this.

Already tried that. I get the same message as I did before. Thanks for the suggestion. I think that file is there to stay, but sure seems weird it can't be deleted. My pc is clean as I run malwarebytes and Superantispyware weekly. I use CCleaner as well -- keep them all updated and run them.

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