Deleting corrupt files

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by John Farrar, Jan 1, 2008.

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  1. John Farrar

    John Farrar Registered Member

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    I have a few corrupt files scattered about my XP Pro harddrive which I have been trying to figure out a way to delete using TI11.
    The File Shredder does not work although it is guranteed to delete files.
    Mounting a TI11 image using the read/write option also does not allow me to delete the corrupt files.

    I cannot copy the corrupt files to another drive or rename them.
    The ONLY way I have found to delete them is to create a dummy file using the same name as the corrupt file, make a file backup of that file and then restore it to the same location as the corrupt file effectively overwriting it. That file can then be deleted.


    I have tried every bit of software claiming to be able to delete corrupt or locked files with no success. Has anyone got any better ideas than my solution?
    Thanks and a Very Happy New Year to all.:D
    John
     
  2. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Have you tried booting Windows in safe mode and deleting the files from there. It may work but I have no duff files to try it out with :(
    Edit: with which to try it out is slightly better than ending with with!
    Xpilot
     
  3. sparkymachine

    sparkymachine Registered Member

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    I too had this problem for the first time ever on a PC. There were some url files in my Favorites that would not delete. This usually means that the MFT (master file table) has been corrupted too and that is usually fatal. On other (more powerful) computers, if that happens the only solution is to restore the partition or disk back to a time before the corruption.

    With Windows unless you have purchased special software the only way to rid the MFT of corrupt entries without restoring is to run chkdsk - this can be run manually or initiation through windows, right click on the disk or partition, choose properties then the tools tab and click to check the disk. If its your system then the check will be run next time you restart. In my case chkdsk did not find any problem let alone fix it. I've no idea if the software you can buy is any good, there is no guarantee it would work.

    I do know if left alone, a corrupt MFT is lke have a virus (human), it can spread and render the whole thing useless.

    What I did was to successively mount my previous backups and try deleting the known corrupt files from within the backup - I think this is what you tried. I finally got to a backup that was a month old before I could delete these things - there was only one of them there then. I could only hope that this backup didn't contain anything corrupt and as of now everything seems ok.

    The only other solution would be to format the disk and reinstall everything, assuming this is your system disk or partition, but one of the reasons I bought TI in the first place is so I would never have to do that again on this system, so TI saved the day for me.
     
  4. John Farrar

    John Farrar Registered Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I should have said that I have used CHKDSK many times, booted into SafeMode, booted with a BartPE CD and none allow deletion of the corrupted files.

    I no longer have a backup which is free of the problem files. It seems that if I format the drive and restore using file restore, and not image, the drive will not boot as there will be some files missing. I asked in an earlier thread what those files would be but no one was forthcoming with the answer. Do you know?

    Format and file restore seems the only answer. It's a shame that File Shredder does not work as restoring a 'dummy' file over the corrupt file does the trick!!
    Thanks again
    John

    PS I cannot send you a corrupt file to try as I cannot copy it:D
     
  5. sparkymachine

    sparkymachine Registered Member

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    I'm on a lazy day! which thread is that? Its probably impossible to know, some system files don't have normal names and aren't listed like non system files - ever tried looking in the the 'system volume information' folder (XP).

    File shredders delete the file using the normal delete instructions which remove the files entry in the MFT but in addition they pass over the area where the file is with varying degrees of overwriting, the simplest being one write pass of zeros to overwrite the contents. Normally the contents remain on disk. So I wouldn't expect shredders to work.

    Trouble is, the system has lost track of where the file is or probably other info about the file such as how big the file is or what type of file it is. Someone with knowledge of Disk Editors & NTFS may be able to help. Its a long time since I used a disk editor and that was on CPM machines which were far les complex and only 8 bit.

    If you have a browse on the internet for file or disk recovery you may find a program that could help but you would have to part with money. I might look myself and try one of them for something to do lol.

    Its a pity you can't go back to a restore. When I reinstalled I took snapshot backups right from the beginning, so I installed TI first before even applying any windows updates. I hate restoring from scratch and hopefully won't ever have to.
     
  6. rackin21

    rackin21 Registered Member

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    I have found that this can happen if the total file path is too long(over 255 characters). If this is the case you can change directory names above it and shorten it down. I would also check permissions and take ownership. As a final thought, you may want to try spinrite on the disk as it fixes allot of errors that can happen. Not free, but effective.
     
  7. John Farrar

    John Farrar Registered Member

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    Hi
    Having done some digging to find lengthy file path names I have found that there are hundreds of corrupted files in my Documents and Settings folders. (All the corrupted files seem to be there)

    Many of these corrupt files are temporary internet files which are just clogging up the system drive. Is there no utility which will delete these before I do another backupo_O?
    Thanks
    John
     
  8. bodgy

    bodgy Registered Member

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    There is a way to delete these files, but it is dangerous, and i'll have to go away and look up my notes.

    You have to perform an absolute no no, and log on as NTUSER. This is a 3 step process - this gives you access to every single process, thread , file, folder sytem or otherwise that is running and gives you rights to twiddle where no end user has twiddled before. As you can appreciate having NTAUTHORITY as NTUSER - means you can wreak absolute havoc with your system!

    You've been warned :) if you wish to continue down that path.

    Colin
     
  9. John Farrar

    John Farrar Registered Member

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    Thanks for the comments.
    I have managed to crack it. I had assumed that to overwrite the corrupted files I would have to create dummy files with the same name, which would take forever, and use that in the Restore process to overwrite the corrupted file. Not so!

    The corrupt files were all in the Documents and Settings folder (spread down every level). I made a folder/file backup of D&S and restored it using overwrite. Even though corrupt files were included in the backup the corrupted files were overwritten with a file I could delete.o_O

    I still wonder how that is possible when File Shredder cannot delete corrupted files, even from the Boot CD.

    The drive now checks as 'clean' with CHKDSK. :)
    Thanks again
    John
     
  10. sparkymachine

    sparkymachine Registered Member

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    I just tried that as it appears I still have some corrupt stuff in my Favorites. Unfortunately it didn't work for me so I'll be offline while I restore to an even earlier system, bloody hell, lol.

    Someone mentioned 'spinrite' previously so I had a look around and I think I will invest in a copy. It seems to be the ultimate in fixing system and other software and keeping disk drives in tip top condition, costs about £45 ($89).

    Cos any shredder deletes from the MFT in the same way as 'delete' does.
     
  11. John Farrar

    John Farrar Registered Member

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    But surely, if a TI folder/file restore can overwrite the corrupt files then it should be possible for the File Shredder to delete themo_O?
    Thanks for your input.
    John
     
  12. sparkymachine

    sparkymachine Registered Member

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    Your welcome.

    The key word is there is 'overwrite' because a restore isn't trying to read anything from the disk that is corrupt. The single delete operation (which the shredder uses too) is in fact an input/output rewrite operation to the files table entry and it fails usually on the read when it will do various validation checks.

    Overwriting or recreating as in a restore means it has a better chance of working, it all depends on the nature and extent of the corruption. A restore of an image type or sector by sector will simply write the data bits as they were, corrupt or not, whereas a folder and file restore may well rebuild the MFT and indeed physically place the restored data in a completely different physical area of the disk. In the case of TI I don't know how it restores - whether it rebuilds the MFT or anything else. Of course if the file itself is corrupt then restoring will make no difference, it will still be corrupt because TI doesn't check file integrity as far as what the file type is.

    Hope that makes some sense!!
     
  13. John Farrar

    John Farrar Registered Member

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    Thanks sparkymachine for your time and expertise. It would be nice if someone from Acronis could also add some comment to this thread.;)
    Cheers
    John
     
  14. sparkymachine

    sparkymachine Registered Member

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