Cannot Delete Item “Could Not Find This Item” issue

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A friend sent a long a file (a .rar) he wanted me to check out for him before he installed it.

I downloaded it and unrared it with no problems, but it was full of .exe’s instead of the intended contents (fonts) so I advised him to delete it immediately and not use.

I then proceeded to do the same, but the folder simply will not delete. Oddly the files went fine, and I never ran anything, but this is what I’m seeing:

Could not find this item

This is no longer located in C:UsersThis_UserDesktop. verify the item's
location and try again.

I’ve tried the following things with no help:

  • Using “Unlocker” to Unlock and delete
  • Using move on reboot and rebooting
  • Using PendMoves (from sysinternals) and rebooting Elevating a cmd line, doing a dir /x to get the short name of the folder, and then del ‘shortna~1’
  • Moving the folder to a new folder and then trying to delete the parent folder

I’m on Windows 7 RTM, very fresh install. Any thoughts?

Update: Just to confirm, I’ve run Hijack this and half a dozen other malware detectors, and everything came back clean (no extra processes, no other obvious badness). Rebooting in safe mode didn’t help either.


I know you said that you tried deleting the shortname of the file and it didn’t work for you, but it does work for some forms of this problem. It worked for me. So for the sake of completeness I am mentioning it here.

Step by step:

  1. press windows key + r
  2. type cmd.exe, press enter
  3. cd tothefoldercontainingtheproblemfile
  4. dir /x
  5. Note the short filename of the problem file. It will look for example like BLAH~1.
  6. del BLAH~1

Try the DelinvFile tool. It worked for me perfectly when NOTHING worked before.


Boot into a Linux live CD environment and delete it with NTFS-3G?

Ah ha!!! I did it!!! This was so annoying but after several hours… it dawned on me. Basically, you make a folder with the same name as the missing folder, then you drag the folder into the folder with the missing folder. Windows did not ask me to combine the folders, but after that, Windows knows where the folder is and you can delete it. I didn’t try to copy and pasted I’m guessing that would work too.

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