Quick Fix: Unable to Delete 0 Bytes Folder

Have you ever had to delete a folder only to find you cant? You check the properties and they are 0 bytes, you cannot check the security tab as you get a message similar to this.

Requested Security Information is either unavailable or cant be displayed

What is weird, is why this would happen. Secondly, you may even be able to traverse this folder, into folders nested inside it. Very weird.

Enter the MAC.

I don’t know the reason for it, but it seems that on some occasions, when a user on a MAC creates a folder on an NTFS Formatted share, the name you see, does not actually correspond to the name Windows has for the folder.

You will find that the old style DOS 8.3 name is used by the system, but a more friendly name is used for display.

You do remember DOS?

Anyway thanks to the wonder of internet Search, i found this great post on how to work around the issue.

From a CMD prompt you can type in DIR /X and that will show you the actual folder name. You can then use the old RD command on that name, and remove the folder successfully.

Let’s pause for a moment and take a look at an example.

05-09-2012 17-45-14

Highlighted in Red is the DOS name, in Green the Display Name, and in Blue the name as it appears in Explorer.


About Robert Pearman
Robert Pearman is a UK based Small Business Server enthusiast. He has been working within the SMB IT Industry for what feels like forever. Robert likes Piña colada and taking walks in the rain, on occasion he also enjoys writing about Small Business Technology like Windows Server Essentials or more recently writing PowerShell Scripts. If you're in trouble, and you can find him, maybe you can ask him a question.

One Response to Quick Fix: Unable to Delete 0 Bytes Folder

  1. Kevin Groom says:

    You know when you see the answer to a problem and get that DOH! moment….thank you for this fix it took me back to when I first started in I.T. many many moons ago.

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