If you can't delete, cheat

Q I recently downloaded Cyclone tracking software, which I think is a DOS program, from my ISP. For some reason (or incompetence on my part), I managed to get icons on my desktop. I managed to delete them all except for this icon called MCP_. When I tried deleting it, this message came up:

"Cannot delete MCP_: cannot find the specified file. Make sure you specify the correct path and file name."

When I right-clicked and chose Properties, this came up:

"Type: Application; Location: Desktop; Size: 0 bytes".

I then went into Explorer/Desktop and it said that the size was 84KB. I tried deleting it from there and received the first message again.

- Rosdy Kalat

A This file is probably corrupted in some way. Try running Scandisk. This will correct any problems that it finds in files and folders on the hard drive. With a bit of luck you will then be able to delete this file.

If that doesn't work I am going to suggest some solutions that fit into a philosophy that is best described by the saying, "If you can't win, cheat!"

Even if you can't delete the file, you might still be able to move it to a new location. Then you can just ignore it, as it will no longer be on the desktop. Sometimes, when you can't delete a file directly, you can delete the folder containing the file and this will take the file with it.

If the file can't be moved, here is a trick that may get it out of the desktop folder. All the files and shortcuts that you see on the desktop are in a folder c:\[your windows directory]\desktop. First, rename the desktop folder to something else, such as desktop2. You can now create a new folder called desktop in your Windows folder.

However, Windows 95 automatically updated the Registry to make desktop2 the folder which is used to contain what is on the desktop. You will have to edit the Registry to change this. In the Registry Editor, search for any instance of desktop2 and change it back to desktop. Restart the computer. You should have nothing on the desktop except My Computer, Network Neighborhood (if you had that previously) and Recycle Bin. Copy the contents of desktop2 into the desktop folder, except, of course, the file that you want to delete. The offending file is now out of the way. But you may also be able to delete it by deleting the desktop2 folder.

Finally, you could attempt to delete the file from within a DOS shell. Sometimes when Windows 95 is having trouble with a file or folder, DOS, because of its simpler approach to files, can get around that problem.

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Roy Chambers

PC World
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