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What does “recycle bin format is invalid” mean and how do I fix it?

Posted By : Kathy of Chandler-Gilbert Community College on December 7, 2005

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I have a file showing up on my removable 40GB hard drive that refuses to be deleted. It shows up as at 2byte dat file. When I choose delete, I simply get a message saying something about the recycle bin format is invalid, would you like to empty the recyle bin? And no matter what I press after that my system freezes up untill I ctrl+alt+delete and close that drive window (from viewing what is in the drive). I tried that a vew times and now my background picture looks funny: more "bit-mappy / rough" than normal. All other menus look clear as normal. What is going on? Is it a virus? Why can't I get rid of it? I tried opening it and it opened as an excell sheet that had a lot of symbols and "gobly-gook". I searched on line at virus web sites and the web in general, and haven't been able to find any mention of it.

your help is appreciated,


This question was answered on December 7, 2005. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Usually this kind of problem means that your Operating System didn't install properly First I would try running scandisk and defrag They can't hurt Go into pure DOS mode and delete everything in the Recycled directory From a DOS command line type: Scanreg/fix, then Scanreg/opt None of these can hurt and one of them should fix it If this does not work then I would try I formatting your hard drive and then reinstalling your Operating System.

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Posted by Kathy of Chandler-Gilbert Community College on December 7, 2005

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