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Recycle fail

Speaking of inconsistencies, here’s a nice one that brightened up my morning today:

Too bad the dialogue doesn’t tell me the path and file name causing the problem. That would actually have been useful.

In Windows 7, every user has her own personal recycle bin. All recycle bins are located under C:\$Recycle.Bin\ and have that user’s SID as their name. In my case, on my workstation, my recycle bin is:

C:\$Recycle.Bin\S-1-5-21-3083768501-1260438599-2639843963-5916

Files in the recycle bin are represented by two files with a more or less random name, one of which contains the file’s data. The other one contains meta data such as the original file name and deletion date. When the object to delete is in fact a directory tree, instead of the data file there will be a directory with a random name. This directory contains the original files and subdirectories that were deleted.

A complete path and file name in Windows 7 can only contain 260 characters,  excluding the drive letter, colon and backslash. But as you can see, my recycle bin already takes up 60 of those. This means that any directory tree longer than 200 characters won’t fit into the recycle bin.


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