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    Why "Preparing to delete" when deleting


    This isn't all that serious of a question, but it bugs me.

    Just a couple of minutes ago I deleted a fairly large folder (150-200 Mb). I selected the folder in Windows Explorer, held down the shift key, and clicked delete. After confirming I stared at a dialog that said "Preparing to delete" which stayed up for about 45 seconds or so.

    To (mis)quote Rick Moranis in Space Balls - "Why are you always preparing? Just do it!"

    Any thoughts as to what's going on? Like I said, it's not really a problem, it just bugs me.

    System:
    Windows 2000
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    SP 4
    [EDIT] I'll provide more detail if needed - I just don't know what else might be needed.

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    Can honestly say I don't think I've seen that message before.

    Can I ask, why are you holding down the shift key when you delete ?
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    Can I ask, why are you holding down the shift key when you delete ?
    There was no reason for the folder to go to the recycle bin. I just wanted it gone. It was just built up gunk from my last project - temporary files, stuff I tested. Like that.

    Perhaps it has something to do with actually removing the files as opposed to simply moving them to the recycle bin?
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    (^^;?(First, don't believe what it is saying always.)

    Probably, it is similar with difference between COPY and MOVE. COPY is duplicating the data into memory once and put it in the place as told. MOVE is just after COPY, deleting original files. Additionally if the programmar is kind and know it's taking time, he may want to display something as one like. The result is the same and ways vary, moreover there will be actual dealing with file system when there are many files even if it is not actual preparation.
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    It may be with bypassing the Recycle Bin. Not really an error I don't think with Windows and I'm not too sure whether the message could be removed ?
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    Might be some filesystem thing that windows has to do in order to delete files. Do some checks and flagging or something. I don't know for sure.

    I have a weird problem with deleteing sometimes in that the dialog just stays there. I'll delete a file/folder and it'll pop up the dialog saying it's deleteing with that animation and the dialog will just sit there doing nothing for a few minutes. Happens even if the file is empty so it's not size related. Doesn't always happen either. Pressing cancel after a few seconds will close the dialog and the file will be successfully deleted so it's just an annoyance like you said this is.
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    First, don't believe what it is saying always.
    That makes sense. Maybe somehow the "preparing" dialog is still there, but Windows is doing something other than "preparing".

    I have a weird problem with deleteing sometimes in that the dialog just stays there.
    Kind of like my little annoyance, except that the dialog went away by itself. It took a lot longer than I thought it should though.

    Oh well. It's an annoyance, not an actual problem.
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    (^^;?(Oh, yeah. I didn't notice it was presented by mrider.)

    You should have good sense of programming and also somewhat familiar with psychological annoyance or so.

    (Oo;?(Incidentally, I'm now annoyed by perhaps logical bad sectors, and trying some repairing tools.)
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    there are so many possible reasons for the preparing to delete message. true it hung around for a little longer than usual, but there are so many reasons possible for that.

    Was this on a hardisk partition that nearly full ? not defragmented? if your 200mb folder was fragmented all over the drive, then finding all the segments could take a few minutes,especially if youhave an older disk.

    Then if your ram available is low, due to heavy program usage, its likely the OS had to do some page swapping before it could start executing your request, sometimes windows is just busy doing something else when you initiated the action. Try freeing up more ram and then try deleting big folders.

    I once had winamp scanning for media files in the background and forgot about it, and then tried to copy a 1G music folder to anew partition.. its caused the comp to freeze for ages.

    Not saying that is the case.. but just giving you an example.

    Then there could be other possib. windows Xp has a feature that allows you to customise Windows Xp for performance rather than appearance. look around and see if 2000 has similar features.

    Also what file system where you using ? NTFS or FAT ? did the folders have NTFS permissions associated with them ? are you on a domain ? maybe your access permissions had to be confirmed with a domain server ? so many things possible...

    oh well /*shrugs*/
    Last edited by oneMSBi; December 15th, 2005 at 09:52 AM.
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    I use shift-delete all the time, the "preparing to delete" pops up when deleting "lots" of files, I believe it's triggered by some threshold number of files to be deleted.

    Just a guess though
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    I think oneMSBi hit the problem with the suggestion about file fragmentation. Considering that I'm a professional programmer, I abuse the living heck out of my system. Frankly I've forgotten to defragment for a while and it shows. I only use Windows at work, I'm accustomed to Linux keeping house file system wise, and I've gotten lazy.

    Also there were thousands of little files rather than a few large ones, so most likely Windows had to search all over the place for the file handles. [EDIT] As Doug G mentioned.

    Thanks everyone!!

    FWIW, the following is a fragmentation report for my "C" drive after having deleted the directory in question:
    Code:
    Volume Local Disk (C:):
    	Volume size	=	38,138 MB
    	Cluster size	=	4 KB
    	Used space	=	23,050 MB
    	Free space	=	15,087 MB
    	Percent free space	=	39 %
    
    Volume fragmentation
    	Total fragmentation	=	11 %
    	File fragmentation	=	23 %
    	Free space fragmentation	=	0 %
    
    File fragmentation
    	Total files	=	115,631
    	Average file size	=	233 KB
    	Total fragmented files	=	720
    	Total excess fragments	=	20,904
    	Average fragments per file	=	1.18
    
    Pagefile fragmentation
    	Pagefile size	=	1,024 MB
    	Total fragments	=	1
    
    Directory fragmentation
    	Total directories	=	9,036
    	Fragmented directories	=	285
    	Excess directory fragments	=	1,006
    
    Master File Table (MFT) fragmentation
    	Total MFT size	=	152 MB
    	MFT record count	=	124,916
    	Percent MFT in use	=	79 %
    	Total MFT fragments	=	2
    Last edited by mrider; December 15th, 2005 at 05:55 PM.
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    I think it's to do with the number of files. I've seen that message and also "Preparing to copy"; I think it's just loading the list of files first then deleting/copying them one by one, with the fancy animation, telling jokes, drawing stupid paperclips and all the other guff Windows likes to do instead of just getting on with the task.

    If you want it to get on and do something without all the fannying around, open a DOS box and do it in there instead. Delete a folder with rd/s/q <folder-name> (that's actually delete, not delete-as-in-move-to-Trash, so be sure before you press Return). xcopy has a lot of useful options although often not exactly the one you want (and there's a freeware(?) utility xxcopy that has all the options you think you could ever want and a whole load beside).

    Comments on this post

    • mrider agrees : Just had an opportunity to try your command (rd/s/q ). Thanks!

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