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This is a discussion on File Without Extension within the Windows XP Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I have a file without an extension. I have no idea how it lost its extension. It was either an


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Old 07-05-2018, 05:55 PM   #1
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I have a file without an extension. I have no idea how it lost its extension. It was either an mp4 or an mp3 extracted from an mp4. I cannot give it either extension, nor can I delete it. The reason is shown in the attached picture.

How do I get rid of this file?
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File Type: bmp File Without Extension.bmp (2.18 MB, 95 views)
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:24 PM   #2
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A .OST file is an Outook Email Data file you can import into the Microsoft Office Suite, Outlook.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:31 PM   #3
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I don't think we can be sure if it's an OST file, @likekinds can you right click the file and post the properties ?
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:58 PM   #4
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Who would name their outlook data file using an artist's name and song title!? Milord is the title of a song by Edith Piaf (a quick Google search tells me so). The file is definitely a media file, probably mp3 or mp4 audio. A long time ago I had a similar problem and MediaInfo Lite told me everything I needed to know about the media contained in that file, then I was able to give it the correct extension. If you open that file using VLC, I believe it will be decoded and played back just fine, and you can use VLC's media information feature to get details about the media it contains.

The real problem, however, is why the file cannot be renamed. The file is corrupt, or the disk/filesystem is dirty, or you've got a malware problem.
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Old 07-06-2018, 01:41 AM   #5
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As there is no period before the 'ost', it is not an extension. It is an abbreviation for Original Sound Track. The file is zero bytes.

Properties gives no more information than I get by highlighting the file. VLC cannot open the file, I'm assuming because it is zero bytes.
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Old 07-06-2018, 01:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
As there is no period before the 'ost', it is not an extension. It is an abbreviation for Original Sound Track. The file is zero bytes.

Properties gives no more information than I get by highlighting the file. VLC cannot open the file, I'm assuming because it is zero bytes.
Zero bytes says it all. The file is non-existent. I call em "ghost" files. As I said, the underlying cause is the real problem here. Filesystem corruption is a common cause, but malware can also be responsible. Do you have other zero-byte files or is this the only one? Can you describe what happened right before this file became this way, for example, were you copying it from an external storage device, say flash disk or perhaps phone? Were you converting it to a different format?
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Old 07-06-2018, 02:11 AM   #7
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I'm sorry. I cannot answer your questions. The file is a couple years old and in Downloads. I was cleaning the downloads folder and discovered it. If I have used the file, it was 2 years ago, so I don't remember.
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Old 07-06-2018, 02:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
I'm sorry. I cannot answer your questions. The file is a couple years old and in Downloads. I was cleaning the downloads folder and discovered it. If I have used the file, it was 2 years ago, so I don't remember.
You could simply ignore it since it doesn't affect the functionality of your system in any way. If it's such a bother, you could try running a disk check and hopefully the rogue reference to that file will be cleaned out. Open Command Prompt, type

Code:
CHKDSK /F
and press Enter. When asked to schedule a disk check on next reboot, type Y then Enter and reboot.
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:20 AM   #9
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Use MoveOnBoot.

Delete it.

Cheers!
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:11 PM   #10
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The software did not remove the 'item'. I would have thought Microsoft could have written code to get rid of this type item.

Windows says:

'You cannot rename the 'file'. There is nothing to rename.

You cannot move the 'file'. There is nothing to move.

You cannot delete the 'file'. There is nothing to delete.

Computers can be built and programs can be written permitting the execution of billions of calculations per second. Want to stump a computer scientist? Give him/her the very simplest task you can find.

In every version of Windows I've used (up to 10), there has been an Edit button in the menu on every folder page. If I wanted to delete a whole page, I click Edit>Select All>Delete. One of the handiest, most useful things you will ever find.

In Windows 10, Edit has been moved out of sight. It took me several clicks and a lot of time to find it.

I wonder why it was moved, other than change for the sake of change. Go figure.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:58 PM   #11
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Like I said, that file is non-existent, possibly due to disk or filesystem corruption. CHKDSK /R may be able to get rid of its reference in the filesystem or relocate it to a spare sector if it got hit by a bad one. You cannot perform file operations on a non-existent file, no software can.
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:23 PM   #12
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I'll run check disk again. Maybe it will pick up on it this time.

I shouldn't say anything due to the fact I know so little about computers and software. Agreed there is no file there. There is a remnant of a file. We see that remnant because there are instructions for it to be there. Remove the instructions, you'll remove the remnant. Just because we don't know how doesn't necessarily mean it can't be done.
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Old 07-13-2018, 12:21 AM   #13
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The file may simply be "invalid" and therefore not manageable to Windows Explorer, but could be handled by specialised file management utilities. Take a look at https://pc.net/helpcenter/answers/zero_byte_files, there's a promising utility called DelinvFile that may be able to delete it, just Google it. Its author's website is purgeie[dot]com.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:13 AM   #14
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I ran CHKDSK /R another time. The file remnant was still there. I did not try any of the Purgeie as I did not see any for XP, supported or not.

I suppose I could create a new Downloads folder, name it Downloads 2, move everything to it except the remnant, then delete the original folder, then rename Downloads 2 to Downloads.

But, this morning, I cannot find the remnant. I've no idea what happened. I do find it listed in Quick Search. It is shown to be where it always was. But, when I right click on the listing to open the containing folder, nothing happens.

There or not, I don't see it any more. That's good enough for me. I consider the issue resolved and will mark it Solved.

Thanks, All!
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
I ran CHKDSK /R another time. The file remnant was still there. I did not try any of the Purgeie as I did not see any for XP, supported or not.

I suppose I could create a new Downloads folder, name it Downloads 2, move everything to it except the remnant, then delete the original folder, then rename Downloads 2 to Downloads.

But, this morning, I cannot find the remnant. I've no idea what happened. I do find it listed in Quick Search. It is shown to be where it always was. But, when I right click on the listing to open the containing folder, nothing happens.

There or not, I don't see it any more. That's good enough for me. I consider the issue resolved and will mark it Solved.

Thanks, All!
You're welcome.
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