Scott Hanselman

Visual Studio.NET MSI Setup Creation: "Cannot delete folder. Folder is not empty or it might contain excluded files, which are not shown"

August 2, '04 Comments [5] Posted in Programming | Tools
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The real tragedy of this error message is that there is no way to show the excluded files.  So you have to guess.  In this instance, a random Thumbs.db file got into the Visual Studio Setup Solution (vdproj, and unfortunate extension that describes and unfortunate tools) and was subsequently excluded.  When it came time to prune a directory of images, I was denied while deleting an IMAGES folder - with no way to figure out which file was hidden in that folder.  Only a miracle and a hunch caused me to remove the stray Thumbs.db (it was certainly out of place).  Then the directory was deleted without incident. 

Time wasted: 13 minutes.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Monday, August 02, 2004 9:01:03 AM UTC

13 minutes is cool. i already wasted days on this one:

keeps coming back; but no repro. :(

thomas woelfer
Tuesday, August 03, 2004 12:41:12 PM UTC
13 minutes is cool. i already wasted days on this one
Tuesday, August 03, 2004 10:19:35 PM UTC
thumbs.db seems to be generated by the OS when you view, via explorer, any folder that has image files located in it. The thumbs.db is a database of thumbnail images of those images located in the folder you are viewing.
Raymond Lewallen
Wednesday, August 04, 2004 3:23:50 PM UTC
Ouch, this sucks. I'll forward your write up to VB team and see if they've seen this.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005 12:36:14 PM UTC
Micro$oft is officially sux!

I spent an our at least to delete a complex dir structure from File System view. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO DELETE IT RECURSIVELY!!!

Tibor Csonka
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.