Friday, October 28, 2011

The requested security information is either unavailable or cannot be displayed.

This one has bothered me for some time and I finally found the answer on how to correct it. Sometimes files will be copied from one system to another and the security attributes along with other aspects of the file (or folders in some cases) may not be complete after copying. I especially found this to be true after copy several music files from a Linux system to a Windows 7 machine (that is a war for another time friends). Needless to say, the EXT3 conversion to NTFS of file names and folders gets a little crazy sometimes.

The symptom is that you can not DELETE, MOVE, RENAME, or do anything else to the folder or file name. In my case I was attempting to backup some of my data to another drive for archiving reasons and got all kinds of errors. The security on the folders with the errors was shown like this:

"The requested security information is either unavailable or cannot be displayed." and had a red "X" displayed on the security tab.

So to correct it you have to go back to old DOS commands from the command prompt to delete the folders. Windows won't let you do it.

So do this:

Open a command prompt (type "CMD" at the run box and hit enter). Change to the folder where the file/folders are located and then type "dir /x" to make the output display the old DOS 8.3 file naming convention. Find the file or folder here and then type in the 8.3 name of the file or folder to delete. Like this:

9/12/2011  06:47 PM    <DIR>          KIDROC~2     Kid Rock - Cocky
9/12/2011  06:48 PM    <DIR>          KIDROC~4     Kid Rock - Rock-n-Roll Jesus

9/13/2011  10:31 PM    <DIR>          SKIDRO~1     Skid Row - Skid Row
9/13/2011  10:32 PM    <DIR>          SKIDRO~2     Skid Row - Slave to the Grin

9/12/2011  07:32 PM    <DIR>          UGLYKI~1     Ugly Kid Joe - America's Lea
t Wanted
9/12/2011  07:32 PM    <DIR>          UGLYKI~2     Ugly Kid Joe - Motel Califor

 Enough laughing at the Music already! :)

So, if I wanted to delete the last folder in the list I would type "rmdir UGLYKI~2" if the folder is empty. If the folder also has files under it as well I simply tell it to use the /S switch (like this "rmdir UGLYKI~2 /S" ). It will ask if you are sure and you will tell it yes or no.

Keep in mind that sometimes the folder will be messed up, but the files IN the folder will be perfectly fine. I am not sure how Windows traverses the folder to get to the files inside if it see's the folder itself as being corrupt in a sense, but it does.If you want to copy the files UNDER this folder to another location first, you can do that before doing the delete (provided they are not corrupt as well).

The command for deleting a file would be the same basically, except substitute the "del" command for the "rmdir" command. 

That is it. I hope that saves someone else some time out there. I am sure I would forget all of this by next week sometime. So, here is it! :)


  1. Cheers for this tip. Worked great

  2. Thanks! Man! I had this anoying folder that I could delete, it kept saying 'Item Not Found'... blah blah blah etc. Tried out ur little tip and voila it works! Thanks! Peace!

  3. You're a fucking life saver, thanks a ton.

  4. Awesome Mate, excellent work, this worked perfectly!Cheers, Ben

  5. sadly, still had this problem in 2013, not even from a "copy" situation, but a steam program "backup" folder... thanks, works great !

  6. This unfortunately does not work for me. In the command prompt it says "The operation completed successfully." But the folder is still there..... Any other suggestions?

  7. a bundle of thanx... thnak you sooo muxh

  8. Bro it's not working whenever i tried it say "The system cannot find the file specified".

    Plz help me out.

    mail id :

  9. This worked for me on the three straggling files in an old file folder... there are however three hidden files that won't leave.

    I listed them out with 'dir /ah /x'
    then tried to remove them all with 'del _FILE~1 /s'
    and it says it completed, but they won't go... thoughts?

  10. Thanks a million, it worked perfectly for me! Very useful post!

  11. Just boot from a Ubuntu disc and you can delete anything. Then shut down and reboot back to windows. Probably the least technical knowledge required for this solution. Make sure you have Ubuntu.

  12. I had a Win7 folder that would not delete via explorer and the Security tab showed as unavailable. Using rmdir via the 8.3 name (great DOS trick) worked like a charm to remove it.
    Many Thanks!

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. it worked...! cant blv..u rocks

  15. Thanks had a file in windoze 10 that had no security settings and could not delete--This worked like a charm...GO TRUMP

  16. This problem still hapens in 2017, on Windows 10 local disk folder! Great tip. RMDIR is powerfull than any other command. Thanks a lot Techguy615!

  17. windows 10 just started this error, all files in the directory are readable, but directory itself is 0 bytes and security is corrupted. DIR cannot be removed, renamed or even copied. Your solution helped me to remove these directories. Thanks so much

  18. It's 2018, and you're helping me dude from the past :)

  19. I like your blog post. Keep on writing this type of great stuff. I'll make sure to follow up on your blog in the future.
    Cybex Technologies - Unified Communication and Security Solutions Provider

  20. This is really a Nice blog post, read on of my blogs It is really helpful article please read it to my blog Bitdefender Threat Scanner. you can visits our websites or toll free number: +1-866-558-4555. solve your problem fastly.