Really Annoying Flaw in NTFS Mount Points

UPDATE: As some people have noted, this problem was fixed in Windows Vista, so “it’s not really a problem anymore.” And with Windows 7 out now, and Windows XP slowly dying, there’s no real reason to worry about this anymore. But I’m leaving this article here, just for the sake of posterity.

I found out (the hard way) about this particular problem with NTFS Mount points today:

When you try to delete folders that are stored on a mounted drive and to send them to the Recycle Bin, you may receive the following error message:

Cannot delete Foldername: Access is denied. The source file may be in use.

This behavior occurs because the Recycle Bin does not understand mounted volumes.

This was really freaking annoying. What makes it even worse is that there is no “fix” for the problem; only a workaround is available. And the workaround?

When you delete the files or folders by using Windows Explorer, use the SHIFT+DELETE key combination. This bypasses the Recycle Bin.

Riiiiiiiiight. Because bypassing the Recycle Bin is exactly what I want to do WHEN IT’S MY ENTIRE USER PROFILE FOLDER THAT IS ON A MOUNTED DRIVE!

Now I’m really pissed off, because I no longer have the capability to try and go back to the configuration I originally planned to use with the new drive (copy partition & resize to new drive) – this is because I’ve already mounted the new drive and formatted it. Changing this now would involve a lot of copying data around and resizing of partitions, without being able to have a “backup” in place as before – a risk I’m not willing to take.

I may have to put on my Windows Hacker Hat for this one and figure out how to either:

  1. Make the Windows Recycle Bin understand Mounted drives, or;
  2. Make Windows automatically bypass the Recycle Bin for Mounted drives.

Because remembering to SHIFT+DEL every time I want to delete a folder from anywhere in my user profile directory (including but not limited to: My Documents, My Music, My Videos, My Pictures, etc.) is just not OK. Never mind what it’s going to do to programs that try to delete things – I can just see all the error messages now!

If anyone from Microsoft is reading this – especially anyone from the shell/explorer team – please, please, please bump this bug up in priority – I’m begging you!!