Hello my name is Shasank and today I am going to discuss a customer issue that we recently worked on where a customer reported that Windows Explorer was displaying two Windows directories and Windows Explorer (or powershell) could not remove the folder. For example:

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Both folders had the same content.  This extra \Windows folder was created by the Windows Search Service based on this DataDirectory registry key:

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It was determined that an administrator had configured the following group policy for Windows Search Indexer Data Location


It was set to c:\windows search.  When the Windows Search service saw this registry key it created a Windows folder with a trailing space as shown in the following from NTFSI output

     FRS     1568 <DIR> "Windows"     //This is the original windows folder

     FRS      78b <DIR> "Windows  "  //This is the folder created by Windows Search that has the trailing space.

If we used dir /x to view the 8.3 names we could see the following:

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We were able to finally remove the directory using one of the following commands:

rd C:\window~1

rd "\\?\C:\Windows “


Hope this helps if you ever encounter an issue like this.  Thanks


Shasank Prasad
Senior Support Escalation Engineer
Microsoft Customer Service & Support