Duplicate Windows Folders

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:


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


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:


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