command line – Cannot delete file that “does not exist” according to windows

Somehow a file ended up on the personal desktop of my Windows 7 machine that does not actually exist. I recognize the title as part of a Reddit post, but I don’t know how it ended up on my desktop. The file is listed when using the dir command, but it has 0 bytes and cannot be renamed or deleted through normal means. I get a “File does not exist” or “Could not find this item” in every method I’ve tried.

Windows Error Dialog on delete attempt

I have tried everything I can think of.

  • Rebooting my computer and hard shutdown, file is still there when booted back up
  • Deleting/Renaming the file using the standard right click menu
  • Command Prompt to delete/rename the file
  • Administrator command prompt to delete/rename the file
  • Killing explorer.exe in the task menu, then using the administrator command prompt to delete/rename the file
  • Using fsutil file createnew <file> 0 on the same file name, created a second file I could delete but the original is still there.

I am completely out of ideas.