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How to delete files with wildcards

   
Question
I have to remove files named 'Master1', 'Master2' etc. (no extensions) from a given directory. The problem is that I never know how many of files Master1, Master2, etc, will be created at runtime. It should never be more than 10, but no matter how big number I would arbitrary set up, that number always could be exceeded. That's why I would prefer to use wildcards. Is it possible?

Answer 1:

You will be sorely dissappointed, because depending on the order in which files placed into your directory structure, the deletion of a file causes the FindNext to skip existing files that match and thus you will not end up deleting all the ones you want. What you have to do is to set up a list to delete. Then once the list is setup, you can then delete them.

Note: Please note that a lot of people think that all you have to do is to build a list then delete them. This is not true. There are many files that can have a read/only attribute set etc... So, you must clear this first, otherwise the delete will fail. So, if you notice in my routine, I clear any attributes that may have been set for the file. Here is an example:

procedure DeleteTempRAW(S1: String);
var
  SearchRec: TSearchRec;
  X: Integer;
  Path: String;
  ListToDelete: TStringList;
  Ok: Boolean;
begin
  ListToDelete := TStringList.Create;
  Path := ExtractFilePath(S1);
  X := FindFirst(S1, faAnyFile - faDirectory - faVolumeID, SearchRec);
  if X = 0 then
  begin
    while X = 0 do
    begin
      ListToDelete.Add(Path + SearchRec.Name);
      X := FindNext(SearchRec);
    end;
    FindClose(SearchRec);
  end;
  for X := 0 to ListToDelete.Count - 1 do
  begin
    FileSetAttr(ListToDelete[X], 0);
    DeleteFile(ListToDelete[X]);
  end;
  ListToDelete.Free;
end;

You would call it like so: DeleteTempRaw('C:\TEMP\MASTER*.*');

Tip by Anon.

Answer 2

First, fill a list with the filenames you want to delete. Here's a general purpose function to do that. Given a path (APath) and a filemask (AMask), the routine will fill AList with the full pathnames of all files matching AMask.

procedure GetFiles(APath, AMask: string; AList: TStrings);
var
  searchRec: SysUtils.TSearchRec;
begin
  APath := IncludeTrailingBackslash(APath);
  {Get all of the directories in this path}
  if FindFirst(APath + '*.*', faDirectory, searchRec) = 0 then
    repeat
      with searchRec do
      begin
        if (Name <> '.') and (Name <> '..') then
          if (Attr and faDirectory > 0) then
            GetFiles(APath + Name, AMask, AList);
      end;
      Application.ProcessMessages;
    until
      FindNext(searchRec) <> 0;
  SysUtils.FindClose(searchRec);
  {Get all of the files in this directory which match the file mask}
  if FindFirst(APath + AMask, faAnyFile, searchRec) = 0 then
    repeat
      with searchRec do
      begin
        if (Name <> '.') and (Name <> '..') then
          if (Attr and faDirectory <= 0) then
            AList.Add(APath + searchRec.Name);
      end;
      Application.ProcessMessages;
    until
      FindNext(searchRec) <> 0;
  SysUtils.FindClose(searchRec);
end;

Here's how to use the routine:

var
  MyFileList: TStringList;
  iCnt: integer;
begin
  MyFileList := nil;
  try
    MyFileList := TStringList.Create;
    {Get all files in C:\ and its subdirectories that match "Master*."
    (the period with nothing after it only looks for files with no extension)}
    GetFiles('c:\', 'Master*.', MyFileList);
    {Go through each file in the list and delete it}
    for iCnt := 0 to MyFileList.Count - 1 do
      bRet := DeleteFile(MyFileList[iCnt]);
  finally
    MyFileList.Free;
  end;
end;

Tip by Anon.

Answer 3

The classic way to solve this problem is to use a FindFirst / FindNext / FindClose loop to find the files in the target directory and delete each one as you find it, something like this:

procedure DeleteFilesWithWildCard(Dir, Prefix, Suffix: String);
var
  SRec: TSearchRec;
begin
  { Check the passed parameter, make sure it ends in a backslash }
  if Length(Dir) = 0 then
    Exit;
  if Directory[Length(Dir)] <> '\' then
    AppendStr(Dir, '\' );
  if FindFirst(Dir + Prefix + '*.' + Suffix, faAnyfile, SRec ) = 0 then
  try
    { We must call FindClose after the FindFirst succeeded, otherwise
    the program looses a system handle. So use a try finally block. }
    repeat
      { We have a hit. Check if it is a directory }
      if ( faDirectory and SRec.Attr ) = 0 then 
      begin
        { It is a file, try to delete it. This may fail if the file
        has the read-only attribute. If it does we show a message but
        continue with other files if the user does not abort. }
        if not SysUtils.DeleteFile(Dir + SRec.Name ) then
        begin
          if MessageDlg(
            'Cannot delete ' + SRec.Name +
            ', the file may be read-only. Do you want to abort the ' +
            'operation?',
            mtError,
            [mbYes, mbNo, mbCancel],
            0
          ) <> mrNo then
          SysUtils.Abort;
        end;
      end;
    { Done with this hit, search for the next one. }
    until
      FindNext(SRec) <> 0;
  finally
    FindClose( SRec );
  end;
end;

Tip by Peter Below and Eddie Shipman

Original resource: The Delphi Pool
Author: Various
Added: 2010-02-22
Last updated: 2010-02-22

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