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Deleting a file that can not read from the source file or disk

  1. Jul 3, 2008 #1
    Deleting a file that "can not read from the source file or disk"

    I downloaded a torrent file the other day and half way through the download i decided i didn't want to finish downloading so i deleted the file using a command prompt on bittorrent. Now the file (which is on my desktop) is deleted since it's at 0 bytes but the shortcut is still there, it's just a blank shortcut with no specified program and no matter what I've done so far I cannot get it to delete without the computer claiming that it "can not delete file: can not read from the source file or disk."

    I've tried restarting in safe mode, running disk defragmenter along with various clean up programs, and system restore is not an option because i usually never create a restore point to save drive space. So basically I'm all out of ideas and I have this nasty shortcut sitting on my desktop that will not go away.

    Does anyone have any ideas on what to do?
     
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  3. Jul 3, 2008 #2

    turbo

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    Re: Deleting a file that "can not read from the source file or disk"

    Right-click on the shortcut, then choose "Properties" and see if the file is read-only. If so, uncheck that and delete it.

    Note: I am assuming that you have tried to drag the file to the trash bin.
     
  4. Jul 3, 2008 #3

    robphy

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    Re: Deleting a file that "can not read from the source file or disk"

    Can you delete it from the command shell (cmd.exe)?

    You might try booting with a linux livecd (like Knoppix) and deleting the file. [You may have to mount the drive and make it writable.]
     
  5. Jul 3, 2008 #4
    Re: Deleting a file that "can not read from the source file or disk"

    oh actually i havent tried deleting it with a command shell. i'm not very familiar with cmd prompt so idk how to take it to my desktop to delete it
     
  6. Jul 3, 2008 #5

    robphy

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    Re: Deleting a file that "can not read from the source file or disk"

    Start -> Run -> cmd.exe

    cd Desktop
    del YourFile
    You may be able to the Tab-key to complete the filename after your start it off.
     
  7. Jul 3, 2008 #6

    chroot

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    Re: Deleting a file that "can not read from the source file or disk"

    You may need to run a filesystem-consistency check, like chkdsk.

    - Warren
     
  8. Jul 3, 2008 #7
    Re: Deleting a file that "can not read from the source file or disk"

    Another tip is to start up in safe mode.
     
  9. Jul 3, 2008 #8
    Re: Deleting a file that "can not read from the source file or disk"

    Tried safe mode, unfortunately it didn't work. And I used the command prompt (thanks robphy) and it showed the file when i hit tab but when i went to delete it I got could not find "File Name".
     
  10. Jul 3, 2008 #9

    mgb_phys

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    Re: Deleting a file that "can not read from the source file or disk"

    It's possible that the file has either hidden characters in the name, or the file system has become corrupted (is this ntfs?)
    If you tried safe mode it's unlikely that the file is in use.

    You need a tool to flag a file as 'delete on next boot', your virus scanner should be able to do this, otherwise look at http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/
     
  11. Jul 3, 2008 #10

    robphy

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  12. Jul 3, 2008 #11
    Re: Deleting a file that "can not read from the source file or disk"

    It's very possible that the item you're trying to delete is currently running as a process; You can't delete things that are currently running. What you can do is press ctrl+alt+del, click on processes, find the process which fits your file, end the process, then you can delete the file.

    Some viruses have weird process names, different than that of the file you're trying to delete, so you need to find which process it is.

    Or, you can boot into safe mode. In safe mode no personal processes should be running and you should be free to delete.
     
  13. Jul 3, 2008 #12
    Re: Deleting a file that "can not read from the source file or disk"

    Check task manager, it might be linked to an app that's running at startup.
     
  14. Jul 3, 2008 #13

    Borek

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    Re: Deleting a file that "can not read from the source file or disk"

    If it is at 0 bytes it is not deleted, it is just an empty file of zero length. As such it can be linked to. Not that the file existence should interfere with the link deletion.
     
  15. Jul 3, 2008 #14
    Re: Deleting a file that "can not read from the source file or disk"

    Wow, the unlocker program you linked me too worked like a charm. It deleted it without even rebooting. I had previously tried other programs which supposedly do the same thing and none of them proved successful.

    Thanks to everyone who posted on this thread for helping me out with this, I really appreciate it.
     
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