StupidFile! – Cannot Delete File On Desktop

Written by Eric Bright

Updated on November 11, 2014

Objective: removing an apparently irremovable file or folder.

Affected OS: Windows 98, 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 (Win 8 is not confirmed yet)

Symptoms:

You have a FOLDER on your desktop with a FILE in it, which you cannot delete.

You’re given this message:

"Cannot read from the source file or disk."

Possible “solutions” that might not work:

  • You downloaded Process Explorer and examined every single process running in memory to find a sign of a program that may be using _something_ in that folder. You closed all programs, every resident applications, and all running processes that can be closed. You also closed even some of Windows process and stopped as many services as possible; no sign of any file handle to anything related to that folder… result: negative.
  • You have uninstalled many programs that you suspect they may cause the problem;… negative.
  • You tried to do “Open with…” then created a file with the same name, saved over the existing one… with no luck.
  • You have no Spyware, no virus and nothing suspicious at all.
  • You did chkdsk c: /f, RegSeeker, NortonDiskDoctor, Regedit (see also this), and lots of command line instructions that you read in forums;… negative (in regedit, you cannot even see any entry with the same name as that stupid file in your Windows registry.) (more about chkdsk.)
  • In the end, before installing a fresh damn Windows, why don’t you try this one:

Last resort:

At a cmd prompt type the following:

RD /S /Q [drive:] path

Example:

[on Windows XP]

C:\Documents and Settings[your log-in name]\Desktop\>RD /S /Q foldername
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Please cite this article as: Bright, Eric. (2012) StupidFile! – Cannot Delete File On Desktop. BlogSophy. http://sophy.ca/blog/2012/06/stupidfile-cannot-delete-file-on-desktop/