Copyright Math – by Rob Reid

“Comic author Rob Reid unveils Copyright Math (TM), a remarkable new field of study based on actual numbers from entertainment industry lawyers and lobbyists.”

Please cite this article as: Eric (2012) Copyright Math – by Rob Reid. BlogSophy.

StupidFile! – Cannot Delete File On Desktop

by Eric Bright

Updated on February 12, 2019

Objective: removing an apparently irremovable file or folder.

Affected OS: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, and newer versions


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


[on Windows XP]

C:\Documents and Settings[your log-in name]\Desktop\>RD /S /Q foldername

[on Windows 7]

C:\Users[your log-in name]\Desktop\>RD /S /Q foldername

Another example: assume I have such a bad folder on my desktop; its name is StupidFolder, and there is a file inside it, named BS. with a zero length and no other retrievable properties, or perhaps it has a creation date; assume that my log-in name is eric and we are on a Win 10 system. Now:

  • Run -> cmd.exe
  • cd c:\Users\eric\Desktop\
  • rd /s /q stupidfolder

Be very careful with what you are doing, otherwise, you may lose everything on your desktop. The path of the command must be correct. Please double-check the spelling before pressing the [Enter] button. If you are not sure about what is going to happen or if you don’t know whether the path of the StupidFolder is correct, DO NOT DO WHAT I SAID. If you lose your valuable data, nobody, including me, would be responsible, but you yourself.

A little background about RD command

It goes back to the era of MS-DOS (see also

Basic DOS commands

Please cite this article as:
Bright, Eric. (2012) StupidFile! – Cannot Delete File On Desktop. BlogSophy.