I recently had a problem with a program; well, i’m not sure exactly what. But it created a file folder that absolutely could not be deleted no matter what I tried. I tried renaming it, moving it, deleting it, from safe mode, from safe admin mode, nothing worked
I spent hours and hours searching the web trying to find a solution. What I found on the net darkened my hopes of getting rid of this folder without formatting and reloading windows.
Not one to give up easily, I started thinking of ways to delete files, nothing seemed to be of much help until I found that I could move the file if it was on the same drive, inside its parent folder. Now, if the file or folder you need to delete is in your root system folder or any other partition then your root system or partition, then this solution probably won’t work for you. To make it a bit clearer, the file or folder you want to delete has to be on the system drive partition, but not at the root of that drive or partition. The reasons why will soon become apparent. You must also have administrator rights to perform this fix.
Ok, whatever folder the file is in or the destination folder; empty it, saving all other files in another folder that can be renamed later. Now that you only have the destination file or folder inside your parent folder, you can rename the parent folder to whatever you like. I used “Delete Me” just so I wouldn’t make any mistakes.
Now restart Windows and boot into safe mode. If you’re not sure how to boot into safe mode, the general rule of thumb is to reboot your system and press the F8 key as soon as the boot sequence begins, usually until you hear system beeps indicating keyboard errors. At this time, the system is booting in safe mode.
When you see the login screen, log in as administrator, the system will continue to boot, usually there will be a message that you are booting in safe mode and ask if you want to continue. The Windows XP Safe Mode desktop is black, so don’t worry if you’ve never been here before, it’s all good.
Now that you are logged in as an administrator in safe mode, follow these steps
- Open the control panel from the start menu
- Select USER ACCOUNTS from the control panel menu icons
- Select Create new account from the task list
- In new task windows, give the account a two or three letter name, not an actual username. and click on the button below
- select the LIMITED account feature by selecting the small radio button at the top and click the create account button at the bottom
- close all program windows and restart windows
- when windows starts you will see the new user id, log in to the new user account you just created
- You might get some funny flags and prompts when you sign in, but not to worry, let the system finish signing in and when all activity is done, restart Windows again in safe mode
- login as administrator again
- Open my documents from the start menu and click the folders icon to open the left pane of the explorer window.
- Navigate to the parent folder of the file/folder you want to delete (the one you renamed to something like “Delete Me”)
- Make it selected in the right pane of explorer (remember that you can only move this file or folder if it is inside the parent folder)
- From the file menu at the top, select edit and then select move to folder….
- when the navigation window opens, go to C:documents and settings new user id new user id documents (new user id is the account name you created) and select the move button
- Now restart Windows normally and log in to your normal account
- open control panel from start menu
- select user accounts
- select switch accounts
- select the new user account you created
- select delete account
- select to remove all files and remove account
End of story. No more junk files. I know it seems like a long way to go for a small task, but if you’re like me, you’ve been pulling your hair out on how to fix this “Cannot delete file: Cannot read from source file or the disc”. . Don’t forget to restore your original files to their original location after creating a new folder to put them in the proper location.