"Cannot delete file: Cannont read from the source file or disk."


John Smith


I've had a "visitor" (a.k.a. hacker) on my computer who left bunch of files
which i can not delete... whenever i try to delete those files i get "Cannot
delete file: Cannont read from the source file or disk.", in Access Control
Settings, i have greyout and without ability to remove "Everyone".. I've
tryed to add Administrator, but everytime i do so i get "An error occured
applying security information to:" <dir/file name> The system cannot find
the file specified.

any ideas?

R. C. White

Hi, John.

This is a FAQ here, although it seems to have been asked less frequently of
late. A search of the archives should produce many tips.

To start with the easy stuff...

Open a Command Prompt ("DOS" window) and use the good old DOS commands to
get the 8.3 filenames (dir /s/a) and delete those (del <SFN>). Or isolate
the bad guys in their own directory and then remove the whole directory
tree - files, subfolders and all - in one fell swoop (rd <foldername> /s).
As always in the "DOS" window, type any command followed by /? to see a
mini-Help file listing all the switches and parameters for that command:
dir /?

As a one-man, one-computer kind of guy, I know nothing of networks or
permissions or stuff like that. So your problem may very well be over my
head. I hope some real guru will chime in with some better ideas for you.


John Smith

C:\xxx>dir /s /a " "
The system cannot find the path specified.

C:\xxx>rd " "
The system cannot find the path specified.


no matter what i do, all i get is "The system cannot find the path

R. C. White

Hi, John.

Looks like I goofed a bit. The command to find the 8.3 filenames should be
dir /x. The /s/a is to show all files (including Hidden, System and Read
only) in all subdirectories. Dir /x should show all the Long File Names
with an additional column, before those names, showing the Short File Names.
And, of course, even a very short name is an LFN if it includes a character
not allowed in an SFN - such as a space. Often, the dir /x command reveals
that the SFN is quite different from what we expect from seeing the visible

I'm not sure how to interpret your examples. You show " "; is that what
you actually typed, or do you mean that you get the same (bad) results no
matter what you type? Does " " indicate wildcards, or are you actually
typing spaces between the quotes?

You can't remove the active directory, of course, or its parent. So if your
rogue files are all in c:\xxx\badguys, for example, you should cd to some
other directory, such as C:\yyy, and your entry would look like:
c:\yyy>rd c:\xxx\badguys /s

We may need to see the actual filenames, rather than examples, in order to
interpret just what the problem is. If you copy'n'paste some sample name(s)
from Windows Explorer into Outlook Express, we might be able to see any
oddball characters.

As I said, though, if it is a permissions problem, I probably won't be able
to help.


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