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Cannot delete file: Cannot read from source file or disk

Posted on 2011-02-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I am trying to delete .tmp files but after a few deletes I get the error

Cannot delete file: Cannot read from source file or disk
I am using XP pro SP3 and have administrator passwords
Any ideas please?
Many thanks

John
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Question by:johnhardy
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15 Comments
 
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:KCTS
ID: 34933633
The file is probably in use
0
 
LVL 1

Assisted Solution

by:Mahi1983
Mahi1983 earned 50 total points
ID: 34933649
file doesn't exist or may be permission issue.
0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:andreizz
ID: 34933652
Boot to safe mode and delete it from there.

To go into safe mode press F8 before your windows starts.
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 34933653
After checking the above, if the file was created by Windows Updates (or you think it might have been), start as administrator, set the security on the tmp file or folder or parent folder to Everybody and then see if you can delete.

... Thinkpads_User
0
 

Author Comment

by:johnhardy
ID: 34933689
Thanks
This seems to apply to very many files located in many places not just one file. Would that make a difference?
0
 
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 34933706
One of the Windows Updates left a temporary folder in the root of C: . The way I descirbed was the way to delete the folder. So it was not all over the place - just in one folder. I did not mean to imply many places.

... Thinkpads_User
0
 

Author Comment

by:johnhardy
ID: 34933726
I have two disc C: and D:
I cant seem to delete many .tmp files from either
I can delete some files after a restart and then it fails.
0
 
LVL 4

Assisted Solution

by:andreizz
andreizz earned 75 total points
ID: 34933732
after a restart from safe-mode? it should work from safe mode.
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LVL 2

Assisted Solution

by:pmckenna11
pmckenna11 earned 75 total points
ID: 34933746
There are several utilities available for getting rid of pesky files. You will find many references if you do a Google search. I have used "delete on reboot" and "file assasin" in the past. There is another one that I liked even better but am blanking on the name at the moment.

Typically these utilities allow you to mark a file for move/copy/delete. You then reboot the machine to complete the task. They are handy when dealling with infected files that are locked by a virus.
0
 
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 34933761
>>> when dealling with infected files that are locked by a virus.

Given the other things that have been tried, this seems a very likely cause.  .... Thinkpads_User
0
 

Author Comment

by:johnhardy
ID: 34933872
I will carry out a scan later, I do scan quite regularly with NAV
The changing of C; to everyone seems to have partially done the trick although I have some files  named eg ~DFE9D05 which will not delete.

Also some files with no tilde will not delete but the message box places a tilde in front of the file name eg " cannot delete ~ DFC123.
0
 

Author Comment

by:johnhardy
ID: 34933892
Just one more thing if I may ask

I can see folders that are named with a .tmp extension is it  OK to delete these please?
0
 
LVL 95

Accepted Solution

by:
John Hurst earned 300 total points
ID: 34933917
If the folder is a funny (HEX) named folder in C:\ it was likely created by Windows Update and, yes, it is safe to delete.

Otherwise, .tmp files and folders are usually (for XP) in Docs and Settings\username\... Local\temp and then, yes, in there, it is safe to delete the files.

Then, as a general, but not conclusive, statement, it is generally safe to delete .tmp files and folders.

... Thinkpads_User
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:johnhardy
ID: 34934295
Many thanks for all the great help
0
 
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 34934309
You are most welcome. I was pleased to assist. ... Thinkpads_User
0

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