Windows Explorer – Cannot Read From the Source File or Disk

Sometimes when users on a Mac manipulate files on a Windows network share, files get left with missing attributes where there is no security tab in the properties, you cannot take ownership of the files nor can you delete them and you get an error message that states “Cannot delete file: Cannot read from the source file or disk.”.

The reason is more than likely because the file or folder name ends with a dot, which isn’t allowed in Windows. If you work with them enough you will notice that Macs create all sorts of annoying hidden files usually starting with dot underscore such as “._DSStore”.

For a more detailed explanation of this, this blog is where I found the answer on how to force delete these items from the command prompt.

To force delete a file:

del "\\?\C:\PathToYourStubbornFile\BadFileName."

To force delete a directory:

rd /s "\\?\C:\PathToYourStubbornDirectory\BadFolderName."

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