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Receiving Strange Errors When Attempting to Delete From External HD

By Dr Rosenrosen · 5 replies
Dec 16, 2004
  1. Hello-
    I purchased a MAxtor 120GB (USB 2.0) external HD a while back to store my files. (WinXP SP1 only 384MB RAM Sony Vaio)However, I have attempted to delete certain folders and/or files. The error I get reads "Cannot delete: Cannot Read From Source File or Disk". Also, it renames the folders to a bunch of really really weird shapes/etc. such as "√√?fg┐m╖.~╪┬". I try to rename these and/or delete them and I get the same error as before. These seem to be rather huge files & folders taking up precious space. How can I get rid of these items?

    Dr Rosenrosen
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    How is the external drive formatted? You most likely have a bad filesystem there (no wonder with FAT32). Run a disk check on it and hope that things will be fixed.

    You should use NTFS for the filesystem and always stop the device before removing it from the system.
  3. Dr Rosenrosen

    Dr Rosenrosen TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    I'm not sure how it's formatted...um...I bought it and plugged it in? There are way too many files on there to clear it off. Am I pretty much screwed until it's empty or I back everything up to external CD's? Is there a quick fix to get rid of these weird files? Then, once I get everything OFF of it, I can clear it off and back up.


    Oh...and how do I do a disk check? Will it erase anything?
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    First, copy everything important you can. Then run a disk check on it. See if it fixes anything and copy any more stuff you find. If you have copied everything critical then just format it as NTFS.
  5. Dr Rosenrosen

    Dr Rosenrosen TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    How do I format it as NTFS? Will it prompt me? I'm gonna need a lot of blank CD's!!!
  6. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    When you choose to format a drive in Windows XP then then it defaults to NTFS.

    When making this kind of rescues keep things prioritised. There is no point in wasting time on copying things you can download again or get from some other source. Concentrate on things that are really important.
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