Fix: Can’t Read From the Source File Or Disk Errors in Windows

We often transfer files and folders between the drivers in our Windows computer for our workflow. But it does not work flawlessly every time. In an ideal situation, the file will be copied from one location to another without any issues. But in certain scenarios, a Windows user might see an error that reads, “‘can’t read from the source file or disk.”

This error shows up when there is a mismatch in the file systems, corrupt disk sectors, and file permission problems. This error is widespread when a user tries to move a big file from one hard drive to another. Here in this article, we will look at all the possible solutions that you can try to fix this particular error in your Windows computer. So without any further ado, let’s get into it.

Disk Errors

How to Fix Can’t Read From The Source File Or Disk Error?

It is not possible to accurately determine which solution will work on your computer. So try one solution after the other until you find the one that solves your problem.

Run check disk utility:

Check Disk utility is a Windows built-in tool that can scan a Windows computer for any possible bad sectors. It works both with traditional HDDs and SSDs. This is the first thing you should try when you encounter this drive error.

There are two ways to go about it.

  • Open up File Explorer and open up the This PC window.
  • Right-click on the drive from where you are trying to copy the file and choose “Properties.”
  • Click on the Tools tab.
  • Under Error Checking, click on “Check.”
  • A pop-up window will show up. Here, click on Scan drive.

The Check Disk utility will come into action, and it will start checking your selected drive for any possible errors.

You can also use the command prompt to run the check disk utility tool.

  • Press Windows Key + R to open up the Run dialog box.
  • Enter “cmd” in the dialog box and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter.
  • In the User Account Control pop-up window, click on Yes.
  • The command prompt window will open up. Enter the following command in the cmd window and press Enter.
chkdsk C:

Here, C refers to the C drive. If you are struggling to copy a file from the C drive, then this will do the job. If it is any other drive, replace C with that drive’s letter.

Once the process is complete, restart your computer.

If this solution does not solve your error, try the next solution.

Different File systems:

There are two popular file systems for disk drives: NTFS and FAT32. FAT32 is an older file system with several limitations, while NTFS is the more advanced file system. If your destination drive for the copy is set to FAT32, but the source is NTFS, then you might see this error. Usually, the FAT32 cannot handle files larger than 4GB that easily.

  • To check, right-click on the Source drive and the destination, and choose Properties.
  • In the General tab, you will see the File system.

If both of them are different, you have to use a splitter application to split the file and then copy it to the FAT32 location. One popular application that can help you with it is the GSplit.

If this does not help with the error, try the next solution.

Optimizing the drive:

Sometimes a drive may develop some bad sections of data which might be the cause behind this error. So you can try disk defragment to get rid of this error.

  • Open up File Explorer and open up the This PC window.
  • Right-click on the drive from where you are trying to copy the file and choose “Properties.”
  • Click on the Tools tab.
  • Under “Optimize and defragment drive”, click on Optimize.
  • Let the process complete.
  • Repeat the process for the destination drive.

If this does not help with the error, try the next solution.

Check File permissions:

File permissions let a computer differentiate between files that are accessible and files that are not. This sometimes confuses a Windows computer and results in the mentioned error.

  • Go to the source location where you have the file that you want to copy.
  • Right-click on it and choose Properties.
  • Click on the Security tab and then click on Edit.
  • Now, click on the Add button.
  • Type your computer’s user name in the bottom box and then click on Check Names.
  • Then click on Ok, and it will take you to the previous window.
  • Now, check the box next to “Full Control” in the bottom box.
  • Click on Apply and then click on Ok.

Now you should be able to copy your file without any errors showing up.

So, this is how you can fix the “Can’t Read From The Source File Or Disk” error. If you have any questions or queries about this article, then comment below, and we will get back to you. Also, be sure to check out our other articles on iPhone tips and tricks, Android tips and tricks, PC tips and tricks, and much more for more helpful information.

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