Windows PC’s are a common sight in any work area. You either get a desktop or a laptop which will help you get the job and tasks done. However, you will also commonly encounter problems with the files you’re handling. There are things that you can easily fix such as locating files that have been misplaced in folders but there are some computer errors that are harder to determine in fix.

In this guide, the error is the “Can’t read from the source file or disk.” This means there’s probably something wrong when you were about to or was in the middle of transferring files from one place to the other.

Today, you’ll find out how to deal with the “Can’t read from the source file or disk” error.

1. Check your file source (from USB to hard drive)

The first thing you want to do is to the check how you’re transferring the files. If you’re copying from a flash drive or a USB drive, then you would want to check if the computer was still recognized the device.

1. open your Computer and check if the device is still being recognized.

check if disk is recognised

2. if the device isn’t recognized by the computer, you have to insert it again so the computer recognizes the flash drive. In the process, the drive might’ve been moved or dislodged which would cause the error to happen.

make sure that it stays detected by the computer

3. Once you’ve reinserted the flash drive, make sure that it stays detected by the computer, this way you can start the transfer process again immediately. Make sure to keep it connected because if it gets dislodged again, the error will persist.

2. Check Your File Source (from hard drive to USB)

Right click each drive and see if they are NTFS or FAT 32

Sometimes this error can occur with big files like gigabytes in size. If the drives are different, then there may be a problem with the compatibility between the two. Right click each drive and see if they are NTFS or FAT 32. Chances are they aren’t the same so you zip the file or break it into smaller pieces and send it to the intended destination.

3. Dealing with Permissions

click on Properties

1. Right click the file you are trying to copy, and then click on Properties. Select the Security tab and then click on the Edit button.

2. Select the Add button which will allow you to add to this list. Type your computer username in the box at the bottom and select Check Names. (In order to find out your computer username, press the windows key + break, you’ll see the computer name)

3. Once you’ve entered the computer name, bring your attention towards the bottom and check all the permissions. Then click ok.

This would allow you to move this file into the other drive without any problems.

Bottom Line

The source file disk error is usually common with transferring files based on flash drive errors or mismatched file types. It’s important to watch out for any anomalies in order to keep your computer in tip-top shape.

Pro tip: if you encounter this problem constantly, you may have to defragment the original source of the files that you’re trying to retrieve. This defragmentation process may be slow or fast, depending on the sectors found and the amount of files in the drive.