How to Windows

Fix Can’t Read From the Source File or Disk Error

Windows’ file system is complex and can be very delicate if things go wrong with it. Some situations, like if you install a new hard drive, can bring permission problems. This is just one instance where hard drives can be difficult. Windows users have reported that they got “Can’t read from the source file or disk” error when you’re copying, deleting or moving files from one location to another. In this article, we are going to tell you how can you fix Can’t Read From the Source File or Disk Error. Let’s Begin!

Reason Of this Error

It is natural to experience tech-related problems and question why they happen. Not only does it help us understand the problem and make it easier to fix. But it can also help us prevent reoccurrences in the future. The top reasons for this specific error are:

Not Enough Hard Drive Storage: If you are copying an Outlook PST file from an external hard drive to your computer’s internal storage. Then make sure there is enough storage space. Without the necessary storage, this error is most likely to appear.

Power Supply Issues: Windows includes power supply settings that the user can change at their discretion (to find a balance between performance and power usage). Some systems have conflicting power settings with external storage devices as well.

Hard Drive Bad Sectors: The problem could be with either the external or internal storage. And bad sectors make accessing storage a problem.

Faulty External HDD Connection: Depending on the type of external storage. It may have integrated power settings. If it powers off after a period of being unused, it cannot be accessed.

Note that the reasons above are not all that can cause “can’t read from the source file or disk” error. These are just the ones we see to be the most commons.

Bad Sectors

If there are bad sectors on a hard drive, this means that your computer is not able to read those sectors and it can result in this precise situation. Fixing bad sectors can be a hassle but using one of Windows built-in tools. We can check if either the internal or external hard drives have them.

Bad sectors are simply software errors that mean your computer cannot read the piece of data on that sector. They can be caused by actual physical damage. But that is less common.

  • First, open a file explorer window and go to the “This PC” folder.
  • Right-click on the external hard drive and click Properties.
  • Go to the Tools tab and below Error Checking, click the Check button.
  • Wait for untill the tool checks for bad sectors and, if there are, repairs them.
  • Repeat these steps and then do the same thing for your internal hard drive.

Bad File Permission | Can’t Read From the Source

Like we mentioned at the beginning of this article, bad file permissions can also be responsible for cannot read from the source file or disk error. Permissions can be tricky to deal with but here is a quick and easy solution that may help out.

Sometimes, Windows gets confused with file permissions and has trouble letting go. It can also occur if you get sent a file by someone and Windows does not give you ownership of that file. It can cause ‘can’t read from the source file or disk’ errors.

  • Open the file explorer and then go to your external hard drive’s folder.
  • Right-click the file you are trying to copy and select Properties.
  • Select the Security tab and then click Edit in the center.
  • Select the Add button in the center.
  • Enter your Windows account name
  • Then click Check Names then OK.
  • Enter your Windows account name and click Check Names then OK.
  • Click on your account name and provide the Full Control permission.
  • Then click Apply
  • Then click OK to confirm the permissions change.

Mismatched Files |  Can’t Read From the Source

Another solution is regarding the hard drive’s file system. In basic terms, every hard drive uses a type of file system and if you try to copy a file from one system to a different type of system, there is a good chance it won’t work. How can you fix this technical task?

Mismatched file systems are the most comfortable scenario to diagnose. But the hardest to fix as well. If you are using Windows 8 or Windows 10. Then there are chances are your file system is NTFS. If you are using Windows 7, then it can be FAT32 or NTFS.

NTFS is wholly different from FAT32 and can easily handle larger files. FAT32 is an older file system. If the disk you are transferring from is FAT32, the maximum file size it can handle is 4GB. If the file you are moving is even close to that size, it can cause issues.


  • First, select the hard drive with the file you are copying.
  • Then right-click the file and select properties.
  • Identify the file system.
  • Repeat for the destination disk.

Usually, you cannot copy large files onto FAT32 in the first place. But there have been instances where someone has used a file splitter to break a file into smaller pieces, and then the file became corrupted on the drive. Windows OS does not recognize that the file was broken down and just reads either a large or corrupt file.

If you see this, find a program that splits a file into smaller chunks and try the process again. You can Google ‘file splitter’ and find a large variety of splitters, or you can just use GSplit, which is 100% free and full-featured application. Either way, install the program, split the file on the drive, move it as initially intended, and then rebuild it.


Alright, That was all Folks! I hope you guys like this Can’t Read From the Source article and find it helpful to you. Give us your feedback on it. Also if you have further queries related to this article. Then let us know in the comments section below. We will get back to you shortly.

Have a Great Day!

Also See: How to View GPU usage on Mac Through Activity Monitor

About the author

Windy Moore

Leave a Reply