Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have an external hdd which is formatted with fat for use by both on linux and windows. The issue is that I can't delete some of the files I have which show up with size 0. Also, the modification timestamp (as detected by Krusader, the file manager I am using) is 1935. How can I delete these kind of files without affecting the running fs?

share|improve this question
It would help to know why you can't delete them - without the error message it'll be hard to help you. – Cry Havok Oct 11 '10 at 20:04
I agree with @CryHavok, otherwise use "rm -f" – Lightly Salted Oct 11 '10 at 20:09
Doh, sorry, here's the error: rm: cannot remove `file': Input/output error – hyperboreean Oct 11 '10 at 20:18
Have you run fsck or equivalent on the file system? – Cry Havok Oct 11 '10 at 21:48
“Input/output error” points to a damaged filesystem or a damaged disk. Do any messages show up in /var/log/kern.log (better check from the time you plug in the disk to the time you get the error)? – Gilles Oct 11 '10 at 22:40

Most likely your FAT table is damaged. You can run fsck to see if this is indeed the case. But I would recommend finding other tools (ie. Testdisk) to fix FAT table before you run fsck to "fix" it...if you value the other data on the drive.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.