Some file is in my NTFS file system which I can't delete. It's giving this error:

rm: cannot remove `zigBqC04': Input/output error

Any other files also could not be copied in that folder and showing error message as:

Error opening file 'file-path': Input/output error

Any solution.

  • Related/duplicate: askubuntu.com/q/74105/44293 Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 20:46
  • I don't have enough rep to post an answer, but I had this error on WSL. Shut down and restart WSL with wsl --shutdown; wsl, then delete the files.
    – mbomb007
    Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 15:05

6 Answers 6


I had the same issue, and I wanted to delete the directory. So I tried to use rm -rf XXX and also Shift + Delete to remove but both failed because of the same error.

I was able to delete the directory by right clicking the directory, choosing Move to Trash and then Empty Trash.

  • 1
    Thanks, worked for me too. Looks like this sort of delete only deletes the information of the directory from the partition table and rm tries to delete by overwriting the sectors
    – parthagar
    Commented Nov 28, 2019 at 11:44
  • 1
    worked for me too. such a odd solution!!! :)
    – parsa2820
    Commented Dec 17, 2019 at 20:07
  • 1
    Yeah, I'd like to know why this workaround is working also...
    – ThePhi
    Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 11:37
  • 6
    not working in my case
    – cipricus
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 12:52
  • 1
    item was moved to trash, but cannot empty the trash...
    – PatrickT
    Commented May 26, 2020 at 7:43

Looks like the filesystem has some errors on it. Do full scandisk /checkdisk from windows. (scan disk for errors)

  • That's probably the best one can do without damaging the proprietary filesystem or replacing the filesystem.
    – LiveWireBT
    Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 10:30
  • 3
    @staticd As of 2019, is this still the best solution? I'm using the latest version of KDE, and am more interested in a *buntu specific solution. Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 7:58
  • 2
    'scandisk' is not recognized as internal or external command, operable program or batch file did you mean CHKDSK perhaps?
    – Klesun
    Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 12:52
  • Windows checkdisk has the bad habit of deleting/hiding files and folders that seem erroneous in Windows but not in Linux
    – cipricus
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 12:51

A workaround that thankfully worked for me was to plug the drive into a Windows system and delete the offending files and folders using Shift + Delete (immediate delete without Recycle Bin).

After that, the issue seemed to be resolved when the drive was returned to Ubuntu.


If it is an NTFS or FAT file system and you don't have access to Windows just copy the files that you want to keep from the USB drive onto your hard drive. Then format the USB drive again using GPARTED or similar partition manager to NTFS or FAT. Followed by copying all the files back onto the USB drive. Worked for me.

  • 1
    Doesn't work if the external drive is way bigger than any other drive I've got. Commented Jul 1, 2021 at 4:53

I'm on PopOS. It happened to me when I unplugged the external disk before letting the OS flush. I could fix this issue by opening the GUI file manager -> right-click -> delete the parent folder. This time GUI was smarter.


may need to be logged in a root to do this. If so, type:

sudo su

in to Terminal and navigate with terminal to where zigBqC04 is and rm <filename> to remove files or rmdir <dir> to delete folders replace <---> with the file or folder name. Wild cards ( & ?) can be used.*

  • 6
    I also tried as a root but still can't. Commented Jul 27, 2013 at 17:20

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