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Windows 7 - Can't delete a file

Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
Every time I try, I get a "File in Use - The action can't be completed because the file is open in Windows Explorer. Close the file and try again." message. I've rebooted the computer multiple times, and even did an "End Process" on explorer, but nothing seems to work.

XP used to have a file called WhoLockMe for this kind of shit, but it hasn't been updated to work for either Vista or 7. I'd prefer to get this fixed without having to download a Linux distro. Anybody have any suggestions?

Bionic Monkey on
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Posts

  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino legally competent Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    err, boot into safe mode?

    what file are you trying to delete here?

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  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited August 2010
    Just a video file I downloaded. An MKV, not that I think that would make a difference.

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  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino legally competent Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    alright, just reboot into safe mode and delete the file. to get into safe mode, hold the F8 button after your system BIOS messages display but BEFORE the "Starting Windows" animation displays.

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  • GrimReaperGrimReaper Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    He could just fire up a command prompt, end the explorer process and delete the file through the command prompt.

    Also, if you want to see what program has what file locked you can download handle, it's a sysinternals program. MS bought them up a while ago, they make lots of useful software for this kind of thing.

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  • theclamtheclam Registered User
    edited August 2010
    I think HijackThis comes with a tool that will delete locked files for you on boot.

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  • TeaSpoonTeaSpoon Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Sorry if I'm hijacking your thread, but I have a similar problem.

    Once, a long time ago in a far away kingdom, I tried to uninstall a program without an uninstaller. To that end, I tried to unpack the .exe file that installed the offending software to figure out where files were placed. Long story short, I managed to create a file without a name. Every attempt to delete that file has been met with failure.

    Here's what I see in windows explorer.

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  • JerikTelorianJerikTelorian Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    To get rid of files like this I boot the system using Ultimate Boot CD for Windows and nuke it from there. Since the OS is running off the RAM the files aren't locked and can be safely nuked.

    Years ago I'd had a copy of the Borland C/C++ Turbo compiler that absolutely positively could not be deleted, and the UBCD trick blew it away.

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  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    There is a very simple tool that will delete the files and usually doesn't require a reboot.

    Unlocker: http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/

    http://www.filehippo.com/download_unlocker/

  • TaminTamin Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    TeaSpoon wrote: »
    Sorry if I'm hijacking your thread, but I have a similar problem.

    Once, a long time ago in a far away kingdom, I tried to uninstall a program without an uninstaller. To that end, I tried to unpack the .exe file that installed the offending software to figure out where files were placed. Long story short, I managed to create a file without a name. Every attempt to delete that file has been met with failure.

    Here's what I see in windows explorer.

    Stupid question, I suppose, but have you tried to rename the file first? 'F2' is the shortcut, but right-clicking ought to work also.

  • solsovlysolsovly Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Tamin wrote: »
    TeaSpoon wrote: »
    Sorry if I'm hijacking your thread, but I have a similar problem.

    Once, a long time ago in a far away kingdom, I tried to uninstall a program without an uninstaller. To that end, I tried to unpack the .exe file that installed the offending software to figure out where files were placed. Long story short, I managed to create a file without a name. Every attempt to delete that file has been met with failure.

    Here's what I see in windows explorer.

    Stupid question, I suppose, but have you tried to rename the file first? 'F2' is the shortcut, but right-clicking ought to work also.

    You would get a similar problem saying the file is locked or in use.

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  • darkgruedarkgrue Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    SysInternals is really good for small utilities like this. PendMoves and MoveFile will do what you want, allowing you to see what will be moved or deleted on reboot, and schedules files to be moved or deleted on reboot, respectively.

  • TeaSpoonTeaSpoon Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    To get rid of files like this I boot the system using Ultimate Boot CD for Windows and nuke it from there. Since the OS is running off the RAM the files aren't locked and can be safely nuked.

    Years ago I'd had a copy of the Borland C/C++ Turbo compiler that absolutely positively could not be deleted, and the UBCD trick blew it away.

    I've been playing around with UBCD, but I can't seem to make FreeDOS find my windows partition. Instead, it points to various different images on UBCD. How did you do it?

  • TeaSpoonTeaSpoon Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Fuck it. I'm going to run Ubuntu from an USB stick. That should take care of it. And if it doesn't, someone will pay. Oh yes, someone will pay dearly.

    [EDIT] Fixed!

  • stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Open the start menu, type cmd in the search box and press ctrl+shift+enter to get an admin command window. then go to the folder above the one you want to delete (that has the non deletable file) and do a 'rmdir /s foldername' and it will get deleted. This will delete that directory and everything under it forcefully.

  • baronfelbaronfel Registered User regular
    In case you're still having issues deleting or moving files that are still open elsewhere, you can always use Process Explorer to find the open file handle and manually close it.

    Once Process Explorer is installed, you can run it and search for the file name in question, then when you find it right-click on the entry that Process Explorer shows you and select something along the lines of End Task.

    That should release the handle and allow you to move/delete/rename the file as necessary.

This discussion has been closed.