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Windows 7: The process cannot access the file because it is being used by...

03 May 2012   #1
1000faces

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
The process cannot access the file because it is being used by...

Hi Forums,

I am getting this error all the time with Windows 7. I open a text file I want to
edit, then go to save my changes and I get this error:

"The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process".


I have full admin rights, running Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1. From a bit of research I have seen where many others have been experiencing this problem or something similar too. The only "fix" (that doesn't work all the time) is to close explorer.exe and then restart it to "release the handle"? Anyway, this is not acceptable for to money and time I spent upgrading/configuring this new OS from XP where I never had this problem and seriously cuts down my productivity.

Is there a fix for this? Has Microsoft even acknowledged this as a bug yet? I can duplicate this scenario the second or third time I try to edit/save/delete a text file and I know that explorer.exe is the problem or a big part of it in any case. I don't want to go back to XP x64 but having to deal with this headache 10-20 times a day is just too much to ask.

Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
04 May 2012   #2
writhziden

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Have you checked to see if another application or service is causing this behavior? Troubleshoot Application Conflicts by Performing a Clean Startup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2012   #3
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Seems bad coding for me.

It is only natural and logical that you can't edit a file that is currently used by system or a process, so right address for complaint's is the coder for that application or process that keeps your file open even when it is no longer needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

04 May 2012   #4
1000faces

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Nothing else is running the text file but notepad. And I used unlocker to check the handles. It's explorer.exe that locks it.

Found this in MS forums: The action can't be completed because the file is open in Windows - Microsoft Answers

Seems to be an issue long standing and a bug inherent with Windows 7.

There has been no "official" statement from MS acknowledging this bug hence a patch or fix release is unlikely. Some users in the thread above have offered "fixes" but they are way too time consuming and inefficient in regards to workflow productivity. This shouldn't be an issue one has to deal with when purchasing a new OS that's supposed to be a pinnacle achievement in technology in the first place. How could MS leave such a glaring bug with their poster-child OS? Total bs. Might just have to dual boot into XP when I'm scripting from now on.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2012   #5
Dwarf

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

Does it happen with any text file you want to edit, or just this one in particular?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2012   #6
1000faces

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

It occurs with any file I try to edit with notepad or notepad++.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2012   #7
carwiz

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

What real time AV are you using. Perhaps it's locking on read and write or script checking. Or you have two running and they're butting heads.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2012   #8
writhziden

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 1000faces View Post
It occurs with any file I try to edit with notepad or notepad++.
That is abnormal behavior. Have you tried the clean startup to see if another application or service is conflicting with explorer.exe and causing it to access files?

Also, what antivirus software do you use? Some of the more aggressive antivirus software will scan files when they are accessed, and it may show up as an explorer.exe access when it is actually the antivirus software.


Edit: carwiz: Great minds think alike...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2012   #9
Dwarf

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

Does it happen if you create a simple text file, close it, and then try to edit it again? As stated above, this is abnormal behaviour. With some programs, it is understandable if all associated files aren't properly released when the program is closed (although this would be an issue for the program manufacturer to address). It could be your AV locking the file for some reason or other, but again this is not normal. I certainly haven't come across it.

See if this picks anything up: SFC /SCANNOW : Run in Command Prompt at Boot
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 May 2012   #10
carwiz

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by writhziden View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by 1000faces View Post
It occurs with any file I try to edit with notepad or notepad++.
That is abnormal behavior. Have you tried the clean startup to see if another application or service is conflicting with explorer.exe and causing it to access files?

Also, what antivirus software do you use? Some of the more aggressive antivirus software will scan files when they are accessed, and it may show up as an explorer.exe access when it is actually the antivirus software.


Edit: carwiz: Great minds think alike...
Mike - Hehehe.... Mine was just a shot in the dark. I know it's not Windows or Notepad--They just do what they're told. I'm an edit fool and never run into this.
Ken
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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