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Windows 7: Getting a message saying that a file is open, when it's not

16 Mar 2011   #1
TMasuer

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Getting a message saying that a file is open, when it's not

This is wierd. I have two partitions, W7 64, and XP 32.

I have a folder, on my G drive, (I have several drives) and in that folder I have ten .mkv video files. In W7, when I try to either delete or rename two of those files, I can not - I get a message saying that the action can't be completed because the file is open in Windows Explorer. Not sure what that means exactly. and I get this as soon as I boot into Windows. The app that is associated with the mkv files is VLC player - that DOES NOT boot with W7. Changing the association to something else does not help. I am able to delete/rename the other 8 files in that folder - just not those 2. Thing is, I can delete/rename those 2 files when i am booted into my XP part - so there is something going on with my W7 part. A virus scan revealed nothing.

Any ideas here?

Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Mar 2011   #2
Orbital Shark

 
 

Hi,

This behavior can be quite common when it comes to ANY video file. I have several issues with the Nokia M Platform suddenly accessing my video files meaning I can't do anything with them other than play/copy them. I have to normally kill the process in Task Manager.

The biggest issue is Explorer trying to render what little information it can from the video file, and as MKV isn't supported it has a hard time processing any info for it (Bitrate, Thumbnails etc.).

Try downloading the latest codec pack from Shark007 and see if that solves the problem.


OS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #3
unifex

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TMasuer View Post
Thing is, I can delete/rename those 2 files when i am booted into my XP part - so there is something going on with my W7 part.
I am a bit confused: are you saying that you repeatedly delete these two files in XP, then put them back and still have a problem in 7? Or you have already deleted these files and are just curious as two what went wrong?

Basically, what you are reporting might happen. I don't think this is specific for mkv files, I've seen this for various other file "types" as well, not necessarily video. Here's what happens. When you open a file in some app, Windows "locks" that file, so that it can only be modified (as in renamed, deleted, etc.) by this app. When the app is closed, Windows is supposed to "release" the file. But sometimes this process fails. I am not sure what exactly goes wrong there, but sometimes whatever "record" Windows keeps to remind itself that the file is locked, stays there even though the app is already closed.

In fact, if you search Google for "delete locked files" you will find lots of apps written just for the purpose of deleting such locked files. So this way you know you're not alone, it's not just your problem, happens to everyone.

If you do not want to install any such special "deleter" or "unlocker" (I don't use any myself, that's why I don't include random links that can easily be found in Google), then the few things you can do are:

1. Kill explorer.exe and restart it - but that mightbe scary, since you'll lose your desktop as well, you get it back only after restarting explorer.

2. Boot to safe mode, delete from there.

3. Use the recovery console from the installation DVD.

4. Or, as you seem to have done, use another OS that you might have on your PC (as well as a live CD of any other OS, Linux for example will have no problem with this).

At least one of the above should allow you to delete the file in question.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Mar 2011   #4
TMasuer

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Orbital Shark View Post
This behavior can be quite common when it comes to ANY video file. I have several issues with the Nokia M Platform suddenly accessing my video files meaning I can't do anything with them other than play/copy them. I have to normally kill the process in Task Manager.
I cant kill the process - there is no process to kill. The app that is associated with the vid file is not runnning.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by unifex View Post
I am a bit confused: are you saying that you repeatedly delete these two files in XP, then put them back and still have a problem in 7? Or you have already deleted these files and are just curious as two what went wrong?
The latter - curious as to why I cant rename/delete.

"When you open a file in some app, Windows "locks" that file, so that it can only be modified (as in renamed, deleted, etc.) by this app. When the app is closed, Windows is supposed to "release" the file. But sometimes this process fails. "

No - see, that's why I said what I did in my intial post. I get this as soon as I boot into Windows. It's not like I open the file, close the app and then cant delete/rename the file - no. It's boot into Windows, immediately open the folder, and try to rename/delete. Cant do it. And the app that the files are associated with are NOT running.

Any other ideas?

Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #5
FliGi7

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

Try this... boot into Windows 7 but don't open any explorer windows. Open an elevated command prompt and use the command line to rename the files and see if that works.

The rename command works as follows:

REN "C:\Users\UserName\Desktop\File1.mkv" "File2.mkv"

If that works, I suspect it's an associated explorer dll associated with displaying the files that is hanging when it parses those two files in an explorer window.

At that point, open an elevated command prompt and type "sfc /scannow" and see what it reports back about files that may have been corrupt and/or fixed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #6
TMasuer

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Ok, that sounds like a good idea, I'll try that.

Only thing is - how do you type a folder name, when the name is two sperate words with a space inbetween?

I'll give you a good example:

I do this in a cmd prompt:

dir c:\temp

and I get all of the folders and files in that dir.

I do this in a cmd prompt:

dir c:\program files

and I get "file not found"

And this speaks about the folder on my G drive, which is Music Vids. How do I type "Music Vids" in a cmd prompt?

Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #7
FliGi7

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

You'll notice the file path is in quotes for this very reason.

To change directories to a folder, use the "cd" command like such...

cd G:
cd "Music Vids"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #8
TMasuer

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hmm - still not getting this.

Open the cmd prompt, I am at C:\Users\Username
Type cd G:, and press the enter key.
Now, right under C:\Users\Username is G:\
But then there is a space, and i am back at C:\Users\Username, without typing anything after I typed cd G:

So, my cmd prompt looks like this:

MS windows
Copyright 2009...

C:\Users\Username>cd: G
G:\

C:\Users\Username

What am I doing wrong?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #9
unifex

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TMasuer View Post

The latter - curious as to why I cant rename/delete.

"When you open a file in some app, Windows "locks" that file, so that it can only be modified (as in renamed, deleted, etc.) by this app. When the app is closed, Windows is supposed to "release" the file. But sometimes this process fails. "

No - see, that's why I said what I did in my intial post. I get this as soon as I boot into Windows. It's not like I open the file, close the app and then cant delete/rename the file - no. It's boot into Windows, immediately open the folder, and try to rename/delete. Cant do it. And the app that the files are associated with are NOT running.

Any other ideas?

Thanks!
I thought you have the files deleted already! Or you are actually able to recreate the problem by placing new files into the same folder? See, you're saying also that you're going to try new suggestions, that's only possible if your problem persists and is not limited to the two files that are supposed to be deleted already.

For your later question - in Windows Command Prompt you can use the auto-complete function: change to your G:\ drive, then instead of trying to type the whole folder name, just type the first couple of characters and then press the Tab key. If there is no other folder with the same first characters, then Windows will automatically complete the folder name for you (works for files as well).

Finally, if you can actually recreate the problem, then it has nothing to do with Windows locking the files, but rather sounds like a permissions problem. In explorer right-click on your folder and check out the security tab. Make sure you have permissions to delete files in this folders. Then, check the permissions on the files themselves. When you are recreating the problem, where do the files come from? Are these the same files? Are you using the same program to create them?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2011   #10
FliGi7

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

The semicolon is in the wrong place. Just type "G:" without the cd. That should take you to the G: drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Getting a message saying that a file is open, when it's not




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