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Windows 7: Can't rename, move or delete apparently closed folders

28 May 2015   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Can't rename, move or delete apparently closed folders

Hi there.

> It often happens that I try to rename, move or delete a CLOSED folder and get an error message saying that the folder is open or in use by some program. Yet no file from this folder is apparently open.
> In Task Manager/Applications, Windows Explorer does not show, but Task Manager/Processes does show a process named explorer.exe.
> It is true (as posted by others before) that somtimes, but not always, having a long coffee break may help. (Tea and vodka help just as well.) But I have to get some work done.
> Restart or logout-login always fixes the problem, but for just once. Bad solution.
> Attempting to close the explorer.exe process, ignoring the warning, leads to The Blue Screen of Death. This can be recovered from by ALT-CTRL-DEL and logging in as a different user (same username.)

This has not always been the case. I remember times when this issue was unknown to me.

Apart for general advices and fixes, which are welcomed, does anyone have an idea which background process might keep busy an apparently closed folder?

My system is Windows 7 Home Premium, Version 6.1 (Build 7601, Service Pack 1), on a desktop PC.

[I'm aware this topic has been posted many times before, but I couldn't find any coherent advice in this forum. So here it is again.]

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 May 2015   #2

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

Hi and welcome to SevenForums,
Use Clean boot,
Click Start and type in the search box,
Click on the suggestion on top or hit the Enter key,
Go to the Startup section and take some screen shots for a complete list,
Go to the Services section and on the bottom left Check the box to Hide All Microsoft services,
Repeat the screen shots,
See the links above my signature on how to take and upload screen shots here,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 May 2015   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

My guess would be AV or some other security software not releasing the files in a timely fashion after an on-access scan (while closing). Hence, corrects itself after a coffee break.

Also, you can't recover from a Blue Screen of Death with CTRL+ALT+DEL (?). When explorer.exe is terminated you get an empty screen (no taskbar/icons/background image) - though I get a black one, not blue - this is normal and we all have that process running. Usually, as to my knowledge, it should auto-start a few seconds after being ended. If not, you can CTRL+ALT+DEL and click new task and enter: explorer.exe to start the process again. (If what you are talking about is different, I would like to learn about it)

I guess you may be able to check my theory by copy/pasting a problematic folder and adding that one to the exclusion list of your AV and possible other security software. Manipulate a file or two some. Close files/folder and try deleting.

Just a thought, hope this helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 May 2015   #4

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

I had the same problem several times on my machine. In addition to file / folder unlocking software it can be worth checking for updates for any software that installed a shell extension that integrates with Explorer. (Anything that creates a right click context menu entry) although for some software the entries exist but you don't always see them if the software isn't running. Would also suggest removing any software that you don't actually use with a program uninstaller like Geek Uninstaller or similar -just as long as it has 64bit support. Some of them are only good for removing 32bit programs. Then run a full disk check.

chkdsk /f /r
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 May 2015   #5
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1

Download Lockhunter (they have a portable as well). If you install it, you get a context menu choice of What is locking this file?. Right clicking on one of your folders, and choosing that will open a dialog:

Can't rename, move or delete apparently closed folders-clipboard01.jpg

It will show what is locking the folder. Click the More details box upper right to get the PID as well.

LockHunter is a free 64/32 bit tool to delete files blocked by any processes

A Guy

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2015   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Thrash Zone, attached are the said screenshots.

Attached Images
Can't rename, move or delete apparently closed folders-services-1.jpg Can't rename, move or delete apparently closed folders-services-2.jpg Can't rename, move or delete apparently closed folders-startup-1.jpg Can't rename, move or delete apparently closed folders-startup-2.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2015   #7

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit

Hi and thanks for the update and attachments
A Guy posted a nice way to show which service is tying up your files/ folders... have you tried it ?

Did disabling all Startup items except your security which looks like AVG have any positive effects about the issue ?

vprotect looks like a interesting startup item wonder who that one belongs too ?
Review Jacee’s instructions to run Adwcleaner here post #7,
Ignore the title of the thread,
On the BleepingComputer site use the button that looks like this,

Also see what Superantispyware comes up with,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2015   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

From AVG support site:

VProtect Application and the file vprot.exe are part of AVG Toolbar.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2015   #9
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

Way to many Non Microsoft Start ups. Your only need your security programs checked.

I also noticed you have AVG and Zone Alarm installed at the same time in Start ups.

Personally I would not use more than one anti virus program at one time on one computer. Using more than one will do nothing but cause problems.

I recommend removing both AVG and Zone Alarm using their online tools.
Then install MSE and Malwarebytes.

Take a look at my Start ups and Non Microsoft Services.

Can't rename, move or delete apparently closed folders-msconfig-startup.png

Can't rename, move or delete apparently closed folders-msconfig-services.png

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2015   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Thanks, ThrashZone, Layback Bear.

I'm averse to installing all kinds of software tools the whole purpose of which is to remedy Microsoft ills that shouldn't have been there in the first place, considering their 30-something years of experience. So, Lockhunter will have wait its turn.

I'll start by culling startup items and services to the best of my understanding, and see what happens.

Do you recommend that I replace my AVG Free (antivirus only) and ZoneAlarm (firewall only) by MSE and/or Malwarebytes and/or Superantispyware? (Note that I do not have two co-running AV-s.) Do these recommendations have to do with the sticky folder problem, or they're just your security software preferences? I appreciate your advice anyway, but I'd like to know.

Thank you

What about Clean boot? Still relevant?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can't rename, move or delete apparently closed folders

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