How do you delete a file that XP says is "in use"

pm1961

Active Member
Even though it's not............

As the title says...................

I have a couple of files that I want to move or delete but XP won't let me do so saying;

Error Moving File or Folder
Cannot move XXXXXXXXX: It is being used by another person or program.
Close any programs that may be using the file and try again.


Having confirmed that no other programs are even running, I still can't move or delete it.........

Any ideas please?:lease:

Regards,

PM
 

baldydad

Standard Member
Try some of these:
Close windows explorer, then reopen, create a new folder in the tree & call it "bin" or suchlike; open the folder where your problem file resides (often an AVI). DO NOT DOUBLE CLICK ON THE FILE but drag it to your new bin & see if it will drop in there. If it does then next step is to right click on your new bin folder & delete this folder.
If that does not work then re-boot machine AND do same as above.
This is a know AVI type issue in XP etc.
Good luck
 

pm1961

Active Member
:hiya:Thanks one and all!

Already tried dragging to a new folder and the command line.

Thought I would try Unlocker before booting to safe mode...........

Brilliant:D Unlocker worked first time.

FWIW. It was a .iso of a BD disc that wouldn't lie down and die.
 

PAH

Active Member
Or boot off a floppy/CD to a command prompt where you should be able to access the hard drive.

Or put the hard drive in an external usb caddie and hook up to another PC.

In the past one of the above methods has been the only way I've been able to get rid of some particularly nasty malware files.
 

Steve.J.Davies

Well-known Member
if you have your original XP CD (so no good for OEM installs that come on the hard disk) create a UBCD4Win.
Very useful for getting you out of all kinds of difficulties

You also need Bart's PE Builder. Instructions (easy to follow using session capture) on irongeek IIRC
 
as it was an iso, you didn't still have it mounted did you?
 
S

Sofix

Guest
  1. Is the file in use? It sounds obvious but it happens. If it is being used or open, close the file and the application that opened it. For example, if it is a Word document, close Microsoft Word.
  2. If the file was opened in an application (and subsequently closed), but the program is still running, try quitting the program. Windows will lock a file because the application hasn't yet released it. This is not always Windows fault and can be the fault of the program.
  3. If the file is an AVI, in particular a DivX AVI, try renaming it and then deleting it. DivX files don't get on very well with Windows XP and sometimes renaming the file can trick Windows into releasing it.
  4. Reboot your PC and don't start any programs. Go directly to the file and delete it.
  5. In Windows Explorer, switch to View-Details and then select View-Choose Details. Uncheck everything except the file name. This stops Windows XP trying to read the file - this problem affects many video, audio and graphics files.
  6. Still no luck? OK, here is the best trick of all. Most sites give you cryptic Windows registry and DOS commands to remove a file, but the answer is so much simpler. Get a copy of MoveOnBoot. It's free and this simple tool allows you to Move, Copy or Delete files before Windows can lock or alter the files. The changes are made to your hard drive before Windows starts, hence it requires a restart of your system after you give MoveOnBoot its instructions. There are no messy boot or DOS commands, just a simple 3-step process.

    Step 1: Locate the name of the file that is causing your problems.

    Step 2: Decide if you want to copy, move or delete the file.

    Step 3. Choose a destination for moving the file, or a new file name for the rename option (this option won't appear if you are deleting a file).

    Click OK to confirm you want to process. The nice thing is that the program doesn't make you reboot straight away. It's a good idea to reboot ASAP, but if you are in the middle of something and want to wait, the program will simply run next time you start Windows.
  7. If the file reappears again (check its creation date to ensure it is being recreated) and you can't make it budge, you may have trouble with spyware or a virus on your system (don't overlook the possibility it may also be an important system file). In this case you should get a good spyware removal program to scan your system.
 

kaidiez

Active Member
:hiya:Thanks one and all!

Already tried dragging to a new folder and the command line.

Thought I would try Unlocker before booting to safe mode...........

Brilliant:D Unlocker worked first time.

FWIW. It was a .iso of a BD disc that wouldn't lie down and die.

why are you all still giving solutions??? does no one read? and tbh unlocker pwns all the other solutions imo.
 

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