XP Processes
April 20, 2005 4:06 PM   Subscribe

Windows XP SP2 says: "The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process." How can I find out what "another process" is?
posted by punishinglemur to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Do you have Google Desktop? This happens to me once in a while; I close Google and don't get the error.
posted by Doohickie at 4:10 PM on April 20, 2005

Use WhoLockMe. Completely freeware.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:13 PM on April 20, 2005

I've always used Handle from the SysInternals guys, but C_D's app looks great.
posted by quiet at 4:25 PM on April 20, 2005

If it's an image, there's a good change it's explorer's preview pane. One of the reasons I turn it off.
posted by Leon at 4:58 PM on April 20, 2005

Seconding WhoLockMe.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:04 PM on April 20, 2005

You can also dowload windows resource toolkit and use the utility 'openfiles'.
posted by nj_subgenius at 6:02 PM on April 20, 2005

Thanks Civil_Disobedient! I've always get ticked off when this happens to me and there are no obvious processes using a file. This thing is like a lifesaver :-)
posted by Sonic_Molson at 6:03 PM on April 20, 2005

Just glad to help. This bugs me to no end as well.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:08 PM on April 20, 2005

I use Sysinternals's Process Explorer, which also lets me forcibly close the handle without having to close the offending program (which is not always possible to close).
posted by hashashin at 9:46 PM on April 20, 2005

A hearty second to Process Explorer. I use it in my day job at a Windows shop if a DLL I need to build is locked. Its very useful in this regard, though not very tolerant of using partial names, if I recall. Also, it doesn't seem to update processor usage like Task Manager, so your mileage may vary in its utility as a Task Manager replacement.

FYI, if you're on Unix or Mac, lsof(1) "LiSts Open Files" so you can find programs holding a file open. Very useful when you're trying to eject a Firewire/USB storage doodad and OS X slaps you on the hands because a program has a file open on said device.
posted by therealadam at 8:42 AM on April 21, 2005

WhoLockMe. No brainer if you keep up on web news. Nice job, guys.
posted by SlyBevel at 4:36 PM on April 21, 2005

Am I the only one who can't get WhoLockMe to work at all? :(
posted by grouse at 9:05 AM on April 23, 2005

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