Friday, June 08, 2007

Detecting the process using/locking a file

In Windows, if a file is being used, normally user cannot delete it. But there are cases, especially during development and/or troubleshooting, where a file needs to be deleted or renamed. The issue here is that deleting a locked/used file is not allowed in Windows. Windows Explorer does not give even a slight hint as to who has the lock on the file. Fortunately, Mark Russinovich of Microsoft, developed a tool to list the process that is having a lock on the file. The name of the tool is "handle" and can be downloaded from the site. If you have a file readme.txt and you want to delete it and for some reason their is a rouge application getting hold of it. To get the process name of the application that's using it, just issue the command:
handle readme.txt

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