Windows Legacy OS forum

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can not delete a file

by odeo / January 18, 2007 4:13 PM PST

I try to delete a file , a message comes up : cannot delete <file name>; it's being used by another person or program. Close any program that might be using the file & try again.
I logg off the system, restart the computer but still can not delete the file.
Window XP pro. The software I use, is Adobe Illustrator

Any advice and help please


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Re: cannot delete a file
by Kees Bakker / January 18, 2007 4:22 PM PST
In reply to: can not delete a file


Some files really are in use by the OS or a legitimate running program, and can't be deleted. Most aren't and can be deleted. So nothing is wrong until you disclose what file it is.

The usual tools, if you feel the file is one that you really want to delete:
- MOVEONBOOT to delete the file when booting
- Boot in Safe Mode and see if you can delete it then
- FILEMON to find out what program is using it

MOVEONBOOT and FILEMON are free downloads. Use google to find a download site.

Hope this helps.


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moveonboot, filemon work for me
by odeo / January 18, 2007 8:32 PM PST

thanks kees;

the 2 files you advice me to use, work perfectly. I now can delete files which can not be deleted normally.

Really appreciate for your help indeed


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Re: deleting files
by Kees Bakker / January 18, 2007 8:46 PM PST

Two caveats, however:
- Don't delete too much (such as parts of Windows or antivirus)
- If a file is unexplainably in use, it can be a sign of malware running. Then deleting the file is only the half (or less) of the final solution.


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