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unable to delete a file ??

by Sharif / November 7, 2004 9:27 PM PST

I am using WinXP pro, recently I copied an .avi file on my hard disk since then I am unable to delete it which is very strange & I do not know why. Every time I try to delete it I receive a worning message saying :" can not delete the file... it is being used by another program. Close any program that might be using it & try again" . Up to my knowledge there is no other program using this file,& when I am pressing the control+alt+delete it showes no program running. I scanned the computer for viruses or spy wares & I found nothing.

It is very annoying to see this file & can not be deleted,
Any help would be highly appreciated

Many thanks

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Re: unable to delete a file ??
by TONI H / November 7, 2004 9:37 PM PST

If you used a program such as Winmx to download the file, and you made only a copy of it as you state to your desktop, go into your original program, look in the 'shared folder' and then 'unshare' that file or just delete it from the list. Then you should be able to delete the copy on your desktop.

I've run into this issue a couple of times and solved it this way.


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Re: unable to delete a file ??
by Sharif / November 7, 2004 10:13 PM PST

Thanks Toni for your reply
Actually the file was as winrar & I extracted the file to my hard disk & I deleted the original winrar file.
When I tried to open the extracted file (.avi) it did not work & I am still not able to delete it from the hard disk.


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Check in the winrar program
by TONI H / November 7, 2004 10:44 PM PST

to see if it's still listed there, and if so, see if you can edit the log or the program to remove it.

You can try renaming the file to something very simple such as xyz.avi and then delete it using the command prompt that comes with will have to use the complete path to it on the desktop at the command prompt window.

If you use the CTRL-ALT-DEL, you should be able to click the Processes tab and see if mplayer.exe is listed...and if it is, click it to EndTask on it because that's the program that opened to try to view the .avi file and didn't close up and is still in the background holding onto the .avi file.

Now try to delete it........


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Re: Check in the winrar program
by Sharif / November 8, 2004 2:16 AM PST

Hi again, & sorrt to bother you.
I followed your advice. In the winrar I couldn't find the log file or anything related to the avi file.

I tried to rename the file as you told me but again it was not possible the same worning window appears :" can not rename or delete the file, it is being used by another program..... "

I used the CTRL-ALT-DEL,& clicked the Processes tab but I couldn't see the mplayer.exe in the list. I think you are right about a background holding onto the .avi file. could it be something else other than mplayer.exe??
Is it safe to terminate all the Processes & try to delete the file?? Would that be ok??


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don't end all the Processes
by TONI H / November 8, 2004 2:40 AM PST

but take a look down the entire list and see if there is another program that you might use for viewing .avi type files that you may have installed that became the default viewer instead of mplayer (the program is actually called I typed it incorrectly). If you find another viewer type program, then ENDTASK that one.......if you find wmplayer.exe, then ENDTASK that one.

If this doesn't work, try booting up into safemode and see if you can delete the file that way instead.

You might also try right dragging the file to the recycle bin, make a copy there instead, then see if you can delete the one on the desktop. If you can do that, then sooner or later the program holding onto the .avi file after a few reboots will let it go and you can empty the recycle bin finally.


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Re: Check in the winrar program
by Edward ODaniel / November 8, 2004 3:05 AM PST

If you can't identify the program that is "using" the file you can reboot to safe mode and delete the file.

You could also likely log off and log back on as a different user and do the same.

Matter of fact simply rebooting would likely solve the "in use" problem.

Other options include what is stated at this link:

You can also go here and download the proper file for your OS and use it to determine which process is using a file. This is handy because you WILL run into the message again at some later time.

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move on boot
by Sharif / November 8, 2004 6:11 AM PST

Many thanks Edward and Toni for your kind help & advise.
I followed the steps you told me but I couldn't delete the file. but thanks to the link Edward I downloaded a software called move on boot, it was extremely easy to use & most importantly it did the job, deleted the file.

Many thanks for your kind help

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(NT) (NT) Thanks for the update and the solution
by TONI H / November 8, 2004 6:36 AM PST
In reply to: move on boot
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You likely don't skin many cats, ...
by Edward ODaniel / November 8, 2004 1:36 PM PST
In reply to: move on boot

but now you have an idea of why it is said there are many possible ways for doing it. Some work better than others at times. Wink

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Re: You likely don't skin many cats, ...
by Sharif / November 8, 2004 9:34 PM PST

Many thanks for your reply & help.

Actually I tried all the steps you told me to do, but be "the only cat I didn't skin" Wink was to delete the file from safe mode.

Really grateful & many thanks.

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