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Q: Windows XP Processes holding files open ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: Windows XP Processes holding files open
Category: Computers > Operating Systems
Asked by: arpagenx2-ga
List Price: $4.50
Posted: 17 Aug 2006 12:57 PDT
Expires: 16 Sep 2006 12:57 PDT
Question ID: 757058
Which process is holding my file open in Windows XP?  I would love to
see all process that have open files on my computer and which file are
open.  This is easy to do across a network with a tool such as
NETWATCH.exe.  How can I find which processes are holding open file
handles on my local CPU and hard drive?
Subject: Re: Windows XP Processes holding files open
Answered By: hummer-ga on 17 Aug 2006 13:24 PDT
Hi arpagenx2,

Here you go -

> Manual Instructions (with graphics)

How To: Determine what Services are running in Windows XP

> Utility (freeware)

AutoRun - freeware
"This utility, which has the most comprehensive knowledge of
auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, shows you what
programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and
shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them. These
programs include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other
Registry keys. You can configure Autoruns to show other locations,
including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects,
Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and much more. Autoruns
goes way beyond the MSConfig utility bundled with Windows Me and XP."

I hope this helps. If you have any questions, please post a
clarification request and wait for me to respond before closing/rating
my answer.

Thank you,

Google Search Terms Used: xp view running processes

Clarification of Answer by hummer-ga on 17 Aug 2006 14:04 PDT
Hi arpagenx2,

I actually had Process Explorer in my answer but for some reason
unbeknownst to me, I deleted it. Here it is:

Process Explorer

Thanks to olegoz and keystroke for reminding me (no need to apologize, k).
Subject: Re: Windows XP Processes holding files open
From: olegoz-ga on 17 Aug 2006 13:35 PDT
Process Explorer from I think is a better tool here. 
In the lower pane you can see a list of handles that each process has
open.  There is also a search for handles feature, where you can find
which process has a certain file open (and if you search for "c:" for
example, you'll get a list of all open files on c:).
Subject: Re: Windows XP Processes holding files open
From: keystroke-ga on 17 Aug 2006 13:46 PDT
I would agree with Olegoz here about process explorer, very good application. 

The best option for finding what processes are locking a file is wholockme

using this software you can see what software is locking the file and
end the process so the file can be deleted.

I have used both process Explorer (command line and GUI) and wholockme
many times to great success.

Check them out too, I do not believe that the person who has responded
to your question has actually answered it as you required. The only
thing you can find out is what is started when the PC logs in, not
actual file locks or process information related to file locks.

Hopefully this comment will give you the answer you were looking for. 

Sorry hummer.


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