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How can I copy a file that is "in use"?

Posted on 2003-03-19
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I am trying to copy a system file, but it is always "in use" and won't let me do it.

Under older versions of windows, I could boot to DOS and just copy it that way, but how do I do it with Win2000?
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Question by:cashonly
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12 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:AndresM
ID: 8167602
use the copy command in command line
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:JammyPak
ID: 8167626
if you can shut down the service that's using that file, then great. otherwise, you'll want to do the same as before (boot to another o/s and then copy the file). if you're using ntfs that will complicate the matter, but it is possible (boot to xp, or an alternate install of 2000, or use NTFSDos - see link).

http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/freeware/NTFSDOS.shtml
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by:austinpctech
ID: 8167937
Have you tried copying the file first thing right after a re-boot?  If not, try that first as you may not yet have a file sharing issue with that file.  If that does not work, you are right in thinking that you can copy the file in DOS mode.

I don't use Win2000, but it sounds like they have taken away the ability to directly go to a command line prompt from within Windows.  I know for sure though that you get a command line prompt if you enter the Windows Advanced Settings mode.  You can do this by hitting F8 during a re-boot and then selecting "Command Line".  From there you are good to go to use DOS commands to change directory and copy.  If you have trouble getting to the Advanced Settings, be sure and hit F8 just the moment you see your initial BIOS screen disappear.  Some fast machines make this a real task.  You have to be pretty quick with your F8 if that is the case for you.

It sounds like you know how to copy files in DOS mode, but if you don't let me know and I will be happy to explain the steps.
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by:sramesh2k
ID: 8168466

Simple! Windows 2000 Resource Kit helps you.
" InUse is a command-line tool that performs on-the-fly replacement of files currently in use by the operating system. You must be a member of the Administrators group to use this tool "

http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techinfo/reskit/tools/existing/inuse-o.asp
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Author Comment

by:cashonly
ID: 8173477
JammyPak seems to have the closest answer.  I got NTFSDos working, I booted in on a DOS floppy, but when I try to copy the file I get an "ACCESS DENIED".  I am able to copy other files, but not the one I'm trying to... any suggestions on where to go from here and get around the access denied?

BTW, the inuse tool seems to be only good for copying something OVER a file that is already in use, not for copying an inuse file itself.
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by:sramesh2k
ID: 8173494
boot into recovery console and copy the file to a floppy.
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by:JammyPak
ID: 8173550
I can't remember how permissions work when you're using NTFSDos....maybe make sure the file is readable by 'everyone'?

JP
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Author Comment

by:cashonly
ID: 8173624
"boot into recovery console and copy the file to a floppy.
"... It's a 20 Meg file!

Nothing about permissions in NTFSDos.
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Expert Comment

by:austinpctech
ID: 8179341
I checked and they moved the DOS prompt to Programs/Accessories, however you would still have a file sharing error using this DOS prompt.  A re-boot should clear the problem, however if it does not, re-boot, hit F8, copy your file.  You are done.
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by:cempasha
ID: 8595884
This question is still open and getting old. If any of the comment(s) above helped you please accept it as an answer or split the points who ever helped you in this question. Your attention in finalising this question is very much appreciated. Thanks in advance,

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by:Chmod
ID: 8601987
A request has been made in Community Support to close this question:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/Q_20628894.html

"Ended up using a cloning software product to do what I needed to do."

If there are no objections, after 72 hrs, a moderator will finalise this question by:

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Please leave any recommendations here.

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