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C# Determine if a file is being accessed

Posted on 2007-04-09
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Last Modified: 2013-11-07
How can I test to see if a file is being accessed by another process? I want to be sure that the file is not being accessed before I perform an operation on it. And I want to test for this without throwing exceptions.
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Question by:SGyves
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Expert Comment

by:JipFromParis
ID: 18878318
Just try this :

FileStream theFile = null;
try
{
    bool gotAccess = true;
    try {theFile = File.OpenFile(theFileName,  FileMode.Open, FileAccess.Read, FileShare.None);}
    catch (Exception) {gotAccess = false;}
    if (gotAccess)
   {
        // Here you've got exclusive access and you can perform the job.
   }
}
finally {if (theFile != null) {theFile.Close();}
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Author Comment

by:SGyves
ID: 18878331
What if what  I want to do is Delete the file? It has to be closed. And if I got access....I am presented with the same problem of making sure that the file is closed before I attempt a delete.
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Author Comment

by:SGyves
ID: 18878349
I can call Close on teh stream...but there is a period of time that must pass before the stream is actually closed and the file is released.
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Accepted Solution

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JipFromParis earned 500 total points
ID: 18878361
This doesn't sound like a problem. File delete attempt would fail if the file is actually in use by any other process. In order to be more specific, may I suggest you clarify the kind of operation you intend to perform once you've got exclusive mode on the file ?
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Author Comment

by:SGyves
ID: 18878389
I am making a brute force file deleter. It is all too often that I want to delete a file that I do not need any more...but it is being accessed by another process. So, I tell the program to get all processes using that file...terminate them...and delete the file in question. However, there is a delay between the killing of the process, and the deletion of the file. I need to compensate for that. I would prefer that the program attempt to delete this file until it succeeds, or times out after a certain time.
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Author Comment

by:SGyves
ID: 18878679
Ok...got it. I just made a special delete method that returns false if it fails and true if it succeeds. That way  I can loop on it until it returns true.
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