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File locked for editing by user that has been deleted from the Active Directory

Posted on 2008-10-21
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
All,

I have an interesting situation where a file is being locked for editing by a user that has been deleted from our Active Directory for several months.  The folder is on a file server. The folder was copied and renamed but the deleted user did not have permissions before or after the folder was copied and renamed.  I've checked the Active Directory for this user using the find option in AD and I was unable to find the user in the AD.  I also have searched the registry of the file server and did not find any entries for the deleted user.

I would like to be able to open this file.  Any help will be appreciated.  Thanks.

Alicia
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Question by:Alicia Perillo
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by:sk_raja_raja
ID: 22771625
did you try to create a new account with the same user name and try to open the file
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by:Dimarc67
ID: 22771645
What type of file is it?  It sounds to me like it's simply been changed or corrupted such that the application believes it's already open, and the former username may actually be in the file data as the "current" user.
 
If it's an MS Office document, you can try to do a "Open and Repair" on it, but that might not get you any further.  Select the file from within the Open dialog in the application, and use the drop-down list next to the Open button to select "Open and Repair".
 
Something else you can do just to try to get an idea of the file contents is to simply open it in Notepad (if you can).
 
Dimarc67
New York, NY
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by:sk_raja_raja
ID: 22771656
is it a word or excel file ?
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Author Comment

by:Alicia Perillo
ID: 22772133
All, I know that the file is an Excel file .xls.

I'll try an open and repair when I get into the office tomorrow AM.

I'd rather not try and create a special user account to open this.  I'd really like to find out why a deleted user account has a file locked - i.e. I'd like to understand the cause as well as get to a solution.

Thx.
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by:Dimarc67
ID: 22772155
Something else just occurred to me.  Usually when an Excel file is locked for editing, you can open it as read-only.  I take it that's not the case here...
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by:Dimarc67
ID: 22772185
Something else I just realized--

The username that's being reported to you is not the Active Directory username.  It comes from the information that was entered when Excel was installed on the user's computer (which you can view in Excel by going to Help-->About Microsoft Excel).  So, the computer that allegedly has/had the file open simply had Excel installed with that user name entered.

Don't know if that helps, but it could explain how a deleted user is being indicated.
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Author Comment

by:Alicia Perillo
ID: 22773018
Dimarc67,

Yes,  I can open it read-only.
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by:plt63640
ID: 22773159
You could always copy the file and paste it into a new spreadsheet, then give it a new name.  It's worked before for us.
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Dimarc67 earned 500 total points
ID: 22773168
Your original request here was to be able to open the file.  Since you can open it as read-only, you can always then save it as a different file that would be fully editable.  Would this not accomplish what you want?
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Author Comment

by:Alicia Perillo
ID: 22776817
Dimarc67,

Yes,  that is correct - my original request was to  open the file. I would however still like to find out how this file is being locked out.  The file is on a file server with security permissions for certain users in our Active Directory.  I've checked the users with access to the file and their MS Office is not configured with the person 's name who  has the file locked.

Alicia
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Author Comment

by:Alicia Perillo
ID: 22776928
Dimarc67,

I've followed your advice and I've made a copy of the original file.  Now I'd like to move the file to another folder but I can't because it's in use.  Any ideas short of rebooting the server?

Alicia
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by:Dimarc67
ID: 22777370
Alicia,

What error message are you receiving when trying to move the file?  Are you attempting to move it while logged on to the server itself, or through a network share?

If your receiving an error message when trying to move the file while logged on to the server itself, then I would double-check the current open files in the Computer Manager on the server to make sure it isn't listed.  If it is listed, you should be able to right-click it and select Close Open File.  If it is not listed, then rebooting the server may be your only option.  You can always schedule a reboot to happen during the night, if you're comfortable with it happening when you're not watching.

David
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Author Comment

by:Alicia Perillo
ID: 22778237
David,

Thanks so much for your insightful suggestions.  I was able to look at the open file on the server and using Computer Manager. | Open Files I was able to determine the user that had the file open.  When I checked his MS Office it was registered to the "deleted user" who was locking the file.

Thanks for your help!

Alicia
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by:Dimarc67
ID: 22778911
Well done!  I so love it when things work the way they're supposed to.  :-)

Now that you know who the actual user was, I thought you might like to see this Microsoft article on how to change the user name info in Office 2003:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/821550

Take care.

David
Dimarc67
New York, NY

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Author Comment

by:Alicia Perillo
ID: 22780875


Awesome - thanks again!
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