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Excel file locked by System process (PID 4)

Posted on 2010-08-26
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Over the last couple of days some of our users are reporting file locks in Excel ('This file is in use by xxx') even though no obvious locks are present on the servers.

These locks seem to be the last user of the file (including the poor soul suffering from the cannot open message) and move with the file if renamed in Explorer.  The lock does not move if the file is duplicated using copy/paste though it can then occur on the second time of opening the file.

The file servers are Windows 2003 and Windows 2008R2 and the users could be accessing the files via Citrix (2000 or 2008R2 as the base), T/S to 2008R2 or XP directly from the laptop/desktop

Office is 2000 or 2007 and the files are either XLS or XLSX - none of these are shared workbooks - at least one of these files has never been accessed by Office 2000.

Looking at the files with Unlocker the only other thing that has a lock on these files is a System process called System running under System witha  PID of 4 and ending the lock from this has let the users back into the files fine.

I think the lock name reporting the last user in Excel is valid as we can track the lock between users if we open/close the file under controlled conditions but it seems the 'System' process has the actual lock.

Note not all files are doing this - not even in the same folders

To date no one else has reported Word or Powerpoint files suffering.
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Question by:acstit
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Daniel Borger earned 500 total points
ID: 33531545
Have you tried disabling oplocks? http://support.microsoft.com/kb/812937
Also I have seen same situation with Mcafee virus software.
https://kc.mcafee.com/corporate/index?page=content&id=KB61144
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by:acstit
ID: 33539991
I have been caught before with oplocks a few years ago - totally forgot about that so I'll give that a go over the weekend if possible (unsure of downtime at this moment).

We use Trend inhouse due to the problems Mcafee caused me :-)


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