Cannot Delete a file on a network drive

Blair Benjamin
Blair Benjamin used Ask the Experts™
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I have a user with an Excel file on a shared network drive and the file cannot be deleted.  The error we get is "action cannot be completed because the file is open in another program".  It has been nearly two weeks since this problem started and they have given up and did a save-as to have a new working copy.  I have removed all user permissions to the file, so that now the user(s) who were accessing the file cannot even see or use it.  Now I just want to delete the file but cannot.  Shy of rebooting the file server (a Windows Server 2008 machine), how else can I possibly remove whatever lock is currently on the file?
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Commented:
Check in computer management if the file is still open, you can close it there and remove it!

Commented:
It's in computer management (on the file server) under shared folders>open files
Blair BenjaminSr. Systems Administrator

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Commented:
This is actually the first thing we tried - however, when I go there, it does not show up as an open file in the list of open files.  That's part of the reason this one has us stumped.  Any other ideas?
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Commented:
Hmmm, many of the solutions require a reboot of the server. You can maybe schedule a reboot during the night??? Create a batchfile with the command "shutdown -r" and schedule it to run when everybody is (supposed to be) sleeping ;-)

Another option is the Open Handle tool, this tool provides information on which process has an open handle on the file.

Type oh /? at the command prompt for options and syntax.

Commented:
Sorry, just tried OH on a 2008 server and it doesn't work anymore, only on 2003 and earlier...

Commented:
Found another open handle tool: Handle Tool

You can download it here: Handle download

Or the GUI version: Process explorer

I would go for the nightly reboot option first though...seems a lot less work!
Blair BenjaminSr. Systems Administrator

Author

Commented:
I did in fact check out the Handle Tool at your suggestion.  However, I'm reluctant to kill any processes and potentially cause server instability.  I think your idea to just schedule an off-hours reboot is probably the most prudent approach.  Especially since this is merely an annoyance.  It is otherwise inconsequential.  Thanks!

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