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Windows 7 locks files over network just by browsing folder?

Posted on 2013-06-12
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Last Modified: 2013-06-17
Hello my experts I have an odd problem.  We have a windows 2008 server and a domain of about 15 computers.  ALL these computers access the files shares (also on the 2008 server) and attempt to move a folder, but get the standard file is locked error message so it cannot be deleted/removed.

File manager on the server shows all these files are locked by users, so I chastised them.  However the problem still kept on happening.  It seems when someone just OPENS the folder, the files become locked until either they reboot or the server is rebooted.  

I have googled a bit and found some people say antivirus, it is not the anti virus, it happens with new computers just put onto the domain, it has nothing to do with the application experience on either the server/computers as I have tested that from some MS articles.  

Any thoughts?!
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Question by:vqis
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Expert Comment

by:ScottCha
ID: 39242562
So just to be sure, even if they close out of the file it is still locked?
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Author Comment

by:vqis
ID: 39242568
They never even OPEN the file, they just open the folder that has the file IN IT.  But yes, even if they close the file it is still locked.  We even left the machine on overnight to see if it eventually unlocked the file, it never did.
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Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 39242898
Delete all the thumbs.db files from the shares and see if that fixes it.

If I recall correctly, Win7 doesn't make or use those thumbs.db files that are/were created by XP, but for some reason it OPENS them when entering a folder, then doesn't properly close (e.g. release the file handle of?) thumbs.db when leaving the folder (!). Each instance of Win7 creates its own thumbnail cache in
%localappdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\thumbcache_xxxx.db files.
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Author Comment

by:vqis
ID: 39242921
Darr247:  actually I did that about 6 months ago thinking that was the problem!  NO LUCK!
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 39243625
Can you define "the file"? Do those files have anything in common, or is it arbitrary one of many in each folder?
Since I have told my folks to disable storing the thumbnail cache, I have not seen anything similar to what you describe ...
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Expert Comment

by:BurundiLapp
ID: 39244076
The only time I have come across a locking issue like this is with Windows 7 and it caching image thumbnails.

I understand you have removed the thumbnails from the server but have you configured any of the workstations to not cache thumbnails in the first place, I would try it to at least rule it out:

·    Click the Start button
·    Type gpedit.msc and hit Enter.
·    Expand User Configuration - Administrative Templates - Windows Components.
·    Click on Windows Explorer.
·    Right-click the entry "Turn off the caching of thumbnails in hidden thumbs.db files" and choose Edit.
·    Enable the setting.

Then reboot that workstation, browse a few network folders and see if it locks any files at all again.
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Author Comment

by:vqis
ID: 39244887
I used the GPO to turn off the creation of the thumb nails the same time I deleted them.  I am sorry I didn't include that in the original question.  By following this http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itprogeneral/thread/8b59997f-3681-4f54-8015-f938645f392c/
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Accepted Solution

by:
BurundiLapp earned 500 total points
ID: 39244939
No problem.

Can you identify a locked file
run sysinternals processexplorer on a windows 7 workstation that appears to be locking the file
Click Find and choose Find a Handle or DLL
Enter part of the filename that is being locked on the server and then search

That will hopefully tell you what process on the workstation has the file handle locked and may lead to further helpful information.

ProcessExplorer: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx
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Author Closing Comment

by:vqis
ID: 39253407
this shows that it's just a standard windows process that is locking the file but they are saying it's working now for whatever reason... So I'm closing this.
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