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  1. #1
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    Question How can I delete a program that windows say is in use by other

    have some programs and files that i do NOT want
    dont know where they came from or how they got in my pc
    this happened yesterday

    anyway, when i try to delete them
    windows says they are in use and wont do it


    HOW CAN I DELETE UNWANTED stuff when windows claims it is in use

    and who else would be using it? it is like is uses itself as a protection mechanism.

  2. #2
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    What programs are those? Can you remove them from the Control Panel?

  3. #3
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    They should NOT be in use, in SAFE mode, so go into SAFE mode and try deleting them from there.

    Another trick, is to rename the file, then reboot and then delete it. Use a three digit suffix such as .ddd
    that is not a legal file extension. I've used that trick for years, to get rid of errant .dll files.

    Good luck,
    The Doctor
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  4. #4
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    DrWho is right about SAFE mode.
    I've seen a few other tools to help delete things that are marked as in use.

    Here's a few others:
    -SysInternals has a tool called MoveFile that can be used to schedule moving or deleting a file at next reboot
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/s...rnals/bb897556

    -Malware Bytes Anti-Malware (aka MBAM) under the "More Tools" tab has "FileAssassin"

    -I believe even the old "Unlocker" tool from Open Loop software can unlock a file and delete it
    http://www.emptyloop.com/unlocker/

    Any others?

    (edit: just noticed that further down that Unlocker page he compares his software to a long list of others.....)
    Last edited by brino; 2013-02-25 at 21:40. Reason: update

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  6. #5
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    You should definitely ensure you are deleting erroneous files and nothing that has dependencies or registry references. I don't want to revert to the "are you sure it's plugged in" routine, but manually deleting files that are in use can throw up a slew of error messages on os boot and prevent other useful programs from loading correctly.

    If the file is in use, there was something that put it into use. Deleting the file won't delete the reference to it, so search through your registry first and delete binary keys that point to the filename and extension. You may also have to fuss around with unregistering a few dll files if there are any associated dependencies. The easiest way to find out is by using Dependcy Walker. After a reboot you should be able to simply delete the file directly, but if that still doesn't work - FileAssassin or Unlocker would also do the trick.

  7. #6
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    I know the above ideas are excellent but consider the following ideas if unsuccessful

    You say that you have some programs and files that you do not want, dont know where they came from or how they got into your computer and as of yesterday
    --- Have you tried a System Restore?
    --- If System Restore gets you back to where you were ok a few days before yesterday then run your maintenance & security programs

    If still unsuccessful ...

    You say that you cannot delete an evil file
    --- What is the evil file?
    ------ When you get the message that it cannot be deleted and is in use, do you get an error code?
    Similarly what are the other programs and files that you cannot delete?

    In addition to the ideas already submitted, what do you have as startups?
    --- Check them out to see what startup program(s) are running in the background

    Since you have XP you could try this also:
    --- Do a search for *.tmp
    --- Attempt to delete all of them
    --- You might get some of them reporting something like: Are you sure you want to delete xxx.tmp, this is a system file
    ------ You won't be able to tell exactly what system file it refers to at this point, but you will know that a system file or a few of them are involved in what you are trying to delete

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmptrgy View Post
    I know the above ideas are excellent but consider the following ideas if unsuccessful

    You say that you have some programs and files that you do not want, dont know where they came from or how they got into your computer and as of yesterday... BLAH ---- BLAH, ---- BLAH, ----You won't be able to tell exactly what system file it refers to at this point, but you will know that a system file or a few of them are involved in what you are trying to delete.-----------
    -----------
    ----
    ------

    -
    Nope, nope, and more no. Ignore this post. Deleting temp files does nothing more than free hard drive space and system restore doesn't tend to malware.

  9. #8
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    grimfusion in all due respect, can you allow yourself to be respectful?
    --- Please state your ideas on the facts as you see them for solutions instead of BLAH --- BLAH --- BLAH

    The intent about the ATTEMPT to deleting the temp files was only to discover whether whether or not some would be identified as system files and that idea was proposed only in case he had gotten that far into his troubleshooting
    --- Deleting temp files is the easy part: recognizing whether or not some are reported as system files is the issue

    It hasn't been determined yet whether or not malware is involved.
    --- Although I suspect malware is involved I'm not in front of the computer and know all the facts to really know which step to take first although I like the Safe Mode idea first

    It's true that System Restore isn't always beneficial but it can't be ruled out especially since it only takes a few minutes to find out whether or not it is and it has worked out very well for my friends many times

  10. #9
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    Gentlemen,

    A gentle reminder of Lounge Rule #9:
    (...)To avoid problems, be sure to read over your post before sending it. If you're joking, make it clear so that other members do not take it the wrong way. In other words, just try to be courteous.
    Rui
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  11. #10
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    Have you run your your malware protection programs?
    --- I know that Malwarebytes with File Assasin has already been recommended
    I think it would be a good idea to know whether or not the computer is safe
    --- If an ifection is found, please post what it is and any error message(s) if any

  12. #11
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    hi you can download freeware software called unlocker and that is one of the many features it has aswell as uninstall programs that wont let you modify things that wont let you grants access to apps your denied access to and a bunch of other stuff heres a link to it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/...Unlocker.shtml

    yous welcome

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    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    For a technician, whether Professional or amateur, there are several back doors available to be able to delete a file off of a Windows hard drive.

    Occasionally, a file will be 'encoded' in such a way (usually by some virus, trojan, etc.) that windows cannot do anything with it.

    One way to get at it, is to use a DOS Utilities boot disk to boot up the system and access the hard drive and the files on it.

    On a FAT-32 formatted hard drive, it's a snap, but on an NTFS drive, you need a program on that boot disk like "NTFS4DOS" to unlock the NTFS drive so it can be seen in DOS.
    I do all this on a regular basis in my work as a PC repair tech.

    There are several Boot CD's available on the internet, that can boot up a Windows system and allow you access to the files on the HD.

    Good Luck!
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  14. #13
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    A programme which is determinedly evil for me is 'Mixi.DJ' in all its forms, whether just as a search engine or linked with 'delta-search.com'.
    None of these variations show up in a standard Windows Search, it isn't listed in RevoUinstaller or CCleaner uninstall or Spybot, and no site on the web that I have found though a search seems to offer a genuine and reliable, easy to follow method for the complete removal of the bl**dy thing. I have it on my Windows PC (XP) and more severely on my Dell laptop (Win7) which is beginning to exhibit some curious behaviour.
    Possibly this topic has come up before so directions to the appropriate thread would be welcome. Failing that any help would be equally welcome.
    Last edited by Johor777; 2013-05-01 at 23:21.

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johor777 View Post
    A programme which is determinedly evil for me is 'Mixi.DJ' in all its forms, whether just as a search engine or linked with 'delta-search.com'.
    None of these variations show up in a standard Windows Search, it isn't listed in RevoUinstaller or CCleaner uninstall or Spybot, and no site on the web that I have found though a search seems to offer a genuine and reliable, easy to follow method for the complete removal of the bl**dy thing. I have it on my Windows PC (XP) and more severely on my Dell laptop (Win7) which is beginning to exhibit some curious behaviour.
    Possibly this topic has come up before so directions to the appropriate thread would be welcome. Failing that any help would be equally welcome.
    Does this help: http://mixi.dj/uninstall.html ?
    Or this: http://malwaretips.com/blogs/mixi-dj-toolbar-virus/
    Or this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXp26AIDD14
    Rui
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  16. #15
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    update

    happened again
    see my other thread about possible attack by facebook

    file assassin solved the problem

    found a new file dated when the problems started
    tried to delete
    windoze would not let me saying it was in use
    (by who?? why dont they say??)
    [i didnt want the file and dont want the use it goes with (active desktop)]

    file assassin deleted it
    reboot and everything is working great again

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