Unlocking Files that are In Use
As part of one of those day to day kind of things that I run into are users on our network that need to replace files that lots of people have access to. In our case these are PDF files and occasionally when a file needs to be replaced with a newer one the file will be open and in use. This means that I as the administrator of the box and the user that is the creator of the file can not delete the file in use.
In the past we have used a utility called unlocker. Using Unlocker is easy, just install, right click on the file, hit the magic want and it is unlocked and we can delete and replace the file. And great thing is that Unlocker is free.
Windows 64 Bit Server and Unlocker
Well we just replaced out old Windows 2000 file server with a nice new 64 bit Windows Server 2008 VM box. As a file server this is more than we need but the performance is a bit better and having the stability of an ESX VM environment is great (more on that in another post).
But today I did have a need again to unlock a file. Unlocker was not installed so I installed and tried but could not unlock the pdf file in use, or any other file for that matter.
After doing a bit of searching around it seems that Unlocker is not supported on 64 bit server operating systems so I found another one, this program, also free is called LockHunter. This program works the same way and with LockHunter there is also support for both 32 and 64 bit operating systems for unlocking files, right click support for individual files, and a nice gui if you just want to run to a file.
The other great thing about LockHunter is that it is also a free file unlocking tool