Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I tried to use NotePad to open system.log and software.log in Windows and it said it couldn't open because file was in use. Is there an editor which can open such files? for Windows XP.

share|improve this question
add comment

5 Answers

If the files are open for exclusive write by another application then the operating system won't allow you to open them.

Often you can get away with copying the files that are in use, and then you can at least open the copies to read the contents up to that point in time.

share|improve this answer
    
+1: yes 'exclusive' does mean exclusive. And why wouldn't the OS open log files for exclusive writes? –  pavium Jan 14 '10 at 6:11
    
On the other hand: maybe Tony_Heinrich only wants to open it for reading. Thus, a file viewer would be sufficient. Or an editor which opens locked files as read only. –  Martin Jan 14 '10 at 7:53
    
Yes I want to open files for read only. Those are log files which might contain information I need. I had something fail and it said it look at the system.log file. –  Tony_Henrich Jan 15 '10 at 6:44
add comment

gvim pretty much opens anything an OS allows it to ...

share|improve this answer
    
But the issue in this case is that the OS won't allow you to... –  Sasha Chedygov Jan 14 '10 at 6:45
    
@musicfreak - no, but since vim doesn't lock a file, you may be able to still open it. it creates a copy in its own buffer. in any case, have you tried ? if an os doesn't allow reading, then we have nothing to talk about ... story finished ... file can't be viewed. –  ldigas Jan 15 '10 at 1:24
add comment

I don't think there are any editors that will open system.log (or software.log) directly, but you can make a copy of it and then edit that file:

  1. Open Event Viewer (under Administrative Tools)
  2. Right Click on the log you want to save.
  3. Save it as a text file (or any format you want).
  4. Edit the file you saved.
share|improve this answer
add comment

Try

notepad++. It will not only load files in use, but if you minimize it & maximize it again, it will ask you whether you want to reload the file too.

share|improve this answer
add comment

A quick test (in Windows 7) showed that notepad2 was able to do this, although the contents seemed a bit garbled. May not apply to XP.

Maybe not a viable answer in your case, but if all else fails you could open them in Ubuntu or other Linux OS. Use a live CD and it won't change the system.

share|improve this answer
1  
i think rebooting into another OS counts as "making the files not in use anymore", so while accurate, opening them with a LiveCD isn't very useful. –  quack quixote Jan 14 '10 at 7:22
    
Agreed, ~quack. I started to write that part as a comment, then tried the Notepad 2 method. I'll amend a little. –  outsideblasts Jan 14 '10 at 7:29
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.