I have a problem on my PC. It happens quite often, that I want to update some kind of software (e.g. games with some kind of launcher who updates the game or even a normal update via MSI. Yesterday it was "Anti-Malware Bytes" and before it was the updater of Aion.) and the update fails, because the updater can't overwrite/delete some exe files. Sometimes it works after a few tries. I am not able to delete the files manually, too, same error, but I couldn't find any process that is still running. Uninstalling throws the same error. Booting in safe mode and deleting the file there worked.

I've already checked the PC with a live-cd virus scanner, a normal virus scanner and anti-malware bytes. No results.

The user is of course an administrator.

Any ideas except reinstalling windows?


The first thing that I would do to further investigate would be to download the Handle.exe utility from MS. run that and determine what process is routinely locking up the files.

  • Good start, I will try it at home. – Feroc Apr 11 '12 at 14:46

Another option is to get Process Explorer, which will let you track down who has a file open.

  • Care to explain how this is done? – Ivo Flipse Apr 11 '12 at 16:53
  • You click file and enter the filename. – Scott C Wilson Apr 11 '12 at 19:08

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