1888: "Still in Use"

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NeatNit
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1888: "Still in Use"

Postby NeatNit » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:59 pm UTC

Image

Title text: 'Which one?' 'I dunno, it's your house. Just check each object.' 'Check it for *what*?' 'Whether it looks like it might have touched a paper towel at some point and then forgotten to let go.' '...' 'You can also Google to learn how to check which things are using which resources.' 'You know, I'll just leave the towel there and try again tomorrow.'

Why not just exit the house and enter back in?

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cellocgw
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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:03 pm UTC

I was thinking more "Throw the whole house into the trash and rebuild a new one with free Open Source tools and materials"
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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby Flumble » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:06 pm UTC

The object it's referring to is also in the bag and claims it's being used by the paper towel.

NeatNit wrote:Why not just exit the house and enter back in?

The carpet is full of threads that just won't end, so you'll just step into the same house again.

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby qvxb » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:10 pm UTC

Another example of trash talking.

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Soupspoon
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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:21 pm UTC

Close every window, first, to see if any of those are using it.

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da Doctah
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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby da Doctah » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:08 pm UTC

Well, you will put wallpaper on a desktop, so you have to expect a little weirdness in response.

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:17 pm UTC

The wallpaper is there to pin all the religious paintings to. My pet rodent swears by them.

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Heimhenge
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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby Heimhenge » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:30 pm UTC

First thing I'd try is putting that waste basket into a larger waste basket and then try emptying that one.

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby orthogon » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:44 pm UTC

I used to use unlocker.exe, which was great for a while, but it gradually got less effective. My guess is that Microsoft has a department devoted to thwarting attempts to workaround their bugs.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby Envelope Generator » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:01 pm UTC

At this point I would:

man fuser
"ohhh"
fuser -km /home

and brace for the consequences
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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby Yu_p » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:09 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:I used to use unlocker.exe, which was great for a while, but it gradually got less effective. My guess is that Microsoft has a department devoted to thwarting attempts to workaround their bugs.
As I understand, it force-closes file descriptors, which may have VERY unexpected side effects, when another program is assigned the same (now free) ID, but the original program still thinks it owns the descriptor.

Really, they should just add useful information like process executable and process ID to the error message.

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby orthogon » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:36 pm UTC

Yu_p wrote:
orthogon wrote:I used to use unlocker.exe, which was great for a while, but it gradually got less effective. My guess is that Microsoft has a department devoted to thwarting attempts to workaround their bugs.
As I understand, it force-closes file descriptors, which may have VERY unexpected side effects, when another program is assigned the same (now free) ID, but the original program still thinks it owns the descriptor.

Really, they should just add useful information like process executable and process ID to the error message.

Absolutely, but Windows is quite bad at giving useful information like that. It's as though the user isn't expected to be able to understand problems: they wouldn't know what a process or a file is anyway. Unlocker is a kind of "break glass in emergency" measure to be used when you've closed every damn program and the OS still thinks something has the file open. And you can't wait 5 minutes for a reboot.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Flumble
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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby Flumble » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:02 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:Absolutely, but Windows is quite bad at giving useful information like that. It's as though the user isn't expected to be able to understand problems: they wouldn't know what a process or a file is anyway. Unlocker is a kind of "break glass in emergency" measure to be used when you've closed every damn program and the OS still thinks something has the file open. And you can't wait 5 minutes for a reboot.

I don't know if it's useful information at this point, but you can see which files are being used by which program with the Resource Monitor (or it might only show up with Process Explorer apparently). It seems there's even a commandline program openfiles since forever.

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:07 pm UTC

But which user-level program do you need to close to get wmapi.dll to release whatever it's using?

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby Bomb Bloke » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:32 am UTC

Flumble wrote:I don't know if it's useful information at this point, but you can see which files are being used by which program with the Resource Monitor (or it might only show up with Process Explorer apparently). It seems there's even a commandline program openfiles since forever.


Unlocker lets you go in the other direction, showing you a list of programs locking your files. You can then determine what, if anything, you want to do about it.

More often than not the process is Explorer and the file is a thumbs.db. It's especially bad about doing it with network shares.

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby ThirdParty » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:18 pm UTC

I almost never have this problem while trying to empty trash. Maybe because I'm on a Mac.

I do, unfortunately, get it all the time while trying to eject disks. "The disk cannot be ejected because it might be in use. Would you like to force-eject? Warning: this may permanently damage your disk." Or sometimes "The disk cannot be ejected because Finder is using it." I'm pretty sure the thing Finder is doing with the disk is trying to eject it. ("Oh, look, the user wants me to do something with the disk. Let me mark it as 'in use' until I'm done following his instructions. Now, what does he want me to do? Oh, to eject it. Okay, let me see if it's in use. Oh, too bad, it is. I'll give him an error message instead.")

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:26 pm UTC

ThirdParty wrote:I almost never have this problem while trying to empty trash. Maybe because I'm on a Mac.

Reminds me of the old, old favourite Rinkworks Computer Stupidities site, which still appears to be active, and gems such as:
Somewhere in the middle of this page wrote:A guy at our company asked to have Lotus Notes installed on his Mac. He said he'd be away for a couple days, and I could install it then. When I went to do it, there wasn't enough disk space, but there was about 96 megs in the trash. Ah, I thought, he's forgotten to empty it.

When the user returned to work, he came straight to see me after switching on his machine.

Him: "Where're all my files?"
Me: "What files?"
Him: "The ones I was keeping in the trash."

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby speising » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:36 pm UTC

Yeah, I can relate to that a bit. I keep my mails that I probably won't need anymore, but who knows? in the trash.
Everything which I know I won't need get deleted right away.
A year after I started in my current company I noticed that we have a system policy that deletes everything in the trash that's older than 14 days...

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby orthogon » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:29 pm UTC

speising wrote:Yeah, I can relate to that a bit. I keep my mails that I probably won't need anymore, but who knows? in the trash.
Everything which I know I won't need get deleted right away.
A year after I started in my current company I noticed that we have a system policy that deletes everything in the trash that's older than 14 days...

I don't know if I'm unusual, but I keep all my e-mails, forever. Just a couple of weeks ago I went back and referred to an e-mail exchange from 2009, and it was extremely handy to have those e-mails available.

It seems to me that the text of all the e-mails I've ever sent and received probably zips up to about the size of a video of a cat on a skateboard (give or take an order of magnitude). It's the attachments that make the mailbox big, of course, and they probably ought to be dealt with separately. But keeping all e-mail bodies should be a no-brainer.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:49 pm UTC

I wonder how many degrees of separation Randall is from the Windows user who serves as the inspiration for these comics.
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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby niky » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:04 pm UTC

"You need administrator access to perform this action."

"I AM THE ADMINISTRATOR."

"..."

"You need administrator access..."

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby Aubri » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:00 pm UTC

~HEAVY SIGH~

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby Ephemeron » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:30 pm UTC

ThirdParty wrote:I almost never have this problem while trying to empty trash. Maybe because I'm on a Mac.

I do, unfortunately, get it all the time while trying to eject disks. "The disk cannot be ejected because it might be in use. Would you like to force-eject? Warning: this may permanently damage your disk." Or sometimes "The disk cannot be ejected because Finder is using it." I'm pretty sure the thing Finder is doing with the disk is trying to eject it. ("Oh, look, the user wants me to do something with the disk. Let me mark it as 'in use' until I'm done following his instructions. Now, what does he want me to do? Oh, to eject it. Okay, let me see if it's in use. Oh, too bad, it is. I'll give him an error message instead.")


Huh, I still have that first problem from time to time on a Mac. It's not often, but often enough that I keep the command to force-empty the trash in a text file, which I can copy-paste into the Terminal whenever I need it. I'll leave it here in case someone finds it useful:

Code: Select all

rm -rf ~/.Trash/*

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby jc » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:35 am UTC

Ephemeron wrote:Huh, I still have that first problem from time to time on a Mac. It's not often, but often enough that I keep the command to force-empty the trash in a text file, which I can copy-paste into the Terminal whenever I need it. I'll leave it here in case someone finds it useful:

Code: Select all

rm -rf ~/.Trash/*


You might want to note that doesn't necessarily empty all the trash. The '*' doesn't match anything whose name starts with a '.'. That might not sound important, but I have seen a few cases where a user's .Trash directory contained several sub-directories whose names started with dots, and they contained several gigabytes of data.

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby ericgrau » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:56 am UTC

I actually remember the day that "in use" first started. Yes, there was a time when it simply didn't exist. You could delete a file that a program had open and that program could suck it.

The day it started was a horrible, horrible day and the situation has never improved to "better-than-simply-not-having-in-use" since then. It really should be at least slightly better in theory, but somehow never is. It seems more like something invented to make life easier for the developer than for the user. Keep in mind that when "in use" didn't exist, the developer had to account for this. Meaning the program provided work-arounds or at minimum an error message followed by halting the attempt to work with the file. Or simply recreating it if you hit save again. Then the program moved on peacefully.

Yeah, even giving the name of the process using the file might be enough to bring "in use" to the level of "Not worse than simply not existing". Even a user who doesn't know what the word "process" means might guess what's happening from the process name.
Last edited by ericgrau on Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:05 am UTC, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby sfmans » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:57 am UTC

Ephemeron wrote:
ThirdParty wrote:I almost never have this problem while trying to empty trash. Maybe because I'm on a Mac.

I do, unfortunately, get it all the time while trying to eject disks. "The disk cannot be ejected because it might be in use. Would you like to force-eject? Warning: this may permanently damage your disk." Or sometimes "The disk cannot be ejected because Finder is using it." I'm pretty sure the thing Finder is doing with the disk is trying to eject it. ("Oh, look, the user wants me to do something with the disk. Let me mark it as 'in use' until I'm done following his instructions. Now, what does he want me to do? Oh, to eject it. Okay, let me see if it's in use. Oh, too bad, it is. I'll give him an error message instead.")


Huh, I still have that first problem from time to time on a Mac. It's not often, but often enough that I keep the command to force-empty the trash in a text file, which I can copy-paste into the Terminal whenever I need it. I'll leave it here in case someone finds it useful:

Code: Select all

rm -rf ~/.Trash/*


Your names have been noted by JobsNet and you will be vaporised by an overpriced single-button brushed aluminium robot in a black polo-neck sweater for daring to criticise The One True OS. You have twenty minutes to repent your sins and agree that The One True OS is perfect and without flaw, so help you Jobs.

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:39 am UTC

orthogon wrote:
speising wrote:Yeah, I can relate to that a bit. I keep my mails that I probably won't need anymore, but who knows? in the trash.
Everything which I know I won't need get deleted right away.
A year after I started in my current company I noticed that we have a system policy that deletes everything in the trash that's older than 14 days...

I don't know if I'm unusual, but I keep all my e-mails, forever. Just a couple of weeks ago I went back and referred to an e-mail exchange from 2009, and it was extremely handy to have those e-mails available.

It seems to me that the text of all the e-mails I've ever sent and received probably zips up to about the size of a video of a cat on a skateboard (give or take an order of magnitude). It's the attachments that make the mailbox big, of course, and they probably ought to be dealt with separately. But keeping all e-mail bodies should be a no-brainer.


Company lawyers who love paranoia usually force implementation of all sorts of minimum and maximum rentention dates. Apparently they have no concept of server backups.

niky wrote:"You need administrator access to perform this action."

"I AM THE ADMINISTRATOR."

"..."

"You need administrator access..."

So much this. Sometimes I get pissed enough to go in and change the owner of the offending file, and whack permissions upside the head.
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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:49 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Company lawyers who love paranoia usually force implementation of all sorts of minimum and maximum rentention dates. Apparently they have no concept of server backups.
The last place where I was at where this mattered, policy was to keep everything1 forever2. I'm not sure if we had lawyers involved in that, though. We were mostly striving (as the technical department) to do best-of-best practice (or "best effort", which seemed to satisfy most people most of the time, allowing for glitches) and I tried to stay away from the parts where we might have been expected to justify the expense.

But, back to the point, the whole industry I was in was (supposedly) geared towards having Too Much Information, securely in private, even if just the bare minimum was allowed out to the public side (which was mostly the client, and only then filtered to the regulators, and only much filtered towards 'real' public). Never saw a lawyer involved, before I left.

After I left (and after the obligatory lawyer that I got to witness my NDA) some (unrelated!) company business definitely required lawyers, and I know for sure that all relevent backups and archives were likely trawled through for possible disclosure, because I had a hand in the document that dealt with (the technical side of) that necessary response. I wonder how well it actually worked, behind the scenes?


1 Related to core business. Which technically meant that casual emails were covered in backups alongside work ones, assuming not deleted before the next server backup cycle, and maybe if roaming profiles put personalised desktop elements onto the network server.
2 Or best ability. Backup refreshing onto new backup media was a developing art, and the monthly off-site backup DLT from June 1991 (say) might have degraded before it was eventually cycled back a decade or so later in order to burn it (and several other vintage archives) onto a triple-set of DVD-Rs intended to be stored avain offsite/othersite/locally for no more than five more years before then being checked and used to recompile into the Next Big Thing in the armoury (Blu-ray?)…

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby speising » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:18 pm UTC

probably not that good. the typical backup is "write once, read never".

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby somitomi » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:56 pm UTC

niky wrote:"You need administrator access to perform this action."

"I AM THE ADMINISTRATOR."

"..."

"You need administrator access..."

Image
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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby orthogon » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:29 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Company lawyers who love paranoia usually force implementation of all sorts of minimum and maximum rentention dates. Apparently they have no concept of server backups.

Yes, that's the main reason given for not retaining things forever. To my mind it comes down to whether stuff you did in the past is likely, on balance, to be a liability or an asset. As an engineer, I like to think that work I did in the past is generally a net asset; even if only as a reminder of how not do something, it's better to have it than not to have it. Each bit of those old files or e-mails has an expected value that is both positive and greater than the cost of storing it.

I do accept that it's possible for stored data to have a large negative value, and that this makes lawyers nervous. But the idea that remembering something you'd rather forget is a bigger risk to the business than forgetting something you'd rather remember is a pretty pessimistic worldview.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:53 am UTC

niky wrote:"You need administrator access to perform this action."

"I AM THE ADMINISTRATOR."

"..."

"You need administrator access..."

Ugh, yes. You'd think this would be covered by UAC and just pop up one of those windows that black out the rest of the screen. That's what it does on Linux, isn't it?
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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby Keyman » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:21 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
cellocgw wrote:Company lawyers who love paranoia usually force implementation of all sorts of minimum and maximum rentention dates. Apparently they have no concept of server backups.

Yes, that's the main reason given for not retaining things forever. To my mind it comes down to whether stuff you did in the past is likely, on balance, to be a liability or an asset. As an engineer, I like to think that work I did in the past is generally a net asset; even if only as a reminder of how not do something, it's better to have it than not to have it. Each bit of those old files or e-mails has an expected value that is both positive and greater than the cost of storing it.

I do accept that it's possible for stored data to have a large negative value, and that this makes lawyers nervous. But the idea that remembering something you'd rather forget is a bigger risk to the business than forgetting something you'd rather remember is a pretty pessimistic worldview.
The thing is, if you save it and the same/similar thing goes wrong again your company (and possibly you) can be shown to have prior knowledge, and therefore culpability.
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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby orthogon » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:28 pm UTC

Keyman wrote:
orthogon wrote:
cellocgw wrote:Company lawyers who love paranoia usually force implementation of all sorts of minimum and maximum rentention dates. Apparently they have no concept of server backups.

Yes, that's the main reason given for not retaining things forever. To my mind it comes down to whether stuff you did in the past is likely, on balance, to be a liability or an asset. As an engineer, I like to think that work I did in the past is generally a net asset; even if only as a reminder of how not do something, it's better to have it than not to have it. Each bit of those old files or e-mails has an expected value that is both positive and greater than the cost of storing it.

I do accept that it's possible for stored data to have a large negative value, and that this makes lawyers nervous. But the idea that remembering something you'd rather forget is a bigger risk to the business than forgetting something you'd rather remember is a pretty pessimistic worldview.
The thing is, if you save it and the same/similar thing goes wrong again your company (and possibly you) can be shown to have prior knowledge, and therefore culpability.

Yes: the policy is legally correct but morally corrupt. If you keep the information, you slightly increase the probability that the mistake will be avoided in future but also increase the probability of being successfully sued or prosecuted; by throwing it away you make a repeat more likely but probably less costly for you.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1888: "Still in Use"

Postby ucim » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:16 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:the policy is legally correct but morally corrupt.
Working as designed. We are talking about lawyers, remember.

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