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Bug of the moment 2008-12-08

A while ago, while relocating a large number of files from one drive to another on a server, this error popped up:

This happens on this particular server now and then, seemingly due to files being locked by Windows even after the respective process had quit (whichever one that might be, as at least two could be responsible for it). Today, while doing another mass file relocation, it started doing it again. One server reboot later, still happening. I moved all the files that were co-operating, disabled the relevant services and rebooted again. However, still no dice.

Do you notice anything curious about all the errors below?

I am no stranger to raw machine word errors, but these errors are pseudorandom: Explorer rolls 4D256 each time. I’m wondering if file system damage is involved, and I’ve left CHKDSK running; certainly, it is finding a lot of inconsistencies with the drive. If you try moving one of the affected files a second time, the following error does pop up:

As is typical for Windows, no mention is ever made of precisely which process is locking the files. There is a lot of this sloppiness in the Windows world. An Exchange patch (to make Outlook Web Access run in Vista) identified “w3wp.exe” (no description) as holding onto a file that needed replacing, but pray tell, which Windows service is this? Turned out not to be a service, since taskkill /im:w3wp.exe identified two of them, neither of which was willing to terminate without a fight (as I recall, it is the World Wide Web Publishing Service). Obviously, expecting something simple like the path to the process or the process’s VERSIONINFO is too much to ask.

F-Secure’s Management Agent service – a core part of F-Secure Anti-Virus – is known as nothing but “FSMA”, as part of the fine tradition of failing to provide services with either a descriptive name or long description; several F-Secure services (at least, in F-Secure 7 series) are named this way.

However, once upon a time, I did have the following dialog pop up on my laptop:

For once, Explorer has successfully identified the process that was hanging onto one of my file. I think it deserves a round of applause.

Posted 8th December 2008 – Comments and questions?