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Sysinternals to the rescue

I was trying to load Outlook 2007 when I got the following error message:


Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot open Outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened. The file <C:\…\Outlook.pst> in use and cannot be accessed. Close any application that is using this file, and then try again.

Microsoft are getting pretty good at descriptive error messages. After drawing a blank on Google groups with that, I thought, well I should be able to find what program has it open by looking at file handles and a search for that found Handle from Sysinternals. A quick 130 KB download later and a jump to a command prompt gave me the answer:

C:\Utils>handle “C:\…\outlook\outlook.pst”

Handle v3.11

Copyright (C) 1997-2005 Mark Russinovich

Sysinternals – www.sysinternals.com

YahooDesktopSearch.exe pid: 3844    B70: C:\…\Outlook\Outlook.pst

YahooDesktopSearch.exe pid: 3844    BC8: C:\…\Outlook\Outlook.pst

YahooDesktopSearch.exe pid: 3844    D5C: C:\…\Outlook\Outlook.pst

Closing down Yahoo Desktop Search, and then opening Outlook did the trick. Good old DOS to the rescue!

Apologies for the crappy looking Command Prompt listing. The paths were trimmed on purpose just to tidy it up a bit.

Pauked.com » File locking and backups said,

May 29, 2006 @ 10:26 am

[…] I emailed Copernic to see what could be done and they replied that it needed to access the file in order to index it, which makes total sense, but the crux of the problem is that it did this even when Outlook was closed. I had to write an app that would run before my backup (via Windows Task Scheduler), close CDS down and then reload it later. Unfortunately it appears that Yahoo Desktop Search, suffers from the same problem. […]

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