Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


occasional file blocking

  1. #1


    Posts : 11
    Windows 8

    occasional file blocking


    Hi!

    I'm running a Windows 8.0 which came installed on my Dell laptop as i bought it.

    There's plenty of mp3 albums on my hard-drive (a sole hard-drive with just one partition for everything). I keep them all in the My Music folder, and shuffle them frequently: change names of folders, move folders around, delete them all that with the windows' own explorer program. I only use Winamp to play them back. And of course, i terminate Winamp before i need to do anything with folders.

    Every now and then, some of those actions are blocked, as if something keeps accessing those files. This is what the Explorer tells. At any time, up to 30% of folders is blocked that way, and which is more curious, is that this blockage is shifting. Like, i need to move a number of folders, and one of them gets stuck because it's 'blocked', so i proceed with the next one, and it works, then i come back to the previous one, and this one works now too.

    What is going on there in the background? I did turn off the automatic defragmentation.

    I don't have no anti-virus, nor any other application that could involuntary access random files on my computer.

    Thank you.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 454
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    In the early days of Windows 7, I found that thumbnail generation could block deletion and other operations on image files. I turned off all the thumbnail options using gpedit.msc in the User->Admin->Win Comp->Windows Explorer section, and the problem disappeared. I've been doing it ever since as one of my 30-40 setup steps after installing Windows. I also learned to remove all folders from the Music Library due to the endless Music Library rebuild bug that plagued Windows 7. I don't know if the latter will help you, but what I can say is that since then, which was late 2009, I've never had issues with unexpected blocked file operations in Windows 7 or 8.1.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,290
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    Maybe File History(if you have it turned on) is coping the changes at that moment, you could try temporarily turning it off when you're doing a bunch of changes and then turn it back on after or exclude your music folders if you don't need the changes recorded.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Austin TX metro area
    Posts : 640
    Windows 7 Pro 64bit [MS blue-disk set]


    For the long-term, for backup/restore purposes, wouldn't this nice person be better off having two partitions, one for the OS, one for everything created or downloaded? If a "scorched-earth" OS-rebuild is ever needed, problems! And, having all the goodies being created, sent to, etc. the 2nd partition, that would bypass some of the Windows 7's blockage, correct? Maybe I should turn my thumbnails-generation off as well...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 454
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
    For the long-term, for backup/restore purposes, wouldn't this nice person be better off having two partitions, one for the OS, one for everything created or downloaded? If a "scorched-earth" OS-rebuild is ever needed, problems!
    SSD for OS is ideal, along with secondary data (hard) drive. Move Downloads, Music, etc to the secondary drive. The downside is that to install Windows truly safely, you have to open the computer and disconnect all but the intended system drive, due to the documented problem Windows Setup has with enumerating SATA drives.

    And, having all the goodies being created, sent to, etc. the 2nd partition, that would bypass some of the Windows 7's blockage, correct? Maybe I should turn my thumbnails-generation off as well...
    I don't know that moving files onto a different partition or drive would help. The thing that helped me was disabling the parts of Windows that scan files in the background, including thumbnail generation and nuking the Music Library. Again, that was in Windows 7. Maybe they've improved things since then. I don't care, because I don't want File Explorer to be a file previewer; I have other programs for that, like Picasa for pictures. I don't want Microsoft's junk to even know about my multimedia files, especially my music files with hand-edited, optimized metadata; there are far better alternatives for everything but Recorded TV in WMC, and all Microsoft's stuff has ever done is stealthily update hidden metadata screwing up my backup scheme, bog the system down with automatic scans, download bad artwork, etc. I actually nuke all the libraries, and I've never added the folders back to the Search Indexer, which I suppose is another possible culprit.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 11
    Windows 8


    Roland and crawfish,

    C'mon, guys, you kidding me? This is a 400 bucks laptop, hardly used for anything more than storing mp3's and feeding my flash-players. Yeah, and surfing the web, of course. How am i supposed to place another partition along with the previous one occupying all of the hard drive in the beginning?

    Thanks for the tip anyway, not that this was a revelation to me.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 454
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by creaze View Post
    Roland and crawfish,

    C'mon, guys, you kidding me? This is a 400 bucks laptop, hardly used for anything more than storing mp3's and feeding my flash-players. Yeah, and surfing the web, of course. How am i supposed to place another partition along with the previous one occupying all of the hard drive in the beginning?

    Thanks for the tip anyway, not that this was a revelation to me.
    Why are you lumping me in with Roland? I just briefly replied to his comment about backup/restore; I didn't bring it up myself, and I wasn't suggesting anything to you. Indeed, when he suggested partitioning might help your situation, I explained I didn't think it would and returned to discussing what had worked for me. Sorry to bother you with that.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 11
    Windows 8


    Crawfish,

    I've scrolled through your post the last time quickly picking the tops. Sorry bout that.

    You've mentioned disabling background file scanning of Windows. How do you do that?

    And, to be sure, by nuking the My Music folder you mean just stop using it, moving the files anywhere else, right?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 454
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by creaze View Post
    You've mentioned disabling background file scanning of Windows. How do you do that?
    You have to identify the various processes that do it. Back when I had hard drives with noisy seeks, I would frequently hear the sudden onset of heavy disk activity for no apparent reason that could go on for quite a while and drive me crazy. I'd use Sysinternals Process Monitor to see what was causing it. Then I'd disable the process or feature if I didn't need it.

    And, to be sure, by nuking the My Music folder you mean just stop using it, moving the files anywhere else, right?
    I mean removing all folders from it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 148
    Windows 8.1 Update 1


    Get the free program Lock Hunter. It installs in the context menu and will tell you what process is locking your files. There is nothing better, at least not to my knowledge.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

occasional file blocking
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