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Thread: ZA Locking files?

  1. #1
    kwgodwin Guest

    Default ZA Locking files?

    I regularly use Eraser by Heidi Software. After installing ZA Internet Security Suite, I get the following message when trying to erase files:

    ---------------------------
    Error
    ---------------------------
    File locked by another process.Do you want to Erase after restart?
    ---------------------------
    Yes No
    ---------------------------

    This has occurred with several different files in different locations (program files and my docs). I have changed the program settings in ZA to no effect. If I completely TURN OFF Zone Alarm, Eraser works fine and I do not get the error message. Obviously disabling my security is not an acceptable solution! Oddly, Eraser works fine on files on my desktop. In each case I am using the context menu to engage Eraser.

    I should also point out that I can "delete" the very same files (to the recycle bin and permanent shift-delete).

    I have tried McAfee and Norton prior to trying ZA, and did not have this problem with either of them. The problem only started after installing ZA. Both prior apps were fully removed using each manufacturer's "uninstall all" program available from their customer support.

    FWIW, I am running XP Pro SP 2, fully patched.

    Perhaps I have not hit on the right ZA configuration yet for Eraser. Any suggestions are appreciated! I am on a trial license and have only 11 more days to figure this out.

    Thanks,
    Ken

    Operating System:Windows XP Pro
    Product Name:ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite
    Software Version:7.0

  2. #2
    jarvis Guest

    Default Re: ZA Locking files?

    I would guess that this is to do with the AV doing on-access scanning. It grabs an exclusive handle on the file while it scans it, so that if it does turn out to be infected the program (in this case Eraser) can't execute the file. Once the file is scanned and no virus found, the handle is released.

    Maybe Eraser doesn't wait very long trying to get a handle on the file. If you click-through the error message, can you then erase the file, or does it give up?

    What happens if you disable on-access scanning? (Anti-virus --> Main --> Advanced Options --> ON-Access Scanning).

  3. #3
    kwgodwin Guest

    Default Re: ZA Locking files?

    [I would guess that this is to do with the AV doing on-access scanning. It grabs an exclusive handle on the file while it scans it, so that if it does turn out to be infected the program (in this case Eraser) can't execute the file. Once the file is scanned and no virus found, the handle is released.]

    That's what I thought, except that it is not a problem when Erasing files on the desktop. I also tried waiting...in Erase, you have to click "yes" in a dialog box. The error message is not displayed until you actually click "yes" to start the erase process. I tried waiting up to a minute before proceeding. No luck.

    [Maybe Eraser doesn't wait very long trying to get a handle on the file. If you click-through the error message, can you then erase the file, or does it give up?]

    Eraser gives up, but provides the option to erase on restart.

    If other AV progs do not produce this problem, I hesitate to blame Eraser. I'm more inclined to think that ZA does not release its handle on the file, like MS Outlook. Even if you close a PST file in Outlook, you still cannot move the PST file unless you first close Outlook itself.

    [What happens if you disable on-access scanning? (Anti-virus --> Main --> Advanced Options --> ON-Access Scanning).]

    Good call. Eraser worked fine after disabling on-access scanning.

    So the question now is, can ZA be configured to allow Erase to work without compromising security? I will not turn off on-access scanning.

    Also worth asking: does ZA treat files on the desktop differently than files found elsewhere? With on-access scanning turned on, why was I able to erase files from the desktop but not in My Docs or in Program Files? The files I tested with were similar small text files, so file size should not be part of the problem (I have had the problem with non-text files, too).

    Thanks!
    Ken

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