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Stupid question but is there any way a user can remotely unlock a file which is open by another user on a shared drive?

Here is my problem: Engineer opens excel file which is on a shared folder on a windows 2k8 server (no domain). Accounting girl also needs to open excel file but engineer claims he does not have it open, forgets to close it or does not know how to close it (seriously). Accounting girl has to call Engineer two or three times a day to tell him to close the file. She also works weekends when engineer leaves his computer on with file open.

Any simple method or software utility to allow her to easily unlock the file or remotely kill his excel process?

Accounting girls PC is XP SP3 Engineers PC runs 7 Server is 2008 R2

And just to be clear, the engineer is somewhat computer illiterate. He unfortunately has ADD and dyslexia so while he is very smart, he has trouble dealing with little computer problems which drive him crazy. I do whatever I can to help. One of those guys who would rather the days of drawing boards and paper.

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Hit engineer with LART until behavior corrects itself? –  HopelessN00b Feb 26 '13 at 21:13
    
I wish it were that simple. The guy is really cool but he gets so intense and gets pulled in every direction that he goes nuts. But at the same time he thrives on it. He has been sent to training for CAD/CAM software training and he did well so he isn't stupid. He just considers all the steps and paperwork in between to be annoyances and he looses track. –  Mister Tea Feb 26 '13 at 21:41
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Setup a group policy that forces a logout on his workstation after 8 hours of inactivity? Schedule an daily automatic reboot of his system? People shouldn't be leaving their systems logged in, since that will make it more difficult for you to get a clean backup of files. –  Zoredache Feb 26 '13 at 21:59
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He's going to love it when he's using Excel and it vanishes out from under him because accountingGirl wants to use it. Are you, perhaps, abusing Excel as a database, here? –  TessellatingHeckler Jul 18 at 22:07

3 Answers 3

Yes, On the file server: In "server manager", "roles", "file services", right click "manage shares and memory", "manage open files".

You can do so also remotely if you run server manager elsewhere and right-click connect to a remote server.

Normally, hardly anyboday besides an Administrator can do that and should not do so lightly (with great power comes great responsibility).

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Seems to me tat the key point of the question was about permitting a non administrator to do this. –  Zoredache Feb 26 '13 at 21:57

Which version of Office are you using? There is the Share Workbook option that will allow multiple people to work in the workbook. I would be concerned about allowing her to close the workbook whenever she wants, in case if the engineer has made changes and not saved them.

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Or you can create a Macro that will close the workbook after a certain time limit, like this.

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Thank you. Office 2010. She also added to her list the ability to rename open PDF files. That requires admin access and I don't want to give that to her. Hopefully I can somehow get the engineer to remember to close things but now just looking at his desktop he has over 50 explorer windows open along with multiple acrobat reader and other programs open. He simply cant keep track of them. –  Mister Tea Feb 26 '13 at 21:28

Give accountingGirl account the needed privileges on Engineer workstation only. Give her the following powershell command in a ps1 or compiled.

Invoke-Command -ComputerName engineerWorkstation {Get-Process *Excel* | kill}

This will kill the running Excel process on his system.

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