We have a WinXP machine with a share that acts as the file server for our small office. When I need to shut down the machine, I use the net file command to see open shares. Open files seem to have either 0 or 3 locks on them.

Do users need to save and close all files before I shut the machine down? Or, if the file is open, can they still save it to the shared folder after a reset? Or does it depend on what application is accessing the file?


Depends on how the application is designed to handle network issues with open files. I've had some that will seem to poll and reopen handles if possible, but others (office especially) will crash or lock up or refuse to let the user save anymore (they can only salvage work by opening a new document and copying and pasting and resaving the new document).

Unless you absolutely cannot avoid it, save and exit the application so all the open files are at "0" before restarting it. Do updates and alterations after hours if you have to. Otherwise you'll end up with corruption and unhappy users, even if you get away with it once in awhile there will come a time where you'll get nailed for playing loose with their data.

  • So when I am planning a restart, am I looking for all file locks to be zero, or the list of files to be empty? – user26664 Jan 4 '10 at 17:01
  • Preferably empty. But sometimes file handles can be kept open even if the access if closed out sometimes, depending on what is being browsed or done. Ask users to close out of applications that have open files before rebooting and refresh your list, the number of open files should reduce to nothing. This is why many times there are scheduled server downtimes and/or sysadmins coming home late at night instead of the regular work hours :-/ – Bart Silverstrim Jan 4 '10 at 17:30

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