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Windows XP Solutions

Microsoft Outlook

The specified device, file, or path could not...


The desired item is not accessible as it is in use, you do not have valid permission to access it, the network is down, or the item does not exist.

  Sample Dialog  
Microsoft Outlook screen shot
Dialog may appear differently depending on XP style options and where it occurs.
  Key Facts  
Full Title
  Microsoft Outlook 

Body Text
  The specified device, file, or path could not be accessed. It may have been deleted, it may be in use, you may be experiencing network problems, or you may not have sufficient permission to access it. Close any application using this file and try again. 

Typical location

Issued By

  Windows XP

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  Microsoft Corporation    
  Solutions and Fixes  
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Change Permissions
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In this example, we want to delete the keylogger file that resides in the system32 directory (we wish malware was so easily identified). As with most files in this directory, the permissions deny us access to the file so we can't delete it even with administrative privileges.

To change permissions or a file or folder perform the following steps:

  1. In Explorer, right-click on the folder name or file name and select Properties.
  2. Click on the Security Tab.
  3. In the Groups or user names box, select the group that fits. For example Administrators.
    solution1 screen
  4. Click on the Advanced button.
  5. Select the Group or Users who you wish to change the permissions. You may need to be an Administrator to make these changes.
    solution 2 screen
  6. Click on Edit button.
  7. Another almost identical screen appears with a few additional options (not shown). Click the Edit button again. Now you can actually make the changes necessary!
    solution 3 screen
  8. In the lower Permissions for SYSTEM box, change the permissions. For example, to provide full control, make sure a checkmark appears in the Allow column for Full Control and remove checkmarks in the Deny column if present.
  9. With the permissions set correctly, click on Ok .
  10. Within some folders (but not all) you'll get a warning message. Be sure to click Yes or your changes will be discarded!
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  FaultWire Staff
Posted: 28-May-2011
Close Files in Use
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To proceed with actions on the file or folder, the application using it must release it. Either save or close the open file.

If you continue to get a warning, try closing the open application.

    If you had an application crash since powering on, Windows may think a file is still in use, when it no longer is. A reboot should clear the issue.

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      FaultWire Staff
    Posted: 28-May-2011
      Forum Help  
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    Last update: 28-May-2011 10:07 am