IIS 7 550 The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.

We have recently updated our web server to IIS 7.

When analyzing log files we get the following error:
550 The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.

The error occurs when WebLog Expert is trying to download todays logfile, wich is in use by IIS7.

We have tried configuring IIS7 so that it is possible to download the log file without any luck. Others are also having this problem, but Microsoft seems not to take the problem seriously. For more information on the ISS7 FTP 550 issue, please use the following link: http://forums.iis.net/t/1159198.aspx

Anyone have a solution to this problem?
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  • This issue has been fixed in version 7.2. Since this version WebLog Expert ignores log files that cannot been downloaded because of this error and just processes the remaining logs.
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  • I am getting this error with WLE version 7.6. Please help. Arvixe.com says they can do nothing because the current day's log file is busy.
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  • Michael (Official Rep) March 17, 2012 09:13
    It seems that your server sends different error information so the program doesn't recognize that the problem is because of the locked log file. Could you post the screenshot of the error dialog that is shown when the error occurs?
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  • The error message is "550 can't access file." It is hit and miss. Some of my sites hosted at dodder.arvixe.com (Windows Server 2008 with WebsitePanel control) work fine. Two of the problem sites work SOME of the time. It seems that the current day's log file is only in use part of the time. Arvixe support says they can do nothing to allow FTP copying for a file in use. However, the WebsitePanel FTP module does allow me to copy the "busy" log file to my local desktop.

    My current thought is that the control panel's Advanced Web Statistics module should be turned off. Maybe that process is tying up the current day's log file. I will try turning off Website Panel's stats.

    http://www.websitepanel.net/
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  • Michael (Official Rep) March 18, 2012 08:10
    It is strange that the WebsitePanel FTP module allows you to copy the file. Maybe it uses another account to access it. I recommend you to also try to download the file using FileZilla or another FTP client as it may show additional error information.
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  • Just happened again with another site. The problem occurs throughout the day with four different web sites (so far...more to configure). Arvixe says they can do nothing to fix it.

    Michael, you said this was fixed in version 7.2 by a process of ignoring busy files. I have WebLog Professional Enterprise version 7.6. What is going on? Do I need to revert to 7.2?

    Addendum: I just found out that my WebLog Expert Server was consuming 80-95% of my CPU usage and the system (Windows Server 2003) had slowed to a crawl. I could not stop WLE Server from the WLE application, so I had to use Windows Task Manager to end the WLE Server process. I never had this problem before. I surmise that the server is having difficulty with busy log files, especially as I have increased frequency of stats collection to every 3 hours in hopes of catching the current day's log while it is not in use by IIS or AWStats (Arvixe's web analysis solution which underreporting hits and even showed zero hits on a day that WLE showed plenty of traffic).

    I am perplexed. Help!



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  • Michael (Official Rep) March 20, 2012 14:36
    Versions 7.2 and newer ignores files that cannot be downloaded because of the "550 The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process" error while other errors aren't ignored. The problem is that is difficult for the program to determine whether a log file cannot be downloaded because it is used and can be ignored, or because of another reason (e.g. permission problem) so the error information should be shown to the user.

    If it is possible, I recommend you to schedule a small script on your server to copy (and maybe compress) yesterday's log to another folder and then set the program to download logs from that folder, so it will fix the issue.

    If you analyze large log files, the program may use a lot of system resources. If you use the built-in scheduler, you should check that the priority in tasks is set to "Low". If it doesn't help, you can disable using multiple processors in the program settings, while the program will work slower in this case as it will use one processor/core only.
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  • Michael: I don't think I can script anything on that shared web hosting environment at Arvixe.com. I had already tried cloning the logs folder but did not know how to automate the cloning on a schedule via the Arvixe web admin control panel. If you are talking about doing the cloning of the logs via my remote FTP program, I suppose I could try that but I assumed I would get an error if that log file happened to be "in use" at the time.

    Not sure why this thread is marked as solved. You say the issue is fixed but that is not what I am experiencing . You must have seen my two screen shots that clearly report a 550 error. Are you saying that 550 can mean more than just "file in use?"

    WLE version 7.6 sometimes is not ignoring an "in use" current day's log file for several of my sites. As I mentioned, one minute it can't be copied, an hour or two later, it can be copied (via both WLE and any of several robust FTP clients I have). No rhyme or reason.

    Because I was spending way too much time in this and getting no satisfaction from Arvixe, I canceled my hosting with Arvixe last night and moved my nine web sites back to my Windows Server 2003 development box. There, WLE has worked very well over the past couple years. I will be very cautious in the future about grabbing logs via FTP from a shared ASP.NET hosting environment.

    Perhaps my comments should be moved to a new thread and marked "not solved."
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  • Michael (Official Rep) March 20, 2012 19:44
    Yes, unfortunately 550 error code just means that the file cannot accessed for some reason but there may be different reasons (file locked, permission/access denied, file does not exist, etc.). Additional information on the error is provided in the description sent by server. So WebLog Expert needs to analyze this description to determine if the file is locked so it is safe to ignore it, or there is another error that shouldn't be ignored.

    As for now, the program recognizes only the "550 The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process." error as "file in use" error and ignores it. Other 550 errors including the "550 can't access file." one aren't ignored.

    It's not a problem for us to add recognition of other descriptions, but the one that appeared in your case may also appear when permission is denied or file cannot be accessed for another reason, so it seems that it shouldn't be ignored.

    We'll try to find some kind of solution for the issue but it seems that the best way to manage it is to use some server-side solution (like copying files) while unfortunately it's not available in some cases.
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  • Michael, thanks for staying on top of this. I am glad you made it clear that 550 error can mean more than one thing. Anyway, I have done my laborious "workaround" by abandoning Arvixe ASP.NET web hosting and moving back to my own WinServ 2003 box on a dedicated IP.

    I had started out on Arvixe's Linux shared platform but then jumped over to ASP.NET about a month ago. Not sure if I would have had this issue with Linux. I hadn't taken the time to test stats on their Linux shared server.

    Am I going to have this issue no matter where I park my web sites – if they are hosted in a Windows Server 2008 environment on a shared server or a VPS? Or do you think this is just a fluke? Or is this a WebSitePanel configuration issue? http://www.websitepanel.net/

    I will wrap it up by saying that I really like WebLog Professional Enterprise. You have made robust web analysis available on desktop and mobile devices (most notably iOS devices, which Google Analytics only recently started to support). Bravo.
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  • Michael (Official Rep) March 21, 2012 09:32
    It seems that the issue depends on what FTP server is used. The best known case is the standard IIS 7 FTP server. It returns the "550 The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process." error by default when the accessed file is used by another program. There is a setting that allows to change this behaviour but it seems that it doesn't work in some cases, you can find more information on it at http://forums.iis.net/t/1158270.aspx#B43 and http://forums.iis.net/t/1159198.aspx

    As the error descriptions includes clear indication that the file is in use, WebLog Expert ignores such errors. As a result, there shouldn't be any problems when the IIS 7 FTP server is used, but there may be problems with other FTP servers while they can be probably fixed in some cases by changing server settings.
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  • Well, I read those two forum threads and it is amazing that Microsoft would hobble wen log downloads like this, "by design." Incredible.

    Thanks for shedding as much light as you are able on the issue. I wish WLE had a log selection option that could exclude a log with the current date, perhaps by comparing the log filename to the server's system time. This filter should be included in the wildcards section of WLE.
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  • Michael (Official Rep) March 21, 2012 15:27
    Thank you for the suggestion, we'll consider adding support for exclusion of some log files from analysis.
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  • Excellent! That would be an effective workaround. I had intuitively looked for that filtering option in WLE.

    Much better than trying to schedule a server-side copy of a log in use. I don't believe I had that scripting option with WebSitePanel.
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  • Michael (Official Rep) March 25, 2012 11:43
    We have added support for excluding files in version 7.7 beta 2. It is now possible to exclude a file name or wildcard with the # character before it along with the usual path to exclude the file(s). Here are two examples of FTP paths with exclusions:

    /logs/*.*; #/logs/*.bak - analyze all files from the /logs folder except for files with the .bak extension.

    /logs/*.log; #/logs/u_ex%yy%%mm%%dd%.log - analyze all .log files from the /logs folder except for today's one (date macros are used in this path).
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  • Hi,
    I am currently using 7.8 Standard Trial and I wanted to exclude *.current, as I am receiving 550 errors, too (accessable by Filezilla). whateverfile.current seems to be a symlink to access.log.week.dayofweek. Anyhow, I tried to do a "/logs/access.log.*; #/logs/*.current" to parse everything except /logs/*.current. It works when I write "#/logs/*.current", but it doesn't work, when I write the above quoted command. (Unfortunately %wy% doesn't work for me, too, as my hoster seems to have a off-by-one bug with naming the logs.) :-)
    • It seems that the specified exclude mask doesn't match file name of the file that causes the problem. Could you please post the screenshot of the 550 error dialog? You can also send it to us privately to support@weblogexpert.com

      BTW if your hoster have a shift in date when naming logs, you can try to write a wildcard like %wy-1% or similar, depending on how exactly log files are named. However, first of all it is necessary to check what is the name of the file shown in the error dialog.
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