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Mysterious “File Access Denied” in Windows 8

Often times in the past, I try to delete a file or folder only to be presented with a message kindly reminding me that I can’t delete because it has been locked by another application, So I find the program that has the file open and close it. That’s fine with me because I understand the kernel needs to protect the file to maintain stability.

Today, I ran into something new and irksome. Bear with me as I retrace my steps. I was in Visual Studio 2010 and packaged an Azure deployment project. VS creates the app.publish folder and puts the actual deployment package and configuration files in it. So far so good. I make my way over to the Windows Azure Management with my shiny new files. I upload my files and several minutes later, my site is updated and happy.

But as life goes, before I have time to bask in my awesomeness, another change to the site comes down the pipeline. No problem. Just rinse and repeat. Make change, compile, package…PACKAGE FAIL!? Hmm..VS is telling me it can’t delete the app.publish folder because it’s not empty. Ok, I’ll help it out. I go to delete the two files inside and...FILE ACCESS DENIED!? “You require permission from the computer’s administrator to make changes to this file.” But….I…am….administrator… As far as my PC is concerned, I’m king of the castle…master of the manor.

After bashing the Try Again button repeatedly, I try something else. I go to the file’s properties and the Security tab presents me with “You must have Read permission to view the properties of this object”. Really? I can’t even open the file? So I try it and sure enough, I get an Error dialog: “Cannot open…”. Back to Properties, Security Tab and clicked Advanced. “Owner: Unable to display current owner.” Maybe that’s the issue, it’s confused about who owns it. Being the responsible owner, I click the Change button to claim it. It responds with “You do not have permission to view this object’s security properties, even as an administrative user.” At this point I’m at a loss for words. My computer has gone mad!

One last attempt. Open a command prompt window as Administrator, navigate to app.publish and delete. Nope. That didn’t work either.

Ok, time to restart. I start to close my windows…Notepad, SSMS, IE….hmm…the last time the file was accessed was with IE to upload to Azure. There’s no way IE locked the file. Could it? After killing the IE process, I go back to VS to package again. SUCCESS! But what the heck just happened. When did IE start locking files? This never happened before? But I did just upgrade to Windows 8 and IE 10. I did some quick sleuthing online to see if anyone else had the same issue but found done. I tried to repro with Firefox and Chrome but either of them were as deviant. My only guess is IE 10 (or at least the Azure Management site) somehow uses HTML 5 upload or local storage in a funky way. And by funky, I really mean ridiculously annoying.

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