[cvsnt] CVS reported error: cannot rename file (Not AV problem)

Michael Wojcik Michael.Wojcik at microfocus.com
Mon Dec 4 22:23:56 GMT 2006

> From: cvsnt-bounces at cvsnt.org 
> [mailto:cvsnt-bounces at cvsnt.org] On Behalf Of news.cvsnt.org
> Sent: Monday, 04 December, 2006 15:50
> To: cvsnt at cvsnt.org
> Subject: Re: [cvsnt] CVS reported error: cannot rename file 
> (Not AV problem)
> On windows this is handled by the Windows API MoveFile() to 
> ensure that it happens as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Unfortunately, in this case, "as possible" is neither very quick nor
very efficient.  In fact, it's not atomic, and it's known to suffer from
race conditions.

See for example this Usenet thread:


The Win32 API just isn't very good at file metadata operations.

(Apparently there's an article in "NT Insider", an online newsletter
published by OSR Online, which describes how MoveFile / MoveFileEx work
in some detail, but you have to subscribe to read it.  Try
www.osronline.com if you're interested.)

> If that is failing then it 
> is a very low level error - most likely something wrong with the disk 
> driver, or something like AntiVirus which sits in the IFS 
> stack and can "interrupt" calls between the Win32 API and the driver
> level APIs.

Alas, people have reported this problem with various services that
perform many file rename operations under Win32, even with stripped-down
systems.  Some issues were apparently fixed with XP SP2 (so the OP
should put SP2 on, if it's not already); others can be avoided by
disabling background disk operations like the defragmenter and the
indexing service (which really should not be running on a disk used for
CVS anyway).

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