Last Updated on July 18, 2016 by Dave Farquhar
So you’ve got WinZIP installed and have to upgrade it for security reasons. Like a good compliance-minded sysadmin, you run the patch, and the installation fails. You get the error message that wkqkpick.exe is in use.
Since you’re smarter than the computer, you fire up Task Manager to go show wkqkpick.exe who’s boss, only the operating system tells you Access Denied. Now what?
Reboot, of course. That’s always the answer with Windows, right? Not this time.
I can’t believe I’m the first person to come across this problem and solve it, but since I couldn’t find a solution online anywhere, I’m posting mine. Navigate to C:\Program Files\WinZIP or wherever you have it installed, and, uh, rename the file. I just renamed it to wkqkpick.bak.
I know, I know, you shouldn’t be able to rename the file if it’s in use. This shouldn’t work, but it worked for me. Five times today, in fact. After renaming the file, I could install the approved version of WinZIP and it all worked great. This is Windows, not Unix.
I mentioned this to one of my coworkers, and he said when this happens to him, he renames the directory, reboots, and then names the directory back and proceeds with the install. That’s fine, but my method saves a reboot, which can be important if you’re working on a server.
And I know someone’s going to ask why I’m using WinZIP. It’s the standard, and that’s the only reason. I know virtually every alternative out there does at least one thing better, and most of them are cheaper (and I use plain old command-line Info-ZIP for my own use, because I’ve been using it since 1990 and I know it well). There was a time when I would fight that battle, but I don’t have the motivation anymore.
David Farquhar is a computer security professional, entrepreneur, and author. He started his career as a part-time computer technician in 1994, worked his way up to system administrator by 1997, and has specialized in vulnerability management since 2013. He invests in real estate on the side and his hobbies include O gauge trains, baseball cards, and retro computers and video games. A University of Missouri graduate, he holds CISSP and Security+ certifications. He lives in St. Louis with his family.
One thought on “What to do when you can’t upgrade WinZIP because wkqkpick.exe is in use”
One program that might help in that situation (if renaming the file doesn’t work) is Unlocker. Its website is at http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/ and can be used for a variety of situations similar to the one you described above, such as "Cannot delete file: Access is denied", sharing violations, "source or destination file may be in use," "file is in use by another program or user," and strange disk write-protection errors. It didn’t quite work right for me, but it may work fine on your work system(s). Definitely worth a shot.
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