How to Fix “The Requested Resource is in Use” Error?

by Jake Doe - -


Issue: How to Fix “The Requested Resource is in Use” Error?

Hello, all. Could someone please help why do I receive an error “The Requested Resource is in Use” when I try to delete GeekBuddy and a couple of other third-party programs. On top of that, this message is thrown when I try to run a scan with anti-malware. I’m currently using Avast. Please help!

Solved Answer

If you get “The Requested Resource is in Use” error when trying to remove a particular application or perform a system scan with anti-malware or another security software, it means that your computer has been infected with a rootkit known as SmartService.

Some researchers identify this infection as SmartService Trojan, so do not be surprised if you see this title on some Internet forums. Rootkits are far more severe computer infections than typical computer viruses. They root deeply into the operating system, modify a bunch of settings, and then start performing malicious activities, including another virus infection or even identity theft.

Rootkits are set to operate silently, perform software eavesdropping, and, if needed, provide a backdoor for the attacker to control the computer remotely. The purpose of SmartService malware is quite different. Its primary purpose is to install malicious and spyware-type programs on the system, and protect them from being recognized and deleted.

Therefore, in case you have started receiving “The Requested Resource is in Use” error message when launching your antivirus and trying to remove a particular application, it’s clear that your PC is infected with some kind of a malware (adware, browser hijacker or another PUP), which is protected by a SmartService rootkit, which also silently operates on the system.

“The Requested Resource is in Use” error message always contains the file name and the full path of the executable that is being blocked, for example, mbam.exe, egui.exe, zam.exe, a2start.exe or mcshield.exe. At the moment of writing, this irritating rootkit is set to protect these processes from being removed: dataup.exe, cpx.exe, svcvmx.exe, szpsrv.exe, splsrv.exe, qdcomsvc.exe, ct.exe and vmxclient.exe.

Additionally, there is a long list of file names and digital signatures that “The Requested Resource is in Use” rootkit recognizes and immediately blocks the software that contains these strings. In some of the cases, as an alternative to the above-mentioned error message, people may get the following message:

Unable to Terminate Process
The operation could not be completed.

Keep in mind that leaving the Trojan, as well as other malware, on the system pose a high-risk of further virus infection or the loss of personal information. Therefore, it’s vital to fix “The Requested Resource is in Use” error immediately. The only way to do so is to remove SmartService Trojan.

How to Fix “The Requested Resource is in Use” Error?

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The culprit of “The Requested Resource is in Use” error message is the SmartService rootkit. Its task, as we have already pointed out, is to prevent security software from removing it and malicious or potentially unwanted programs that it usually installs on the system.

Although currently it is unknown how SmartService Trojan spreads, malware analysts believe that it is currently distributed via typical malware propagation channels, for instance, suspicious emails, fictitious pop-up ads offering to install bogus software updates, or other evil means. Therefore, it’s very important to keep your system protected properly to prevent any security breaches. If, however, SmartService virus managed to infect your PC, do not postpone its removal.

To fix “The Requested Resource is in Use” error, you have to remove the rootkit first. Unfortunately, but the only way to do that is to use a professional anti-malware or antivirus along with anti-rootkit tool. We will provide several suggestions of what kind of software might be capable of fixing the issue.

As soon as your system will be free of the described malware, we suggest you to run Reimage to restore missing system files, optimize the system and remove any malware and spyware remains that other suggested tools may have missed during the scan.

If, however, “The Requested Resource is in Use” error message blocks your antivirus, try to install an alternative one. If you are not allowed to install any security tool, you may try one of the following suggestions:

Method 1. Run system scan with Windows Defender (Offline Mode)

1. Before performing the scan, save any unfinished work and close programs that you were using. Go to Settings, then to Update & Security section, then to Windows Defender, and select Scan Offline.

If you're using Windows 7 version, do the following:

  1. Find a free CD, USB, or another portable data storage device. Download and run Windows Defender Online (32-bit version or 64-bit version). The tool will help you create a removable media. 
  2. Restart your PC using the Windows Defender Offline media and scan the computer for malware and spyware.
  3. Eliminate detected software from the system.

Method 2. Eliminate using anti-rootkit tool

  1. Reboot your PC in Safe Mode with Networking. If you don't know how to do it, you can follow guidelines given in this article
  2. Download and run Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit beta.
  3. Once the program starts, click Next and update the program by clicking on Update button.
  4. Once the update is installed, run a system scan. Be patient and wait until it finishes scanning the system!
  5. Once the scan is completed, click on Cleanup button. Once the process finishes, your computer will be restarted.
  6. Now you should get access to your anti-malware or antivirus programs. You can either use your antivirus, Malwarebytes software or programs like Reimage. Remember that different programs have different functionalities, and none of them are capable of deleting absolutely every existing virus, so if one fails, try another.
  • Instead of suggested Malwarebytes tool, you can run the Rkill tool to disable the Trojan temporarily. After that, immediately download a trustworthy anti-malware and run a full scan with it to remove all unwanted and dangerous programs and files from the system.

Additional methods

  • If you have a System Restore Point created, try to fix The Requested Resource is in Use” error by using the point that was created before the emergence of the issue.
  • If everything else fails, you might need to reinstall the operating system to fix the issue quickly. However, we do not recommend using this drastic method – you can discontinue using your PC for a while and check back for new updates on this tutorial – eventually, we will add new ways to fix “The The Requested Resource is in Use” error.

In case you're not dealing with a rootkit or Trojan….

In some cases, people receive “The Requested Resource is in Use” error message when trying to copy or transfer files from one folder to another. In such case, the Preview Pane might be causing the issue. Once you open the folder where files you want to move are stored, click on Organize > Layout, and deselect Preview Pane option. Now try to move or copy whatever you want again – everything should be fine now.

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About the author

Jake Doe
Jake Doe - Computer technology geek

Jake Doe is a News Editor at Ugetfix. Since he met Ugnius Kiguolis in 2003, they both launched several projects that spread awareness about cybercrimes, malware, and other computer-related problems.

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