Re: off topic Re: self deleting exe

James Kanze <>
14 May 2007 01:29:01 -0700
On May 14, 9:17 am, Branimir Maksimovic <> wrote:

On May 13, 1:32 pm, potholer <> wrote:

I have been asked to create a self deleting exe, it has been
a curious task that has proved fruitless I have searched in
various places but to no avail

I can do it in vb6 using a batch file, but I have been advised it
would be better to use C or C++
does anyone know how to do this and the call it from vb6?

I can tell you that you can't delete process within itself
as windows maps file into process address space.

So does every other system I know which has virtual memory. The
reason it "works" under Unix is that remove() doesn't actually
delete the file, but only an entry in a directory. On most
systems (not just Windows), an entry in a directory is the file,
but in the case of Unix, it's only a pointer to the file; the
actual file is reference counted---very much like
boost::shared_ptr, in fact.

So only way to delete exe file is to start another process
from another exe, that will wait for parent to finish
then delete. Since that other exe can't be deleted
problem remains.

If the other process is a batch, the executable is something
like bash.exe, which you don't want to delete anyway. On my
installation, something like:

    system( "bash -c \'sleep 5; delete me.exe'&" ) ;

works. I'm not familiar with the standard command processors
for Windows, but I would imagine that something similar would
also work.

In practice, of course, I'd probably do the reverse: start my
program from a batch script, and delete it when it is done.

James Kanze (GABI Software)
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