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Unable to rename db to db.reformat: Permission denied

Technote (troubleshooting)


This technote explains why attempts to run the IBM® Rational® ClearCase® cleartool reformatvob command results in a permission denied error while trying to rename the database directory along with steps to resolve the problem.


Attempts to run cleartool reformatvob on a VOB, results in the following error:

cleartool: Error: Unable to rename "D:\ClearCase_Storage\vobs\documents.vbs\db" to "D:\ClearCase_Storage\vobs\documents.vbs\db.reformat": Permission denied.

The VOB is mounted and a vob_server process is currently running for the VOB.

Resolving the problem

To successfully run the cleartool reformatvob command, perform the following procedure:

  1. Run cleartool umount on the VOB
  2. Stop any vob_server process that is running for that VOB. The easiest way to do this is to restart the server after you unmounted the VOB but this might be impractical if you have users working on other VOBs hosted on the server. If you are unable to restart the server, follow these steps to find the vob_server processes for the VOB.
    1. Open a Microsoft® Windows® command window by clicking Start > Run. Type: cmd.exe
    2. Type: C:\Program Files\Rational\ClearCase\etc\utils\albd_list.exe
    3. Scan the command output for the vob_server process for the VOB. Output will appear similar to the following:

      albd_server addr =, port= 371
      PID 2704:
             vob_server, udp socket 4618: version 3; BUSY
                     Storage path D:\ClearCase_Storage\vobs\documents.vbs
                     UUID a712d1e1.28f911d3.9cb9.00:c0:4f:8b:b8:77
      PID 3060:
             vob_server, udp socket 1056: version 3; BUSY
                     Storage path D:\ClearCase_Storage\vobs\vob1.vbs
                     UUID 2299c621.477111d4.9de1.00:c0:4f:8b:b8:77
      PID 2936:
             vob_server, udp socket 1069: version 3; BUSY
                     Storage path D:\ClearCase_Storage\vobs\adminvob.vbs
                     UUID f9b0c521.040811d4.9d96.00:c0:4f:8b:b8:77
      Albd_list complete

    4. Stop the specific vob_server process using the Windows Task Manager
      1. Right-click your Windows Task bar
      2. Click Task Manager
      3. Click Processes
      4. Find the vob_server process for your VOB using the correct Process ID (PID) and select it from the process list. If the PID column is not displayed:
        1. Click View > Select Columns
        2. Click PID (Process Identifier)
        3. Click OK
      5. Click End Process
  3. Run the cleartool reformatvob command again

For more information on any of the cleartool sub-commands discussed in this technote refer to the IBM Rational ClearCase Command Reference, or run cleartool man <sub-command>.

Cross reference information
Segment Product Component Platform Version Edition
Software Development Rational ClearCase Database

Document information

More support for: Rational ClearCase

Software version: 2002.05.00, 2003.06.00

Operating system(s): Windows

Reference #: 1148685

Modified date: 17 January 2006