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That's easy, the OS, ergo MS...
That's the way shell extensions work, they are loaded into the explorer Process and therefore are "locked" until the owner process has finished with them.
Don't kill the messenger (Notepad++),
though your idea about shadow copy, copy file, load file, remap memory etc. etc... supported by official API's from the OS to replace shell extensions on the fly... every hackers wet dream if that came out of the box...
Who the f*** is General Failure, and why is he reading my harddisk?
That's good to know. The additional challenge for my installation is that I don't have admin rights to my machine so I cannot do install / uninstall. This was actually a special installation process that is initiated under a special admin user. Yeah, it sucks.
I ended up downloading the zip version, dropping it into my own folder and running it from there.
No more need for the official version (which is a few revs back anyways).