IBM Lotus Domino PID.NBF - Location, Characteristics & Related Error

What is Lotus Notes PID.NBF File?

All Notes and Domino processes is stored as a Process ID in the form of a table known as pid.nbf file. The Notes and Client server lifetime processes like start and shutdown process causes to added or removed the process ID from the PID.NBF file.

For Win32 environment, NSD determine the cause of failing processes is a Notes or Domino process in case of crashing by using PID.NBF file. In a partitioned server environment, this pid.nbf file is used by Domino. All the processes which is associated with each and every partitioned server can be identified by PID.NBF file.

What is the Default Location of PID.NBF file?

Lotus Notes pid.nbf file is located in the Domino\Data directory and path of this file is given as:C:\Program Files IBM\Notes\Data

location of lotus notes pid.nbf file

What does pid.nbf file stores?

PID.NBF file contains all the processes occurs in Notes Clients and Domino servers. The processes like application start and shutdown is stored as Process ID in pid.nbf file.

Characteristics of PID.NBF File

Some key peculiarities about Lotus Notes PID.NBF file:

  • On requirement, this file can be easily renamed or deleted.
  • If the file is deleted, this file gets automatically recreated when the Domino server is restarted.
  • If this file gets deleted on running server, then NSD cannot determined the Notes processes alone and it is rectified after the PID.NBF file gets created on restarting the Domino server.


IBM Lotus Domino server will not be started and the following error will occur on the console:

“Error writing to process file pid.nbf”


Even when the pid.nbf file has been removed, this error will be continues to occur and it will cause Domino server to not get started.

At the bottom of the notes.ini file few lines are there which you can remove from the entries but when the server will be restarted, it will added again.


The problem is caused when a user modifying a line in Lotus Notes notes.ini file, that line should be read as:
and the user has changed this to:
By correcting that line back to [Notes] fixes this issue.


In the notes.ini file, the first line must be always read as [Notes]. To correct this entry, the notes.ini file is needed to be modified. This issue can also occur if there are multiple directory= number of lines in the notes.ini. To completely solve this problem and avoid it to occur again user must be sure that the duplicate entries has been removed and the directory information is correct.


PID.NBF is called process ID file which stores the ID of all processes take place in Notes and Domino server. In this article we have discussed about the Lotus Notes PID.NBF file location and the cause and solution of error writing to process file pid.nbf.

A Quick Advice:

If lots of error messages or dialog boxes persists you in IBM Notes, its better to use a different application for mailing purpose having simple interface. One of such email client which is commonly used by email users is Microsoft outlook. To get Outlook compatible file, export nsf to pst and have a great experience there.